Friday Counseling Issues: Aging

There are volumes  already written on this topic.  As we Baby Boomers travel into our late sixties and seventies, the graying of America is quite remarkable. There are just so MANY of us!  I’m going to do my best not to be gloomy about this, because we’re living longer, healthier, and better than just about any other generation to date. Some of us really seem to have believed we would never grow old, never be the crotchety old lady tottering across the busy street at a snail’s pace. I guess every generation sees themselves as eternally young, but for some reason, ours seems to have an overdose of that attitude.

Here’s a favorite video of mine.  Be sure your sound is turned up.

Some of the issues I’ll be writing about include:

  • Heart conditions (hypertension, vascular disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease)
  • Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression
  • Incontinence (urine and stool)
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Breathing problems
  • Frequent falls, which can lead to fractures
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, Macular Degeneration)

There are others, but this is a pretty comprehensive list.  Something else I’ll be addressing along the way is relationships.  It’s often quite difficult to be the caregiver for someone who is aging.  Believe me, it is equally difficult to BE the person who is aging. The thing I dread most is to be helpless, dependent completely on my kids or some other caregiver.  I’d rather die first.  However, that isn’t always what we are given. There is a lot that can be done to make these final years joyful for our families instead of stressful.

Next week, we’ll talk about the heart.  The old ticker runs into all kinds of obstacles as we age. In the meantime, please look on  your last two or three decades as an opportunity to be a blessing to your children and grandchildren.

Many years ago, I heard a speaker at a women’s conference say, “You are becoming what you will be. If  you are a negative, complaining, critical, unhappy young woman, then you wil be a miserable, nasty, mean and cantankerous old woman. You’d better fix your attitude now, or you’re going to be very, very lonely!”

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