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To wonder when old age starts

(93 Posts)
granniechrissie Sun 09-Feb-20 23:49:40

I (aged 61) recently met up with my cousin (aged 70), I asked him what he was doing these days and he said that he was doing voluntary work helping the aged. My mum (88) is still pretty active, so when does old age start?

Grammaretto Mon 10-Feb-20 10:11:38

We do age. There is no getting away from it. Mick Jagger et al are still active and amazing but they are old men now.

However my best story is when my doctor prescribed pilates to help my posture, backache and prolapse problems. On my first day , I saw my MiL was in the class. She at 92 was as surprised as I was. "How else would I keep fit?". she said.

I find things take me longer:. To focus my eyes, to think of a name, to get anywhere as I don't run anymore. It isn't a sudden change but gradual in my case.

I have recently joined U3A walking group but it does feel strange being with all older people.

Justanotherwannabe Mon 10-Feb-20 10:17:03

My DH is seventy next wee. He's still working, and doesn't intend to retire anytime soon. He has a full head of hair AND it's still all brown (well a few grey hairs round the edges).
Me. I'm retired, enjoying life, hair went white some 20 years ago, but I colour it 'cos I don't feel grey. I don't think I look old, although I have a few lines, and I'm developing a double chin confused.
No I don't think we're old (yet).

geekesse Mon 10-Feb-20 10:17:52

When my granny was well into her eighties, she used to help out ‘the old man next door’ who was ten years younger than she was. I guess it’s a matter of perception.

Happygirl79 Mon 10-Feb-20 10:20:44

I am a perfectly fit and well 66 year old
When asked to complete forms I hate to have to check the box 65+ which is the last one on the age list!

Thecatshatontgemat Mon 10-Feb-20 10:23:32

As long as you are fit and healthy, then you are as old as you feel.

nipsmum Mon 10-Feb-20 10:31:11

I've just renewed my driving licence for the next 3 years only. I will be 79 in a couple of months. I'm not old and have no intention of ever being old. No old folks classes or gatherings for me. I will never be old enough for them.

Froglady Mon 10-Feb-20 10:34:21

Until I was affected with chronic pain, middle age and old age was always going to be 5 years older than whatever age I was and then I got arthritis and feel old all the time now. Everything I do hurts and causes me to ancient. I'm only 66 but feel at least 10 years older. If you have good health, then maybe you can delay the aging process?

CaroleAnne Mon 10-Feb-20 10:34:48

Age is only a number chronologically. Some people have physical conditions that make them feel I'll and frail . Others go on if in good health as they have always been. Do not listen to statistics and those who are negative thinkers anyway.
I am 75 and feel very well and am never pre occupied with ageism Inside you do not feel age and that is what is important.
If you have your health then you have your wealth.

polnan Mon 10-Feb-20 10:40:02

Annsixty,, how well you describe me!

I am 83, still fit physically, but the death of my dh last November, and I felt 10 years come on me.. until then, I felt a lot younger... now I feel old...but mostly it is mental... if anyone has an answer for me, I would greatly appreciate it..

I eat well, exercise, get out,, do all that I am instructed on the web to do,, don`t sleep as well as I would like, but then I never have...

so what else can I do? I cry, weep.... and I so hate that.. I tell myself positive thoughts,,, ....

lovebooks Mon 10-Feb-20 10:49:32

I so much want to leave when the party's over, and wish we could have euthanasia on request (with obvious safeguards) on the NHS (possible in Switzerland, The Netherlands and Oregon, but not here yet.) I don't want my chidren's inheritance poured down the bottomless pit of "care" homes etc etc.
As for age itself, I once met a very elderly five year old - prim, disapproving and correct. Hope she evolved into something more joyful...

Craftycat Mon 10-Feb-20 11:11:58

I'm 69- DH is 56.
I am fit & healthy & still do dance classes, yoga etc.
He is very overweight, not at all fit & does nothing that requires an effort despite my encouragement to get him to keep fit.
It seems so wrong but what can you do!.

Brigidsdaughter Mon 10-Feb-20 11:25:05

My DH is 65 today and hates it. He works from home and looks after his appearance/skin as he doesn't want his profile pic to make him look old...

Lizbethann55 Mon 10-Feb-20 11:41:56

I don't know about old age, but I decided many many years ago that middle age was always 5 years older than me. I am now 65 and still waiting to be middle aged. Though I struggle to get off the floor when playing with my darling, but manic DGS, and he shoots off to get into yet more mischief / danger.

Lizbethann55 Mon 10-Feb-20 11:48:08

I am easily the oldest at my place of work. I foolishly never paid into a pension scheme and, as I am a waspi, I can't retire until I reach 66 next year. We work with the public and it is really depressing when I hear my much younger colleagues referring to "elderly" clients and realise that these aged people are actually much younger than me!😭😭

Rufus2 Mon 10-Feb-20 11:56:13

so when does old age start?
grannie When you start worrying about it! hmm

Willow10 Mon 10-Feb-20 11:56:31

At 73, I'm still fit, active and young - in my head. Have to admit that when going to clubs, U3A meetings or on coach trips, I do notice most people are 'fifty shades of grey' and I don't feel I belong with these 'old people'. But catching my reflection in a shop mirror soon brings me down to earth with a bump!smile

BlueSky Mon 10-Feb-20 11:58:24

Of course we are still middle aged at 65+! Old age is now 85+!

inishowen Mon 10-Feb-20 12:01:30

My mum was very active in her church. One day they asked her if she'd like to attend a pensioners coffee morning. She asked what they'd like her to do to help. They said you are a pensioner so you are a guest. She was horrified to be lumped in with old people.

Yehbutnobut Mon 10-Feb-20 12:19:31

When it starts to really hurt!

petalmoore Mon 10-Feb-20 12:22:12

The official term for ‘old’ is now ‘older’. So nobody will be old until they are the oldest. My mother-in-law is 103, and is,mI think, the oldest person she knows. I had a great-aunt who admitted to feeling ready to go on her way as she had out-lived all her friends and had not had children. So there’s one answer.

I have multiple disabilities including restricted mobility, poor balance, peripheral neuropathy with hand tremor, fatigue, and shortness of breath. I am now 70, but have had to give up my voluntary activities because of my physical difficulties. At coffee after church I am invited to sit with a lady with dementia who’s also in a wheelchair but who was once a very active church member. A lot of the friends I mad in retirement at local U3A interest groups have died - they were in their 80s and 90s, whilst the people my own age are in active outdoor groups while I had t restrict myself to sedentary groups. I am, to all tents and purposes, 15- 20 years or so older than my chronological age. I am lucky to be alive at all, since all my health issues are the result of radiotherapy and chemo for a lymphoma I had 47 years ago, and from which I am one of the most long-standing survivors. So every calendar year that I clock up feels like an achievement.

I simply feel the way I do - who knows whether that’s old or not. We form our ideas of what it means to be old when we are very young - my granny was ancient when I was little, but my first memories of her are from when she was 54. If you don’t think you are old and want to find out, ask a six-year-old - they will tell you. But if you like pâté or mayonnaise made with real raw egg yolks, don’t ask a dietitian or even your practice nurse - they will tell anybody over 75 that elderly people shouldn’t be eating such things any more.

I think we all know what we have to look forward to and ‘feeling young’ is what we do to deflect what we might feel about that. Having had a long time to consider this, I guess I’ve come to the point when I’m more accepting of my fate, and don’t mind looking it in the eye, though I'm finding it harder to feel convinced that there’s any point in having a bucket list, so am just prioritising enjoying each moment in my own way.

I just hope that saying these things explicitly won’t upset you all - I’m OK but the fear of hurting others remains present, and that isn’t my intention.

Grammaretto Mon 10-Feb-20 12:26:24

I agree with you Rufus
People get obsessed. Just enjoy the changes that come.
Let a younger person do the heavy lifting and the running around.
Enjoy being less frantic.
Enjoy being retired and able to choose how to spend your time and who to spend it with.
All this talk of euthanasia pills. Seriously?
Why would you do that to the ones who come after.
I want to be around to see as much of those gorgeous grandchildren as I can. I would love to see them growing up.

Will the musician study music? Will the athlete be in the Olympics?. Will the idealist have saved the planet? Will the Highland dancer still be dancing?

So much to be grateful for.

Taichinan Mon 10-Feb-20 12:26:48

It's not the years that make us old, it's our attitude to our years. And also ill health. The most rejuvenating things are keeping active and being interested in the things around us. Both those things improve our physical health and our mental well-being. And smiling. Never forget to smile, even when you don't feel like it!

wicklowwinnie Mon 10-Feb-20 12:29:13

I object to being asked by younger people IF I have an email address, the assumption being elderly people are not techno savvy. I have, and use, all the technology available. Be it television, telephones and laptops. Just because we are older it does not mean we have lost our brain power.

Grammaretto Mon 10-Feb-20 12:36:11

I had to renew my passport recently Brigidsdaughter and had a couple of goes at taking and adding a photo that was acceptable (shadows, smile, eyes facing camera etc) .

When at last the photo was accepted I had a message from the passport office to ask if I was sure I wanted to use that one! wink

grandtanteJE65 Mon 10-Feb-20 12:41:48

It depends really how we define old. I am 68 and when mowing the lawn or trying to dig the garden, I definitely know I am old.

In some ways too, I realise that I am less willing to adopt new ideas. I feel no desire to use snapchat, whatsap, instagram etc.

I probably would have taken time to explore them if they had come into being when I was forty.

Old is not necessarily the same as infirm, but we live in a society that doesn't value age and experience, which is, I think, we all find it hard to admit that we are old.