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Fear of Aging

(93 Posts)
Mancunianma Wed 02-May-18 09:43:21

Hello, I'm 71 and fearful of aging. Any pearls of wisdom out there please to accept it with optimism?

stella1949 Wed 02-May-18 09:45:51

My motto about ageing is " It's better than the alternative !" Keeps things in perspective , I find.

Elegran Wed 02-May-18 10:02:28

71 is not old, unless you make it so.

Think about your fear and work out which particular aspects of aging you are fearful of, then plan to minimise the effects of those.

Health? Get enough exercise and make sure your lifestyle doesn't include smoking, drinking to excess, an unhealthy diet, and so on. Go for all the checkups you are offered and be aware of the symptoms of the common ailments that are likely to hit you. But don't become a hypochondriac, concentrate on being well not on being ill.

Being alone? Keep on good terms with family and friends, and arrange to meet them as often as you can. Make new friends, with young people as well os old. Join a couple of groups that meet regularly, follow an old hobby, take up a new one, learn a new skill.

Money? Get advice from the Citizen's Advice Bureau on finance.

Nannarose Wed 02-May-18 10:22:13

Good advice from Elegran.I'd add the old saw about 'counting your blessings'. I know some find it trite, but it has helped me all my life.

Iam64 Wed 02-May-18 10:27:33

My father's advice was "old age isn't for softies but it's better than the alternative."

Long term health issues can crop up for many of us in our 60's that aren't related to bad habits but simply to ageing or auto immune conditions. Keeping positive is important as is not blaming others when their health lets them down.

Panache Wed 02-May-18 10:31:30

Well said Elegran,and a good aid to live by.Preperation is certainly the key,do not march on blindly and then worry yourself to death .....and an early grave.
Plan that route.

Whilst counting my many blessings has been my motto through some very rough patches for indeed,never mind how gloomy things get,there is always that tiny ray of sunshine breaking through in the corner............and it is up to each one of us to nurture it and help it become an outsized sunbeam.

EllaS Wed 02-May-18 10:58:45

For me, old age is a wonderful time to enjoy the sunset of life. Do not let this frighten you. It's time to beat the results, reconcile with all the relatives and friends, understand it and understand that everything turned out to be the best. It has long been possible to understand that beauty is not the most important and the body certainly wears out, but there are children and grandchildren and this is the salt of life and this is eternal youth.
My grandmother said that let this machine knit, and I will read. She loves to read. Find your pleasure.

Lindylo Wed 02-May-18 11:04:29

Socialise and do those things you never had time to do before.
Keep active.

JackyB Wed 02-May-18 11:34:03

My mother, at 98, always says she's happy with her lot. She sits and watches TV all day, goes to the hairdresser's every second Thursday, and waits for people to visit her.

So I would say that coping with aging is mainly a case of being happy with your own company and being able to amuse yourself with little.

Lower your expectations but never stop making plans.

JenniferEccles Wed 02-May-18 12:35:24

50 is the new 70 you know OP!

The best advice is to look after your health. If you are overweight, lose it. Get plenty of exercise, eat well, and ENJOY life.

Fill your days with activities, plan holidays and, even if you are married, don't lose touch with friends who make you feel good.

You will be fine!

MawBroon Wed 02-May-18 12:38:38

What are you afraid of OP?
Illness, dementia, bereavement, death?
And what are you prepared to do about it?
I think you need to be clear in your mind, not just “fearing ageing”.

Charleygirl Wed 02-May-18 13:11:23

I do not give aging a thought- as far as I am concerned my brain tells me I am 29 although my body disagrees, I let them continue with that disagreement. I am 74 but no longer mobile.

I love my computer so spend a lot of time on that- does it matter- no, because I am happy.

Try to have something to do each day- even if it is only cutting the grass or whatever.

Take some of Elegran's advice.

Make arrangements as I have done to meet local GNs for coffee- 4 of us meet monthly and have done for 3 years +.

Luckygirl Wed 02-May-18 13:21:01

I have done a lot of counting my blessings against various challenging odds; but feel a bit over-challenged at the moment as my voice (singing has been my life) is giving problems. It has been getting hoarse; and sometimes when I am singing it just stops. For me that is a tragedy and takes away something that is basic to my identity. Will be seeing an ENT bod - they have done a 2 week appointment on the grounds that it might be cancer (I am sure it is not and am not the least bit worried on that score). I suspect nodes on vocal chords (which can be treated) or just ageing (which can't). sad

Auntieflo Wed 02-May-18 13:51:43

Didn't have time to worry about getting old in our house. I just woke up one day, and it had happened, so now I just get on and take each day as it, hopefully, arrives.

Jalima1108 Wed 02-May-18 14:19:54

I was going to say the same as stella1949 and Iam64
It helps to think, on waking, 'I'm still here, what shall I do today?!' Although I do tend to think I'm still only about 11 until I get out of bed.

And what everyone else has said smile

goldengirl Wed 02-May-18 14:34:34

I don't feel old - until I look in the mirror or have to walk some where! I don't fear it as I'm lucky enough to be enjoying new experiences but my body is trying its best to show me up!

Mancunianma Wed 02-May-18 15:16:25

Thank you for all your lovely messages, you all sound amazing and so positive despite difficulties. I know I'm not in a good place at the moment. I was really ill with the flu in January which shocked me and left me very weak leading me down into depression which I'm trying to get help for.

I've been a widow since 1990 and brought up 4 children who are all grown up now and wonderful I also have 6 lovely grandsons so on the face of it it would seem I have nothing to be unhappy about. But I live alone and this illness has left me feeling very vulnerable and afraid and thinking that now at my age things are not going to get any better. I'm sorry it's all so negative and I will try and be inspired by your messages and as some keep telling me 'this will pass' so I hope some joy will come into my life again soon rather than me dwelling on aging and sickness.

Teetime Wed 02-May-18 17:02:37

Thank you elegran for such good advice. I am fearful of ageing I am 65. I think perhaps because I spent the bulk of my nursing career with elderly people but of course mainly only saw the very infirm and its squewed my vision of ageing. At the moment I am recovering from foot surgery for arthritis which had crumbled my toe joints and I fear that other parts of me will crumble too. I'm doing what I can to stay healthy.
Mancunianma Gransnet is a great place to stay in touch, get good advice and possibly most important of all laugh. I hope you are feeling better soon. Best wishes. xxflowers

Cherrytree59 Wed 02-May-18 17:12:36

JenniferEccles 50 is the new 70shock

Elegran Wed 02-May-18 17:21:01

You can calculate your life expectancy here based on the average for people who have reached the age you are now. (This is most reassuring - the older you get, the longer you can hope to live! )

Then you can add a few variable things, and see how you could live even longer, and be healthier in your old age.

Luckygirl Wed 02-May-18 18:19:07

Looks like I've got another 16.58 years- let's hope I will be fit throughout!

Mancunianma Wed 02-May-18 18:22:40

Thank you Teetime and I will try to use Gransnet. Best Wishes to you too and Elegran.

Charleygirl Wed 02-May-18 18:25:57

I have 7.5 years left- must get on- I have a lot to do this evening.

janeainsworth Wed 02-May-18 20:08:02

Mancunianma I live alone and this illness has left me feeling very vulnerable and afraid and thinking that now at my age things are not going to get any better

I think that’s a very understandable fear. I would feel the same in your situation. Have you any close friends or neighbours who would be there for you if you were unwell or incapacitated in some way?
As for things not getting any better, I’m not sure if you mean physically or in other ways. If you mean physically, I do think that as we get older we take longer to get over debilitating illnesses, but recovery is possible with a good diet and moderate exercise that you enjoy, and a positive attitude.
If you live in Manchester there must be lots of things to do that you would enjoy.
I hope that you're soon feeling better - the weather might warm up soon and cheer us all up! sunshineflowers

MawBroon Wed 02-May-18 20:58:09

I think we all now how debilitating flu and the like can be.
My Sis-in-law, (a Dr ) is of the opinion that viral infections can leave you much “lower” than bacterial infections. So it is not surprising that you feel low.
Be good to yourself and with a bit of sunshine I am sure you will soon pick up.