Gransnet forums


What frightens you about getting older ?

(72 Posts)
pompa Mon 13-Oct-14 09:23:10

The thing most often on my mind is not being able to drive. Most everything we do revolves around driving, having been unable to drive for a month now, I feel stranded. Both our Kids live 150-200 miles away, doubt we would be able to see them or our GC so often. All my hobbies involve a car.
Our village has a reasonable bus service for a rural area, but not to where I normally go. Even our favourite cafe, whilst only 1 mile away is not accessible by walking, the lane is too busy and narrow with no path. (Perrywood's for those that know it)

elena Mon 13-Oct-14 09:34:00

Good question smile I am a wee bit scared about the Big Things (dementia is probably the scariest) but on a less frightening level, I worry that I will fall into the trap (if it can be described as that) of being a bit of a bore. I know, and have known, many older people whose major topic of conversation is their health and the health of others (often I don't even know these others!). I am thinking of writing a letter to myself to be opened in my 80s, with a checklist of what not to do on it smile

I am not unsympathetic (I know it's horrible when 'bits' of your body go wrong), but the livliest, most engaging older people tend not to go on about health, even though they may be suffering a lot.

Iam64 Mon 13-Oct-14 09:37:03

Losing my independence frightens me, not least because it happens when either mind or body wear out to the extent that help with every day life becomes essential.

In my case, it was inevitably be associated with no longer being able to share my life with dogs. Take me out and shoot me is how I fear I'd feel.

Charleygirl Mon 13-Oct-14 09:41:35

Ending up in some awful Care Home which costs a fortune, I am not treated properly and entertainment is listening to Vera Lynn songs. My money runs out after the money from my house and few savings have been used up.

I agree, not being able to drive, even to the local supermarket would be horrendous. Like pompa I have had short periods following surgery when I could not drive but driving has always been my first goal.

Teetime Mon 13-Oct-14 09:56:08

DH and I talk often about getting older and have done for some years now largely as a result of me spending much of my nursing career with older people and for both of us the experience of our own parents both of whom refused to co-operate with anything and anyone who tried to help them. they saw this as losing independence whereas what we were trying to achieve was helping them retain that for as ling as possible. as a consequence both lots got into a right pickle. SO Dh and I decided to move down from rural North Yorkshire where we had initially retired as we idnt see us being able to maintain an independent and mobile lifestyle there. We moved to this small market town to a brand new house (minimal maintenance) within walking distance of the all amenities, shops, doctors, etc and the possibility of a reasonable social life. we also agreed hat we would move to a supported living style accomodation e.g. MCarthy and Stone BEFORE the need arises and that we would at all times cooperate with medication regimes, health advice etc thus we hope negating the need for intervention/help from children who wont want to provide it.

I am well aware that we are fortunate to be able to do this i.e. own our own home and have modest occupational pensions - although we had planned all this years ago and worked towards it - no inheritance for either of us. I think our biggest fear is losing each other but its inevitable at some stage so we try to have fun now and make sensible plans for the future.

kittylester Mon 13-Oct-14 10:00:17

Not being able to drive, dementia, illness, DH dying, loneliness - so many things that I have to put my head in the sand and carry on regardless.

As, I'm incurably nosy too, I want to know how things turn out. I do know that I won't know that I don't know confused

Years ago, a friend died when her boys were still at school and she said that she felt as though she was abandoning them and wanted to see how they turned out. I wish she could see how lovely they are now and how well they get on with their stepmother as she told her DH to marry again so the boys had a mother!

KatyK Mon 13-Oct-14 10:29:17

All of the above, except not being able to drive. I have never learned to drive anyway smile

Elegran Mon 13-Oct-14 10:34:54

Neither have I. I manage perfectly well without - but there is a good transport service, and I take a taxi for occasional trips. Living somewhere remote would be different.

There is also an 8-10 minute walk from the bus home, some of it up a hill. OK now, but could get tricky later on, I shall be doing more online shopping and taking more taxis.

henetha Mon 13-Oct-14 10:35:26

Not being able to drive is near the top of my list. I would be so isolated without my car. Also fear dementia, cancer, etc. And having a stroke while here alone and lying ill or dead for days .....
I try not to think too much about all these fears, but they occasionally haunt in the middle of the night, don't they!

numberplease Mon 13-Oct-14 11:34:52

I`m not a driver, but after hubby has been "off the road" for over a year, following 2 operations and 3 hospital stays, I dread us not being able to get around much anymore, although he is back driving now. I`m also scared of not being able to do as much, especially around the house, I`m already in the situation of not being able to do certain things.

pompa Mon 13-Oct-14 11:37:51

I feel bad that I can't drive my wife to/from her various groups, buses don't go where she needs.

Tegan Mon 13-Oct-14 12:28:23

Dementia; the thought of being a financial burden on my children and turning into another person so they don't remember the mother that I was sad. A neighbour did say to me [this is because another neighbour is very ill] that the state seems to have very good care plans for those with cancer [which I'm not complaining about, of course] but people with parents/partners with dementia seem to have to cope on their own, both physically and financially]. And losing my sight. I could [probably] cope with losing my mobility but if I couldn't use the computer or watch films/television/sport would be awful.

rockgran Mon 13-Oct-14 12:29:47

Good idea, Elena, about that checklist. I agree that moaning about health issues is a real turn off. My late MIL was obsessed with her " symptoms". It doesn't encourage visitors! I'm starting my letter to myself now!

Stansgran Mon 13-Oct-14 12:33:16

I fear dementia more than anything but in other people it is driving when they shouldn't be. I have a friend whose husband shouldn't have been driving 10 years ago and he still is in his eighties. He at least doesn't do long distances any more. I feel he is safe over short distances but angry .

rosequartz Mon 13-Oct-14 12:36:39

Becoming incontinent and being unable to do personal things for myself.

Apart from that, not getting older is worse.

shysal Mon 13-Oct-14 12:37:33

My main fear is of being a burden on my family. I would hate not to be able to drive, but as long as I have some mobility and independence I shall be content. I have read that running a car is more expensive than using a taxi for everything. A friend tried this for a year and proved it to be so, but went back to driving for convenience.

Mishap Mon 13-Oct-14 12:46:26

Top of the list would be deafness - music has been and is my life - I have no idea how I would cope without it.

Next comes being in a home and out of control of my life. Having just spent 5 days in hospital I realise how hard I find it. I have a few chronic medical problems that I have spent a lifetime learning how to manage - I know my body and what is needed when and to have someone locking away my drugs and doling them out when they saw fit felt very hard - and had all the consequences that I might have predicted.

Then there is being a burden to my lovely lovely girls and their families. Even just this convalescent time when I am dependent on them and cannot do anything for them is hard enough. I like to be in there babysitting and having fun with the little ones - and being a use to them all. I will miss that when total decrepitude creeps in. I just want them out there living their lives not looking after me. However, they do see it differently - we are all family, my DD said, and we care for each other - that is what families do.

And of course dementia - I do not want them burdened with that - it is unthinkable, having been in that situation with my own mother.

Getting old is a right b****r - I am not amused!

glammanana Mon 13-Oct-14 12:52:16

Not being able to work would devastate me but I know I must give up in the next couple of years,I love the people I meet and the enjoyment I see from my customers when I have completed an order for them.
Not being able to drive and having to reply on other people would be awful and dementia later in life is not worth thinking about so I leave it on the back burner as it may or may not happen.

mollie65 Mon 13-Oct-14 12:54:22

like the idea of the checklist - assuming I am still able to see/understand it at 80 and still be in the land of the living.
I do worry about keeling over and not being found for a week hmm
enjoyed your post teetime as I am just such a predicament.
I live on my own (not counting 'lurch') in a rural place where getting to the Drs, Vets, shopping, etc requires a car trip.
I plan to wait until beloved 'lurch' doggie (who is now 11) is no longer with me as I could not bear uprooting him and coping with a move - and move to an easily managed (but picturesque) house near the sea and a railway line so I can still visit family and cope if the driving gets too difficult. Hopefully said small town will have Drs, shops and chemists and enough social life to keep me going. smile

mollie65 Mon 13-Oct-14 12:56:41

really I fear losing my independence and having to rely on someone else - hence the plan.

Funnygran Mon 13-Oct-14 12:57:32

The thought of having to go into a home depresses me. Also losing my sight rather than my hearing as I would be lost without being able to read. I would hate to be a burden on my family although hopefully they would help me out of love rather than duty! MIL is 90 and still lives in her own home although needs help with shopping etc. She is very frustrated that she needs this help and tells us she feels the family do it because they have to and that she has lived too long! I hope I'll still be around at 90 as would also like to see how the grand-children turn out in adulthood.

papaoscar Mon 13-Oct-14 13:03:33

The thought of being trapped in a failing body over which I had decreasing control would be a nightmare, as would loosing my independence. One can only hope for a quick and painless shuffle off to the next level, as it were!

janeainsworth Mon 13-Oct-14 13:16:38

My MiL is 92 and apart from needing help with shopping and visits to dr and dentist etc, is fully in possession of her marbles and is the hub of the family.
She rings everyone up every week and then relays the news about the rest of the extended family.
She's been a widow for nearly 50 years and most of her friends have died now, but I've never once heard her grumble about anything.
Last year when asked what she would like for Christmas, she said 'another 10 years!'

pompa Mon 13-Oct-14 13:43:22

There was me just worrying about not driving, looks like I've loads of other things to worry about now.

Charleygirl Mon 13-Oct-14 13:49:49

I would like a tattoo of "do not resuscitate" stamped on my forehead.