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Frustrated at feeling less able.

(60 Posts)
Leah50 Fri 22-May-20 14:39:13

This morning I tried to take some central ceiling lampshades down to wash, my DH is a smoker & they get rather grubby looking. Just a few years ago I was happily able to do all the decorating & window cleaning, top of a ladder....no problem. Now in my 70th year even standing one rung up on a sturdy step-stool makes me anxious & feeling wobbly. I'm in good health but suddenly I'm scared of falling. After cleaning & replacing just two lampshades & bulbs I was nearly in tears, unable to try any more. My frail, elderly DH relies on me for almost everything, & I look after my school age grandkids 30-40 hrs a week as their parents are key workers. Do I need to admit I'm getting too old?

sodapop Fri 22-May-20 16:03:30

You have a lot on your plate Leah50 and with the current situation there is no wonder you are feeling a bit anxious.
I fell and fractured my pelvis a couple of years ago and while I made a good recovery it has left me anxious about uneven or slippery surfaces. I look at taking an alternative route now or ask to hold on to someone if necessary. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You are caring for your husband and grandchildren so get help with the other jobs you need to do. Take care of yourself.

AGAA4 Fri 22-May-20 16:05:23

You are doing really well Leah. Looking after grandkids is not easy.
I will be 73 in a few weeks and have had the wobbly feeling on ladders for a while. I don't do anything involving ladders now.

ladymuck Fri 22-May-20 16:09:16

Be thankful you have lampshades to wash! I live in a Victorian building with extremely high ceilings. I do have a step-ladder but can only manage to climb two rungs up. No lampshades, and no lightbulbs because I can't get up there to replace them.

glammanana Fri 22-May-20 16:13:53

I never touch ladders now I keep well away from them they should come with a health warning attached to them.
If I ever need anything done I have 4 strapping DGSs who I can borrow from my DD (just not at the moment) they will change lightbulbs and take down curtains for me to wash they come in handy for turning the mattress every couple of months I always make a list of jobs if I know they are going to visit.

Septimia Fri 22-May-20 16:32:31

I'm not 70 yet but a couple of years ago I realised that DS would be horrified to see me balancing (or not!) on rickety stepladders.

I bought some with deep steps, and handles on both sides and across the top. I feel much safer using them but they are quite heavy to lug about.

Esspee Fri 22-May-20 16:43:12

My mother suffered from osteoporosis which made her very fearful of falling.
I made a point of ensuring that wouldn’t happen to me so after a hysterectomy I replaced the oestrogen and still do 30+ years later. My bones are exceptionally strong for my age and I happily climb trees to prune them.

Callistemon Fri 22-May-20 17:05:16

Leah you're doing really well, looking after your DH and Grandchildren too.
However, I would say that lampshades are just not worth getting upset over, so perhaps you are feeling at the end of your tether. Would your DH consider smoking outside and not in the house? Or using patches or a vaporiser? The smoke can't be good for you or the DGC, or indeed him if he is not well.

I cleaned the conservatory thoroughly this morning, as spiders seem to have made a lot of webs in here when I wasn't looking. However, I still couldn't reach the top ones which are annoying me.
We have to know our limits and also realise it would be worse if we had an accident.

My friend sends her DH out to his shed if he wants to smoke. It is a large shed though!

grandtanteJE65 Sat 23-May-20 09:30:18

I too am beginning to feel nervous on ladders.

It is horrible, isn't it, having to admit that there are things we no longer can do?

Some things can be adapted. I use a three wheeler bike now, not an ordinary one.

You used to be able to get step-ladders that had a spar attached to them vertically, so you had something to hold onto while at the top of the ladder. I haven't seen one for years, but perhaps a broomstick securely lashed to the steps would do the trick and make us feel safer.

Jillybird Sat 23-May-20 09:53:45

In the same boat here. I'm not sure where one's balance goes. I'm going to rejoin a yoga class once this is over. I actually hate it, can't stand the irritating meditation thing at the end, but will force myself back to class in the interests of maintaining ladder-climbing abilities! (71, me)

shysal Sat 23-May-20 09:54:52

I suffer from vertigo so hate ladders. As I live alone I have to use one sometimes to change light bulbs etc.
I now have a 2 step lightweight set with hand rail. There is a hook to hang a bag and slot for small tools or screws. I feel very secure using it, but do wish I had gone for the 3 step version as I have a stiff shoulder now, which restricts my reaching distance. Perhaps something similar would help you.

EllanVannin Sat 23-May-20 09:55:45

I'm just naughty when it comes to climbing to change curtains, or a lightbulb. A sturdy chair with standing space rather than a ladder and I'm happy reaching the heights.
I've even balanced on the toilet and washbasin for the bathroom net which is tall, but I don't do that too often grin

I am careful though as the last thing I want are broken bones.
I hate not being able to do the things I once did with ease but I have to prove to myself that certain tasks are still not out of reach.

TrendyNannie6 Sat 23-May-20 10:00:29

I hate ladders, I get dizzy going upstairs, 😜 you do very well Leah50 looking after your grandchildren 30/40 hours a week must be really hard work, and btw 70 is not old,

Soozikinzi Sat 23-May-20 10:00:37

I also do yoga for that reason but ours doesn’t have that meditation bit on the end it’s coreflex yoga Pilates So it’s more for strength And balance There’s loads of different types of yoga now. But you’re doing great looking after your husband and DGC so you need to take care x

LJP1 Sat 23-May-20 10:04:59

Some helpful advice here.

Loss of balance is not due to anything you have done or omitted but happens to us all with age. The organ linked to our inner ear loses coordination with eyes and we need to balance by holding onto something.

an you get a neighbour or DGC (trust them, they will probably be proud to be of assistance) to give you a hand? People do seem to have woken up the needs of older neighbours now, so it might be a good time to ask for help.

Take care flowers

Uninspiringcowkeer Sat 23-May-20 10:05:14

I broke a rib a few weeks ago and it has affected my mo ility enormously. I am trying to get more mobile again but finding it hard. I was already disabled following a car accident. I cannot emphasise too much how essential it is to keep things moving as you get older. The youngest of my grandchildren goes to school,in September so the looking after has stopped along with the virus.

fifeywifey Sat 23-May-20 10:25:53

I have noticed too that at 68 my balance is impaired. When out for country walks when I was younger I was like a mountain goat but I tread very carefully now on uneven ground. What I really miss is strength in my hands and I am going to buy one of those aids for opening jar tops.

Bobdoesit Sat 23-May-20 10:26:40

Leah50 I’m 72 this year and happily climb ladders to clean lampshades although five years ago my balance was so awful I didn’t contemplate it. Then I discovered Pilates. I go to one class a week (well I did before lockdown). We are all ladies of a certain age, most of us struggle a bit! But the difference it’s made to my balance is remarkable. These days I clean my teeth and do the washing up while standing on one leg! Just for the practice, you understand! wink I would not have believed the difference if I had not tried it myself. It’s not a wonder cure it takes time, but a little bit of ‘balance work’ once a week truly helps. Maybe think about it when lockdown ends?

Theoddbird Sat 23-May-20 10:27:17

Well done you for doing what you do You really should ask your husband to smoke outside by the way. Your grandchildren should not be inhaling smoke. Also your lampshades and everything really would stay cleaner as the smoke stains everything.

Grandmama Sat 23-May-20 10:28:41

I'm turned 70, fit and healthy, very active but I've been aware over the last year or so of becoming a bit clumsy.
When sewing my fingers are not quite so nimble and I make silly mistakes in sewing and knitting. I'm now a teeny weeny bit anxious about tripping in the garden - I do a lot of gardening and there are paths laid with bricks (laid by me, DH has never done a scrap of gardening!) winding between some of the beds. They are a bit uneven in places and I'm thinking of taking them up for safety. So, yes, I've become more aware of my age recently but I can still walk for miles etc and do pretty well everything I've always done.

OliveLatimer Sat 23-May-20 10:33:54

Do the grandchildren live with you? My son and partner are both key workers - we are not allowed to look after them.

V3ra Sat 23-May-20 10:36:04

Bobdoesit my friend's Pilates classes are being held online now, something like that might keep you going.

25Avalon Sat 23-May-20 10:40:50

It’s something your body seems to tell you. I used to jump off the 18” high garden wall but now I am 70 something holds me back and I daren’t try it. I’ve noticed if I trip or anything I have more trouble regaining my balance. I have been digging out weeds with my spade in the garden and probably do more than someone a lot younger. However if I hand weed kneeling on the ground I have to climb up my spade to get up again!!

jocork Sat 23-May-20 10:45:05

I too get very nervous on ladders and I'm only 65! I think it is living alone that makes it so bad as I know if I fell there is no-one there to help. Even if I have my phone nearby someone would have to break the door down to get in as the only people with keys live hundreds of miles away. I keep thinking I should give a key to someone local but never get around to it!

Gwenisgreat1 Sat 23-May-20 10:59:43

Jocork this is the time to get round to it!!
I hate the way I am nowadays, I get wobbly up a little step ladder, but i did treat myself to a ladder that has a platform and handles, trouble is it's too heavy to carry very far. It was nearly 3 year's go that I was shoved off a pavement in York and landed on a cobbled road. My mobility has not completely recovered , but at 76 I suppose I have to live with it!