From the lodge at Oxmoor..
Time has passed and for those of us growing older (which, in truth is everyone!) our daily life may be changing. We have lost or are losing the battle of ” I’m as good as I ever was.” If you are, in fact, in your 80’s, 90’s or on the way to 100, and you are still as good as you ever were, get on your knees – it should be easy – and thank God and your family genes that you are blessed with!
However, the majority of us aged or aging have lost a lot of our ability to do simple things we never thought we would ever lose. This is not the time to curse the darkness of what we have lost but to be thankful at our age we are still among the living and deal with it.
It would take far too long to list all the little and big things I can no longer do safely. That is the key word, safely. Instead I will write about the most aggravating things for me. If you are there, you can relate; if these things haven’t bothered you as yet, be prepared.
1) Getting out of a chair. I found it was getting hard to get up out of low chairs, chairs with soft, squishy cushions and chairs without arms.
What to do?
I began to look for a chair that was very firm, went up as high as possible on the back and one that definitely had arms and was not on rollers. For a long time I found a wing back Queen Anne chair served me well.
Then next came the fact that walking was getting more difficult. And falling more easy. So I got a four wheel rollater. Eureka, I solved two problems; the rollater keeps me walking and because it is higher then the chairs I encounter outside my room, I use it to sit at the table in the dining room or if I want to stop and rest when I am out and about.
I did get a lift chair after I had a serious fall and needed extra help in getting up on my feet. They are wonderful if you need the extra help. Instead of moaning and groaning, I am walking safely and sitting and rising safely.
2) Getting out of my high bed.
I could not navigate getting into my bed. It was too high.
What to do?
I talked to my doctor and he suggested and signed for me to have a hospital bed with head and foot controls. The bed alone is lower and the guard rails on one side are a great safety feature. I am still learning to use the controls to raise and lower the head and foot space but I am sleeping well. I don’t miss my bed.
When your doctor signs for you to get these big ticket items, Medicare will pay for them almost entirely. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask.
Now for some annoying small things.
3) Getting food or drinks out of the refrigerator.
Get some dollar plastic trays that fit in the shelf spaces on your refrigerator door. They will hold things and keep them from tipping out.
4) A table to sit in front of your most used chair to write, do puzzles, hold your book to read, and to use as a snack tray.
The best table is one you can purchase from a office equipment store. They come on rollers, have a tray just under the top, and a shelf near the bottom. I could not exist without my table with rollers. Price $39.95.
5) Assistance to pick up the many things you will drop on any day.
I would give up my favorite picture of Sean Connery rather then give up my grabbers. I have three grabbers; one in the bathroom, one by my bed and one by my favorite chair. Who ever invented these little darlings is a gift to us aging angels who can drop things so easy and struggle so hard to pick them up. They are just a few dollars each at drug stores or medical equipment stores.
6) A three or four drawer plastic rolling cabinet.
I keep one on each side of my chair. One is to hold my meds and other medical supplies, and my mail and papers I want nearby for reference. The other is to hold snacks, pens, paper and other office needs. And, of course, the one very necessary junk drawer for odds and ends. Prices run from $14.00 to $20.00 at Walmart, K-Mart or most other similar retailers.
I hope these ideas will help resolve some of your difficulties in coping with life’s challenges.
Now, I have a challenge for you.
Recently my daughter Tara asked me to write about some things from my childhood. She wanted to know about what I did, where I lived; about my school days, my volunteer work and just, in general, a life story about who and what formed this person, her mom. She had bought me a gift of an IPad a while back and I decided to write about my first day at school, September,1929 when I was five years old and ready for Kindergarten. One memory led to another and I have written over 42,000 words. This is my remembrance of my life that I will leave to my children. I think they will appreciate it. (And maybe you readers will too.)
So, I ask you to write some memories down each day. Your children, grandchildren and others will love to read about your life and gain insight and wisdom about their own, hopefully, as inevitably, they age as well.