Tag Archives: old age

Why Am I Not Drooling & Diapered In A Nursing Home?

Many people at my age (93.5) have been caged in one of those infamous and grossly-overpriced senior human zoos for a decade or more. Or, if they were addicted smokers and/or boozers, they’ve been dead for at least the past 20 years. However, I’m still out wandering daily for at least two hours, hiking and snapping sneaky photos.

Then, squinting and pounding the computer keys, I spend several more hours creating three or more articles and posting them on internet sites, including travel4seniors.com and 90isthenewblack.com Is there a secret to why my years have lasted this long? Of course, as with all forms of life, mine will end soon enough. However, if anyone wants to know how I’ve survived into my 90s, here are a few opinionated hints and boasts.

The first requirement is to have parents and family members who live long lives. My grandparents did it into their 90s. My mother made it to 89, my brother to 96 and my sister to 97. Unfortunately, my father died at age 36 of a kidney disease that today could have been cured with current antibiotics.

There are other familiar ways to live into old age. Addicted smokers, legal or otherwise, rarely make it beyond their 70s. About the same for heavy boozers. Daily exercise of mind and body has helped me stick around this long. And, maybe most important of all, you just need plain old good luck.

Q: Hey, What’s Your Secret For Keeping Healthy?

You’re always boasting about your busy writing and physical activities while into age 90 plus. Can you offer any advice to we out-of-shape youngsters aged 75 or so who envy you? MJMcL, Ambler PA

A: Of course, tomorrow I may be fatally hit by a speeding electric scooter, but since you ask, I’ll boast again. It begins with luck. I was orphanage raised and then did Navy service in two wars. Tho my abilities are naturally age-diminished now, I still follow health routines I learned then.

Basically, it’s getting regular daily exercise, both physical and mental. Also eat and booze sensibly, and never puff those smoky, stinky cancer sticks. I take two daily, brisk one-hour hikes and splash a dozen swim laps.

I carry my camera everywhere, and constantly observe and click for interesting shots. I include the best on my daily online website posts. If there’s a secret, it’s to live every day as if it will be your last. And then do another and another.

Retiree Prefers Holiday Inn Vs Nursing Home

Unless we’re hit by a car or drink/eat/smoke ourselves to death at a younger age, we all must face the inevitable decision. Unable to handle daily life, we or our family decide to stash us in a nursing home.

However, in these days of never-ending inflation, a semi-private old folks room there costs an average of $7,500 a month. Just 30 years ago when my mom needed that care, it was $450 a month. Prices have gone up just a teeny bit since then. So recently, when a Texas guy hit his golden years, he priced nursing home vs Holiday Inn living.

Costs for similar accommodations at the Inn, including meals in the hotel restaurants, were $1,900 a month, plus advantages of private room and bath. Also instead of other old people coughing and rasping in next-door rooms, the motel wall offers more interesting sounds from amorous one-nighter younger customers.

End-Of-Life Fun Good Idea For Nonagenarians

Dylan Thomas said it poetically:
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Old age should burn and rave at close of day.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

When we few survivors hit our 90s, the stark reality is just waiting to kick the bucket within weeks, months or at most a year or two. So, why hang around to suffer deaf ears, fading eyesight, painful arthritis, adult diapers and cracked bones from bathroom falls.

Or much worse, don’t survive long enough to be sentenced to a nursing home, and treated like a jailbird and/or zoo animal. I’m not advocating ending it with a bullet in the brain or jumping off a bridge. Bowing out, if you do it right, can actually be an extended and enjoyable adventure during your inevitable final days on Earth.

First, there’s booze. Instead of that one shot nightcap you’re now sipping, add another and another until you’re crawling into bed happily with a hazy laugh. Or go nightly with an old sot pal and drink until wasted. And eventually, your alcoholic brain and heart will mercifully give out while you’re feeling no pain.

And there’s food. Lots of it. Forget that diet your doctor recommends of non-fat veggies and meatless Tuesdays. Get delivered feasts to gorge at home and go to overpriced restaurants. Load up on pasta, chow mein, steaks, won tons, tacos, fried potatoes and lots of pie and cake. Do that daily for a year or so and, despite your fattened butt, you’ll easily fly up to Heaven wearing a beatific smile of satisfaction.
Note: Poet Dylan Thomas died on a sidewalk at age 38 after a night of boozing.

How In The Hell Did I Manage To Live This Long?

Tho a bit slower, my 92.5-year-old brain and body still function with an active daily routine. I take two 30-minute hikes, shoot candid photos, swim a dozen laps, as well as research, write and post at least three online articles. I must be doing something right.

So, if my bragging can help others facing those sunset years, here are my rambling thoughts. I officially retired almost three decades ago at age 65. At the time I weighed 190 pounds, much too blubbery on a 5’8” frame. I was short of breath and too lazy to stop stuffing myself or to exercise. I began a daily routine of hiking, biking, swimming and calisthenics for at least an hour.

I stopped excessive eating, confined it mostly to fresh, healthy foods. I limited booze to one small bedtime brandy. Within several post-retirement months, my weight dropped at about a pound a week. After a year, I weighed 145, and have maintained it ever since.

In addition to diet and physical exercise, I also keep my aging brain on regular exercise. When I retired, I still had a kid in an expensive university. So I took a management job with a city community center that covered tuition and living expenses. After five years, I stayed on the job as a daily volunteer for another five years.

Another factor is that, after one sickening pack of cigarettes at age 15, I never smoked. Meanwhile, I sadly read obits through the years of nicotine-addicted friends and relatives who died before they reached their 70s.

Pew Survey: Seniors Don’t Wanna Live More Years

According to the respected research institute’s recent findings, only 4% of American seniors would want to live to age 120. Euuuuwwww, Pew! This 92-year-old scribbler does not agree at all! Those Pew beancounters should take another count!

Most seasoned citizens I’ve talked to recently would cherish those extra years to fulfill some ambitious bucket lists. The first response was that they’d like to spend more time with loved ones, as well as embark on exciting ventures by air, sea and land.

The list could include living long enough to see the Kardashians, Clintons and Trumps fade into blessed obscurity, watch the Boston Red Sox win another World Series and be in London to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 100th birthday jubilee.

Even more so, what senior wouldn’t want to attend Wayne Newton’s 90th annual Las Vegas on-stage performance? And, of course, spend $10,000 to watch 70-year-old Floyd Mayweather defend his world boxing crown against the women’s wrestling association champ.

Additionally, even if it seems forever just a dream, some advanced elders hope to survive long enough to see the end of war, crime, poverty and disease. We’d hope for rational, intelligent world leaders. Considering that two leading clowns of today are threatening mutual nuclear disaster, that wish may disappear into a large, black cloud.

Of course, to live that long could also cause some heartache. As Mel Brooks’ famous 2,000-year-old man once kvetched: I have hundreds of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. And not one of them ever even picks up the phone to call me!

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

The opening line of the Dylan Thomas poem is an inspiration for elderly people to keep living vital, active lives for as long as possible. The next two lines offer further incentive:

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Unfortunately, Dylan Thomas died an alcoholic at age 38. Therefore, do as he said with your life, not as he did with his. As I approach my 91st birthday, I endorse his positive theme more as each day goes by.

It doesn’t just apply to the elderly. Each of us has a very limited time on earth, and it should be lived to the fullest. In the long, long eons mankind has existed on this planet, a human life is comparatively just a very brief moment. Whether we die young or survive to old age, we’re all confined to that one all-too-fleeting lifetime. I believe we must make use of every day, hour and minute.

Of course, statistics indicate I have a very short time left. But so do many of today’s younger people. A drinker driving at high speed, pack-a-day smoker, heroin addict and insanely religious freak wearing a suicide vest.

Knowing your time is very limited, use it wisely and productively. Enjoy every moment, and leave the world a better place for those who come after you.