Hello. It's looking like it's going to be a day indoors today, I have lots to keep me occupied so I'm happy to stay in. I had an email come through a few days ago which needs a reply, and rather than spend time writing personally to the reader I thought I would share it here, in case the subject matter strikes a chord with anyone else. I copy and paste part of the letter here, the readers is a similar age to myself.
I wanted to ask your advice please. Being childless as we are, what will happen to us when we get infirm? Who will take care of us? I'm not scared about getting older but what terrifies me is getting infirm and I must admit to losing sleep over this issue as time goes on. Friends are now too busy with grandchildren so they don't bother with me much any more and I'd value your thoughts.
Hello and thank you for your questions. Everyone approaches old age in their own way, and a lot of how you deal with it depends on your outlook on life leading up to this point. You used the word 'terrifies', twice, which makes me think that you have had some worries which have caused you some concerns in the past. Learned behaviour over a long period of time is harder to change. I will answer your questions from my own perspective, which may or may not be in line with your own ideas. We have led completely different lives, so the way I see things will probably not be the same for you. We may lead similar lives now, but our journey to get to this stage will depend on the path we chose. My learned behaviour will be different to yours.
What will happen to us when we get infirm? I don't worry about getting infirm, because I don't think it will happen to me. I don't go looking for the negatives, I see myself as an independent woman with no health issues, who hopes to stay active until the very last. I see older people in my village who make the effort and go out every day, even though they move around quite slowly. OK, it's negativity which drags you down. Negativity which makes you stay in bed longer, makes you sit in front of the gogglebox for hours, and makes you stop caring about your surroundings. I am up with the lark, looking forward to each day. I fully immerse myself in keeping busy, and keeping the old grey matter working. I don't have time for negative thoughts. Every day for me is a bonus and I don't want to waste any of it.
Who will take care of us? Well that's an easy one, ME. I am already taking care of me right now, I am the only one responsible for my well being. Mind you, at 68 I am only a spring chicken, but I am planning to live another 20 years. I see my future as my responsibility. The plan is to keep on doing what I am doing now. Eating the right food, keep walking, keep active in my body and my mind. Ok, so I might be unlucky and fall ill at some point, but it won't be because I have abused my body, it will be because there is something in my genetic make up which I have inherited.
I hope to live independently for as long as I can, and if the worst comes to the worst, I will go into sheltered accommodation or a care home. I don't expect any members of my family to look after me.
You mention friends with grandchildren don't bother with you much. I'm afraid that's the way it is and we just have to accept that. My family don't bother with me much, but that's OK, they have families, they have to go to work, and they are struggling to make ends meet. They have enough to think about. I have a mix of friends, some are single like me, and some are looking after grandkids. It was my choice not to have kids of my own, so I cannot now complain that I have no one to visit me.
I accept that I will face old age alone. It's very rare I think about how the end of my life will pan out, because I am a long way from it. Yes, luck plays a part, and my time could be cut short, but why worry about something that may never happen.
Dear reader, if you are losing sleep now, you are on a downward slope. Getting enough sleep is very important to your health and well being, so you are sabotaging what could be your happy and prosperous life. I don't like to give advice because inevitably you are in charge of your own destiny, but I will say this to anyone who wants to listen. Live each day as if it was your last. Make each minute count, don't waste any of it. Wake up every morning and be grateful that you have woken up, and you have a fresh new day to fill. Think of how best to spend your bonus day, how to make the most of it, what will give you the most joy, the most pleasure, and do it.
Dear Reader, you asked me another question, I will cover that in another post. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.Toodle pip
PS. Some of you have been reading this while I have been editing it. I've been struggling to get the font the right size, always happens with copy and paste.