From Growing Old Gracefully to Growing Old Ain’t for Sissies

“Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.” ~ Jennifer Yane

Amen. When I was young, I looked around and saw all of these old folks trying to look and act young. I thought they were being silly. I decided then and there that I was going to grow old gracefully…That is, until I started going gray.

Where does the time go? I feel like I’m twenty–until I look at my hands and see my mother’s; or when I look in the mirror and wonder who that old lady is. LOL. What happened?! Time is ticking…

I recently started working with seniors at an independent living facility, Wesley Highland Terrace. We have a wonderful family of seniors at our place. And working with them, I’ve learned that “growing old ain’t for sissies”, as Bette Grable first said. Our residents that have to use walkers for mobility remind me to be thankful for my sturdy legs, even if they have spider veins and cellulite. Our residents afflicted with beginning stages of dementia remind me to use my brain, be creative and don’t worry about making mistakes or forgetting minor things. One of our residents turns 100 in a few weeks. He reminds me to enjoy life every day and to not sweat the small stuff. Time is ticking…

Getting old isn’t so scary, it’s the disease of Alzheimer’s that is. Did you know that 1 out of 9 people ages 65-85 are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? And even more frightening is 1 out of 3 are diagnosed when they hit 85+. Another startling statistic is that in 2013, someone was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds. It is predicted that in 2050 that someone will be diagnosed with this horrible disease every 33 seconds. Cancer and heart disease deaths are declining, but incidents of Alzheimer’s is increasing every day. There are 3.2 million women inflicted by this disease which is twice the risk of acquiring breast cancer. Yet, there is a tremendous lack of funding for Alzheimer’s research. (Stats are from the Alzheimer’s Association: http://www.alz.org.) Growing old ain’t for sissies.

For every day that goes by, I vow to choose the bright side of things, to not let small things worry me or drag me down. As Steve Miller’s song says, “I’m going to fly like an eagle, because time keeps on ticking, ticking, into the future…”

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking....

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking….