How do you accept change as you age?

Posted by Scott, Volunteer Mentor @IndianaScott, Apr 8 1:40pm

Aging and accepting our changes is never easy!

One of my favorite sayings is ‘it’s a good thing our children grow older, but parents don’t!’ Often I wish this was true and while it’s a positive message, not our reality.

Like it or not, time and life take their toll on us and we change. However accepting these changes can be a challenge in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Both physically and emotionally I might add.

I remember well after caring for my wife for the first seven years of her war with brain cancer my dad passed away and I was able to get to his memorial service. I was very excited to see our two grandsons and decided being ‘as young as you feel’, and wanting to make up for lost time entered into a rousing game of Freeze Tag in the hotel’s front yard. All went well until I made too fast a deke and found myself flying across far more sod than I should have been! Result? Four broken ribs, a painfully long recovery, and a reminder I’m not as agile as I once was!

I also realize that the realistic view of our age is not relegated to ourselves alone. I’ve spoken with our adult children about this and they have said they don’t really see me as aging, but just as ‘Dad’, who they want to do all the same things with they have done in the past. On the other hand, our grandsons see me as ‘grandpa’ and are comfortable ‘just having me around’ especially if there happens to be a Dairy Queen nearby!

So it is I‘ve begun to think more about the importance of accepting the changes and limitations imposed on us as we advance in age. While I’m not cashing in any chips I don’t need to, I have found I do avoid a few challenges I used to gladly accept. For instance last summer I went whitewater rafting on some Class V rapids. After almost drowning, I have forgone any return trips to rivers with this class of rapids. I swim well, just not as far and as long as I used to be able to while fully clothed and in heavy gear.

While I miss those rapids and full contact Freeze Tag, I know why my grandmother often told me ‘discretion is the better part of valor’.

As you age, are you practicing discretion, even when you wish you didn’t have to? Is it hard like it is for me?

@jeanie26

It might also be worth noting that I have told my granddaughter many times that I didn't think it was a good idea for A to be talking to his friends all night and I encouraged her to find out who he was talking to and get the jest of their conversations, he and his brothers also play video games that I would not allow but that fell on deaf ears too. NOW, mom is saying. " I think A is listening to these friends of his and they are putting stuff in his head." It's easy to forget that A has mental illness and is mentally not 16 but more like 11 or 12 years old, The Dr's said he was delayed about 4 years. Mom and dad bought A an old clunker of a car last month, it doesn't run but it gives dad and A some together time while serving as a teaching aid. All well and good but here's MY point. What the H3ll are these two loving, caring parents thinking? They have an 11 or 12 year old boy in a 16 year old body. He can not process things like a normal 16 year old. He is by no means ready to drive a dang car than his 11 year old brother is. His decision making skills are corrupted with mixed messages that he can not process, he is confused about life and about he himself. His mind is in overload, trying to figure things out. He has been given too much freedom to make decisions that he doesn't understand. And with most kids, they blame everything on mom and dad and why not, after all they are the ones that make him clean his room. I feel with time A will come around, until the next time and then one day he will be an adult and when he is made to do something he doesn't like he can go to jail. When this generation reaches adulthood, I shudder to think what will happen. Our mental health system leaves a lot to be desired and with budget cuts it's getting even worse. The program he is in now is only 7 days, they will reevaluate him then and if he has shown enough progress he will be released to go home. If not they will send him somewhere else that has a longer treatment period. I have had plenty of experience with this type of facility and believe me they do very little to help these kids. The staff is usually hired off the street and given very little if any training, the pay is low and the attitude is, it's just a job. The Dr. sees the kids very rarely and makes his diagnoses based on the notes from the techs and the nurses. Medications are given but since the program is only 7 days long there is no time to monitor it, especially when it takes 4-6 weeks for the meds to make a difference. ( 2 weeks for some) Then they go to another facility where they have a new Dr. with opinions of his own. He changes the medication in most cases and we start all over again. There is very little therapeutic benefits. Now, I know there are some good places out there that genuinely care about these kids but it's a roll of the dice whether the one your child is in is one of them. Well, I am sorry for writing a novel, I just intended on sharing with you what's be going on in my life lately. Having said all this, I just want to add that I am trying to stay in good spirits and taking care of myself. But I am still just , well you know. thanks again… Jeanie

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Hi @jeanie26, I'm glad that you have the Connect community to turn to during this very trying time. Please note that I have changed your great grandson's name in your post to "A" rather than his full name. I did this to protect his privacy and your family.

You may also wish to post in the Mental Health group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/mental-health/ as this discussion is in the Aging Well group and talking about accepting change as you age.

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@lolaemma

I empathise with your pain. I sounds as if your family has been strained by the emotional issues. However you can only affect change in yourself. The mental issues are not yours to carry. Get counseling for yourself on how to let go and let professionals take the lead. If you can't stand not understanding how to help. There are groups for families of those with mental illness. Talking to people in the same type of situation is enabling. Peace.

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Thank you, sound advice. My family has been struggling with mental health issues for years, especially this granddaughter. I have always been there for anyone who needs me and have taken a large roll in helping to raise her kids, ( with her blessing )but on some issues she just doesn't stop and think what could happen in the future after making some of her decisions and I feel badly because her mistakes are at the kids expense. It's not their fault. But I have learned detachment and am willing to lend suggestions and if they are taken fine if not I have to step back, reluctantly but step back I will. Then I'll be there to help pick up the pieces like I have been doing. thanks again.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @jeanie26, I'm glad that you have the Connect community to turn to during this very trying time. Please note that I have changed your great grandson's name in your post to "A" rather than his full name. I did this to protect his privacy and your family.

You may also wish to post in the Mental Health group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/mental-health/ as this discussion is in the Aging Well group and talking about accepting change as you age.

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Great idea, thank you for the advice and thank you for changing his name for me. I was aware to just use his first name and to refer to his parents as mom and but yours is a better idea. I will gladly go to the mental health group. thanks again.

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@jeannie26 I'm so sorry you are going through this as another grandma to one I 'm was told by my son yes we are his parents,so I had to let it go that was before the covid hit . Now he is strict but I hope not to but they gave him the reins of the house he was the parent not them All you can do now is worry about yourself be there for your granddaughter to help them all Have they looked to see if there is a private school where he could go to get his head on right so to say? What about the Boys school ? I don't know to much about it but maybe worth to look at. Pray for all concerned . As you are aware these years are tough for a boy to go through not alone his actions to his Mom that was terrible. But as was said he needs help to know he was wrong and the right from wrong l You are in my thought and prayers. Its tough being a grandma at times

Liked by fiesty76

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@jeanie26

Hi everyone, Ya know I love this group, I feel so fortunate to have found you. I am happy about it because I feel I can share anything here and know without a doubt that I will be met with open arms and understanding. It's for this reason that I want to share something that has cut me deeply. My oldest great-grandson is 16 years old, his name is A and he has suffered from mental illness since he was 3 years old. Yes, you read that right 3 years old. Throughout the years A has been hospitalized numerous times and has been diagnosed with everything from bipolar to schizophrenia and everything in between, up to and including NOTHING wrong with him.He was however diagnosed with high function autism A couple of years ago, A decided he was gay, so okay, I love him unconditionally and if he feels he is gay it doesn't mean I don't love and accept him as being gay. A's mother ( my granddaughter ) strives to be this modern open minded mom and when she found out that A was watching porn she said that was natural and condoned it only if she could pick out the site he would go to.. She didn't want him watching sites that depreciates women.hummm. I nearly lost it when she told me that but try as I did, she's his mother and she will raise him her way. You've probably heard that before. Well anyway, that was all well and good till A made sexual advances toward a 6 year old little girl. THEN mom decides maybe watching pron may have influenced him a little so she said no more porn. Luckly, the parents didn't press charges but it cost mom a friendship and hard feelings.Over the past year or so A has retreated to his room only coming out for meals and the bathroom. He stays up all night and sleeps all day but mom says that's ok, they are not in school right now so hat's the harm. I suggested she check and find out who he's talking to all that time but she said. oh he's just talking to his friends no big deal. During the past 6 months or so A has decided he is transgender and wants to have the surgery, and has recently taken the name of C on his social media pages.I told mom I thing A needs some counseling to help him decide what he really feels about himself, She told me she had found a specialist about 2 hours away.I told her I would take him since she and her husband both work, but she never made an appointment. Then a couple weeks ago he announced he wants to be emancipated. My granddaughter and her husband have given A and his two younger bothers a good life.There every need is provided and they have more gaming devices than most kids do. They are told they are loved and they are being raised to take responsibility, Although, that needs a little work. They do things as a family and they are not now nor have they ever been abused. I don't always agree with my granddaughters parenting skills but no one ever tried harder to be a good mom. So, this past Sunday, A was told to go clean his room and he refused causing mom to get a little more forceful on a subject, she continued to cooperate and mom took his phone away, A then grabbed her, put her in a head lock and beat her head till dad could pull him off her, he had gone into a full psychotic episode and the police were called. Mom went and signed papers for involuntary commitment, The police took him to our local hospital for evaluation and they decided that commitment was appropriate and sent him to a youth crisis center two hours away. I took him some clothes and talked to a lady there that did part of A's intake. She told me A was showing no signs of remorse for what he did, states he hates his parents and never wants to be around them again. He claimed he wanted to kill himself and actually had two plans on how to do it. But said he doesn't feel that way when he's not around his parents. He claims they are physically and mentally abusive and he fears for his life, Of course this got CPS involved. They came to the house and said everything likes fine. Anyway, not only do A feel absolutely no remorse for what he did to his mother, he is in fact bragging about it and is proud of his ability to beat the crap out of his mother. He hit her so hard he broke his hand but sees no wrong doing on his part, He claims he shouldn't have to clean his room if he doesn't want to, after all it's HIS room and no one has the right to make him do any that he doesn't want to do. Driving home from there, I can't explain how very upset I was. I was angry, I was hurt, and I couldn't fix it. I have always been a fixer, that's what I do, I fix things, I find solutions to problems and I fix them, I CAN'T FIX THIS. I have ran out of options, and words. I am angry at A for what he did then taking such a attitude, I am angry at mom for not taking my advice in the first place when it was offered and thinking she had all the answers. I am angry at a system that doesn't have the capabilities of a dog pound. And I am extremely concerned about the many, many other young people and their parents who are forced into facing the same things.My son had mental illness as a child and is 33 years old and is still trying to find his way. It's extremely hard for me to take a back seat to this, I've dealt with mental illness as a caregiver for as long as I can remember and I usually can come up with something that makes sense, an idea or something but for the life of me those ideas all escapes me now. As I was driving home I felt the need to just talk to someone, anyone that would listen to my pain, not give advice but just listen. I called my daughter and the she said I cared more about this granddaughter than I did her and it ended up in a heated argument. I cried all the way home and haven't spoke to my daughter since. Right now all I can do is pray, Take care of myself, and Pray, hope that A will get the help he needs and Pray. Thanks for listening, I feel better getting it off my chest. God Bless Jeanie

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@jeanie26, I am so sorry you and your family are going through such a heart wrenching, worrisome time. Glad you reached out here to share what you are experiencing because I know the value of being able to share troubling experiences with those who can empathize and support you by listening non-judgmentally. I hope you will find continued strength in your prayers and by taking good care of yourself.

Liked by lioness

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@merpreb

@starchy– Thank you for recommending this book. I just ordered it for my husband who is riddled with pain from arthritis. He also hates taking medicine. Yes, he's one of those! I know that beef is a culprit.

Which foods did you find that you had to eliminate?

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I'm so glad to hear that you are looking into this. Medications don't cure the condition and they can be so destructive. I was already on a whole foods plant based diet (see Drmcdougall.com) and it helped a lot with the pain and stiffness. Meat, eggs and dairy products are huge triggers so, following Dr McDougall's plan kept me going for 20 years. Now, during isolation, I seem to have been doing something that has caused a flareup. The new list I got from Dr Barnard includes corn, wheat, rye, oats, citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, nuts, coffee and sugar. I'm two weeks into it so, at the end of a month, I can start adding them back, one at a time, to see what happens. After just a few days, I was feeling so much better. The power of food is quite amazing.

Liked by fiesty76

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@jeanie26

I know what you mean about feeling that no ones knows you anymore. I have lost a lot of family and friends that I knew back when and somehow when they died that part of me died too. The part that was my youth, the fun we had, the little things we would do that set us apart from everyone else. But, ya know, those are called,memories and thank God we have them. I also know what you mean about no one to share those memories with, that's the sad part. I find myself chuckling to myself with memories of things we did back then. The people I shared those experiences with have gone but the memories for me is still there. I guess, it's a double edge sword, On one hand it's nice to remember but with no one to share them with it becomes sad and worthless. I have tried to share some of my fun times with my grandchildren but they look at me like I have two heads, fun things we did then just doesn't seem fun to them. When I tell them we didn't have video games, computers or cell phones back then, they wonder how we ever lived through it, much less have any fun. Buy alas, facing the facts of life sometimes is difficult. Thanks why I think it's important, at least for me, that I have found a group of people that can relate to what it means to age and all the good and bad that goes along with it. I have found this group invaluable to my mental health. Hang in the sweetie, we're in this together.

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How right you are. Community is everything. During isolation, zoom has been such a great help.

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@lsittll

@lioness
I've got lots of arthritis in my body too. I've had it in my back for many years. I just started getting arthritis in my hands the other year. Yuck! It feels like a knife in my hand. The bliateral carpal tunnel syndrome I have is enough for me to cope with. Wearing braces on both hands at once.

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Please look at drmcdougall.com. His way of eating helps with everything that's chronic.

Liked by fiesty76

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Very inspiring all of you. Having had a slight mobility and corresponding visual unknown situation I've been walking and falling for many years. I'm using a cane to stabilize. . My rescue pup is my emotional therapy dog. We walk at least twice a day it took us awhile to coordinating leash cane walking. But Sheila's a quick learner and the sound ' cooky' brings her right back to attention. I've been fighting my deminished. stregth and ambition. It's so difficult to fight arthritis to push back. The thrill of being in the normal weight for the first time in adulthood. (10 yr) has gone. Without my own transportation in hilly no sidewalk North Carolina is challenging. The heat is debilitating. To compensate I'm trying to exlplore my strengths left. Research and detail. Last night I made a recipe using all my knowlege of healthy safe eating and preparation. Calmari in a fresh tomato onion sauce over heart of palm noodles. Low sodium high protein and illiums and high fiber nutritious tomatoes. Delicious. In four deades of ' dieting' nothing is more satisfying than eating healthy and delicious. The best preperation I made four years ago to gain some balance was to go-to a nutritionist after having my allergy tests. My old doctor retired and I needed reassurance. Sure enough an allergy to eggs and dairy. Intolerance to soy and no enzymes for Fava. The key is practicing and living in a new way until it becomes a habit. That's my life living for life. Don't forget to check out what appears to be a quick fix. The is no such thing. FDA Website for products and Federal credential verification for doctors. My bible is the Center for Science in the public interest. Does the hard work and
gives the results of greatest.

Liked by fiesty76, lolaemma

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@lolaemma

Very inspiring all of you. Having had a slight mobility and corresponding visual unknown situation I've been walking and falling for many years. I'm using a cane to stabilize. . My rescue pup is my emotional therapy dog. We walk at least twice a day it took us awhile to coordinating leash cane walking. But Sheila's a quick learner and the sound ' cooky' brings her right back to attention. I've been fighting my deminished. stregth and ambition. It's so difficult to fight arthritis to push back. The thrill of being in the normal weight for the first time in adulthood. (10 yr) has gone. Without my own transportation in hilly no sidewalk North Carolina is challenging. The heat is debilitating. To compensate I'm trying to exlplore my strengths left. Research and detail. Last night I made a recipe using all my knowlege of healthy safe eating and preparation. Calmari in a fresh tomato onion sauce over heart of palm noodles. Low sodium high protein and illiums and high fiber nutritious tomatoes. Delicious. In four deades of ' dieting' nothing is more satisfying than eating healthy and delicious. The best preperation I made four years ago to gain some balance was to go-to a nutritionist after having my allergy tests. My old doctor retired and I needed reassurance. Sure enough an allergy to eggs and dairy. Intolerance to soy and no enzymes for Fava. The key is practicing and living in a new way until it becomes a habit. That's my life living for life. Don't forget to check out what appears to be a quick fix. The is no such thing. FDA Website for products and Federal credential verification for doctors. My bible is the Center for Science in the public interest. Does the hard work and
gives the results of greatest.

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@lolaemma, I appreciated your post and admire you for continuing you push back against arthritis challenges. Your recipe sounds yummie! With my pre-diabetes and kidney disease diagnoses coming close together, one of my most urgent needs was to finally, after 4 requests, get to a dietitian who provided a combined diet plan for meal. The hours that saved me going forward were priceless.

Want to check out your reference to the Center for Science in the public interest. Always believe in not having to try to recreate the wheel for anything if others have already done the intensive work required. Thank you.

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@fiesty76

@lolaemma, I appreciated your post and admire you for continuing you push back against arthritis challenges. Your recipe sounds yummie! With my pre-diabetes and kidney disease diagnoses coming close together, one of my most urgent needs was to finally, after 4 requests, get to a dietitian who provided a combined diet plan for meal. The hours that saved me going forward were priceless.

Want to check out your reference to the Center for Science in the public interest. Always believe in not having to try to recreate the wheel for anything if others have already done the intensive work required. Thank you.

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@fiesty76, and @lolaemma – I wanted to note both of you in my reply but it seems the program won't allow that. At any rate, I am responding to the reference to Center for Science in the Public Interest, also known as CSPI Just want to say that it is excellent and very trustworthy in what they report.

Liked by fiesty76

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@fiesty76

@lolaemma, I appreciated your post and admire you for continuing you push back against arthritis challenges. Your recipe sounds yummie! With my pre-diabetes and kidney disease diagnoses coming close together, one of my most urgent needs was to finally, after 4 requests, get to a dietitian who provided a combined diet plan for meal. The hours that saved me going forward were priceless.

Want to check out your reference to the Center for Science in the public interest. Always believe in not having to try to recreate the wheel for anything if others have already done the intensive work required. Thank you.

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If you do nothing else, please, please check out drmcdougall.com. He isn't the only doctor recommending his way of eating but he has a really good website. The whole foods, plant based diet with no added oils works for everything so it's really simple to manage. No need to have a separate diet for each condition. It's the way we're meant to eat. If we put super expensive rocket fuel in our cars, it won't end well. Same goes for our bodies. That's my rant. Last time I'll mention it.

Liked by fiesty76

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@fiesty76

@lolaemma, I appreciated your post and admire you for continuing you push back against arthritis challenges. Your recipe sounds yummie! With my pre-diabetes and kidney disease diagnoses coming close together, one of my most urgent needs was to finally, after 4 requests, get to a dietitian who provided a combined diet plan for meal. The hours that saved me going forward were priceless.

Want to check out your reference to the Center for Science in the public interest. Always believe in not having to try to recreate the wheel for anything if others have already done the intensive work required. Thank you.

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I had a heart attack ( rage) 2011 and dehydration.
( first stage renal failure) . I went very low sodium and a cardio diet ( a year of cardio reab). Now I've memorized my life rules. I never buy or eat anything without checking the nutritional panel. And Two years visits to a Nutritionist ( MS) to help me make it work. It's almost ten years. I allowed myself 1700 g of sodium a day. That dish was ok split I two seperate days. Discipline is your lifeline. Allergy to eggs and dairy made it easier. If you'd like to shmooz pm is fine. Vegan cooking videos online are a revelation.
Bon Chance

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I was thrilled to see Mayo Connect putting out that information on dietary needs. And the accompanying warning about fads and fakirs ( Indian word for fabulists). The hair on the back of my neck stands up when I see a TV doctor selling their latest miracle routine. Making money on the vunerable. There is no magic. No quick fix. The secret is a balanced intake. DASH Mediterranean any similar life long plan to a long healthy life Stay the course. Not on off. Consistency. Check with your health provider. Let them set your caloric and nutritional limits. We're not cookies everyone is different.

Liked by fiesty76

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@barbb

@fiesty76, and @lolaemma – I wanted to note both of you in my reply but it seems the program won't allow that. At any rate, I am responding to the reference to Center for Science in the Public Interest, also known as CSPI Just want to say that it is excellent and very trustworthy in what they report.

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Hi @barbb, you can tag as many people as you like in conversations, just make sure you use the @ sign before their name. 🙂 Hope this helps. I fixed you post so that it mentions both of them. Glad you find the Center for Science a good resource.

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