How do you accept change as you age?

Posted by Scott, Volunteer Mentor @IndianaScott, Apr 8, 2020

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?

@featherstep1

Age 69 male here who had CABGx4 in 2009, I've been fine since then. I exercise at the YMCA M-F with a combination of weight machines and walking on the treadmill 30-60 minutes. Since everything is closed due to Covid-19 I really miss my exercise. I read where we should continue exercise programs at home: 15 sit-ups, 15 pushups, 15 jumping jacks, etc…so I started with 5 sit-ups and 1 pushup (haven't done these for decades). I'm up to 15 sit-ups and 3 pushups today (I know, doesn't sound like much of anything). The plan is to continue increasing every day. Just hope things open up before I reach 100. Be safe everybody.

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Hello @featherstep1 and welcome to Mayo Connect. It sounds as if you have developed a very healthy exercise program since your CABG in 2009. Many of us are missing the Y and other group exercise programs. There are a lot of good exercise programs on Youtube. You might take a look at those as well.

How are you feeling with this new exercise program?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @featherstep1 and welcome to Mayo Connect. It sounds as if you have developed a very healthy exercise program since your CABG in 2009. Many of us are missing the Y and other group exercise programs. There are a lot of good exercise programs on Youtube. You might take a look at those as well.

How are you feeling with this new exercise program?

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I've been doing a lot of deep cleaning of the house to replace the exercise I'm missing (I know, not really a good substitute)…so I'll check out YouTube for some exercise programs. I've been on YouTube quite a bit, but for entertainment purposes mainly. Enjoying classical music and opera's. Listening to Orquestra de la Luz [salsa band] right now.

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@featherstep1

I've been doing a lot of deep cleaning of the house to replace the exercise I'm missing (I know, not really a good substitute)…so I'll check out YouTube for some exercise programs. I've been on YouTube quite a bit, but for entertainment purposes mainly. Enjoying classical music and opera's. Listening to Orquestra de la Luz [salsa band] right now.

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I was a physical Therapist. A simple exercise to kee the legs strong is: 1)Take a chair and raise the level of sitting with some firm Pillows. Put the chair in front of the sink. Holding onto the sink, Do deep squats.(Not below the knee level), Sets of 5 or 10. While at the sink, Come onto your toes on one side 5-10 time. Repeat on the opposite side and and do both for a series. Bend your knee, while at the sink and flex each knee 2 or 3 series of 5 or ten. At the sink, with your knee bent, extend you hip 2-3 series of 5 or ten. At the Sink, move your leg sideways in abduction 2-3 series….Sitting in a chair, extent your leg 2 sets of 20. Sitting, lift your knee up with hip extension 3 sets of 10. Sitting, raise your arms over head( turn your thumbs out when you are shoulder high. No weight 3 sets of 10. Standing, put your hands behind your head and go to your hands behind your back at the waist. 3 sets of 5-10. Lying down on the bed on your back lift one leg as high a possible with the other leg stationary and bent with the bed flat. Repeat. Reach forward as far as possible for the abdomine. Reach up and over for the obliques. You can repeat this with your legs bent. With legs straight, arch your back slightly, hold, do the pelvic floor kegel exercise (anus contraction), hold and then do a mild pelvic tilt.hold for 50-100 count This is the correct way to do a core exercise. Just walk back and forth, side ways and backwards in the house. Too long or to much trouble? I do them every day and I am 90 yrs old. So it will take 30-45 minutes of your time. Try limiting food when not out of the house. No junk food. Cook your own. Limit your sugar. Cut down on alcohol. What? What? Who is this guy anyway.. A friend.

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@IndianaScott

Thanks @barbb Here she is today. She's a handful at times, but all in all a solid addition to my life 🙂 Here name is Napa.

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Hi, @IndianaScott Napa is a beauty! Thank you for posing your question.

I was deeply offended when my body and mind began the conflict over what I could and could no longer do as well. It has taken me some time to recognize that this frolicking 30 yr old mind resides inside a 76 yr old bod. Irritating and often frustrating to say the least …vbg However, now that I am becoming more accepting of the 76 yr old's dominance, I work to be grateful for what I can still accomplish, albeit with far more sit down breaks than before.

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@fiesty76

Hi, @IndianaScott Napa is a beauty! Thank you for posing your question.

I was deeply offended when my body and mind began the conflict over what I could and could no longer do as well. It has taken me some time to recognize that this frolicking 30 yr old mind resides inside a 76 yr old bod. Irritating and often frustrating to say the least …vbg However, now that I am becoming more accepting of the 76 yr old's dominance, I work to be grateful for what I can still accomplish, albeit with far more sit down breaks than before.

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I so enjoy your phrase,@fiesty76, "I was deeply offended when my body and mind began the conflict over what I could and could no longer do as well."

I can certainly identify with that struggle! You are right, gratefulness is definitely the antidote to that struggle.

Thank you once again for articulating this so well for many of us!

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@bill54321

I was a physical Therapist. A simple exercise to kee the legs strong is: 1)Take a chair and raise the level of sitting with some firm Pillows. Put the chair in front of the sink. Holding onto the sink, Do deep squats.(Not below the knee level), Sets of 5 or 10. While at the sink, Come onto your toes on one side 5-10 time. Repeat on the opposite side and and do both for a series. Bend your knee, while at the sink and flex each knee 2 or 3 series of 5 or ten. At the sink, with your knee bent, extend you hip 2-3 series of 5 or ten. At the Sink, move your leg sideways in abduction 2-3 series….Sitting in a chair, extent your leg 2 sets of 20. Sitting, lift your knee up with hip extension 3 sets of 10. Sitting, raise your arms over head( turn your thumbs out when you are shoulder high. No weight 3 sets of 10. Standing, put your hands behind your head and go to your hands behind your back at the waist. 3 sets of 5-10. Lying down on the bed on your back lift one leg as high a possible with the other leg stationary and bent with the bed flat. Repeat. Reach forward as far as possible for the abdomine. Reach up and over for the obliques. You can repeat this with your legs bent. With legs straight, arch your back slightly, hold, do the pelvic floor kegel exercise (anus contraction), hold and then do a mild pelvic tilt.hold for 50-100 count This is the correct way to do a core exercise. Just walk back and forth, side ways and backwards in the house. Too long or to much trouble? I do them every day and I am 90 yrs old. So it will take 30-45 minutes of your time. Try limiting food when not out of the house. No junk food. Cook your own. Limit your sugar. Cut down on alcohol. What? What? Who is this guy anyway.. A friend.

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@bill54321 Awesome thank you. Remember Jack LaLanne? I used to exercise to his tv program every morning when I was just wee little one. I liked his two big white dogs (Happy and Walter) hey, are u our Jack?😁

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I remember Jack when I was on breaks going to College in Chicago in 1949-50. He had an advantage. Maybe he weighted 150 #. Smaller people have an edge in % fat. You must be close to my age at 90 Yrs.Very good luck to you.

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@bill54321 I’m younger than you. That 1952 is the year I was born. I’m just an old soul that has a tendency towards comedy as a coping mechanism. My Mom was a ballet dancer in NY prior to marrying my Dad. They settled on this coastline because of my grandfather's business. Timber. Growing. Purchasing timberland, logging and building homes. So, my Mom would put Jack on every morning to exercise and I would exercise with her. A habit that I continued to have throughout my life (in some form). Remember the 60’s a leg warmers? Yep, I did that. Anybody else have any exercise trends (embarrassing moments) to confess??????

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How interesting. I sent my Daughter, Deborah Monlux to Akron U and she graduated with a BA in Chorerography. After dancing in NYC, she and her husband bought a fire sale loft and turned it into a 3 apt business. She became a well known medical practistioner of Homeophathy in Brooklynn, She practices by phone and the internet during the Coronavirus.

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@bill54321

How interesting. I sent my Daughter, Deborah Monlux to Akron U and she graduated with a BA in Chorerography. After dancing in NYC, she and her husband bought a fire sale loft and turned it into a 3 apt business. She became a well known medical practistioner of Homeophathy in Brooklynn, She practices by phone and the internet during the Coronavirus.

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My Mom continued dancing here for exercise and eventually became interested in martial arts(how I got started, talked w/ginger about it in a chat) she was in her early 50’s and I was mid 20’s. In the system I trained there was the yin and yang to balance your art. My mother after several years of training , trained exclusively in the yin arts – Tai Chi, becoming a instructor and teaching in the school for 25 years. I was required to learn Tai Chi, but my first love was fighting and the yang arts (i was young and could handle the beatings) She and I became interested in Chinese/eastern medicine and would seek out people like your daughter. As we (Americans) become more educated in alternative medicine , we will see the benefits in the alternative choices. Thank u to your daughter. Sounds like she has had a interesting life. U too bill54321 virgo😊

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@virgo1952

My Mom continued dancing here for exercise and eventually became interested in martial arts(how I got started, talked w/ginger about it in a chat) she was in her early 50’s and I was mid 20’s. In the system I trained there was the yin and yang to balance your art. My mother after several years of training , trained exclusively in the yin arts – Tai Chi, becoming a instructor and teaching in the school for 25 years. I was required to learn Tai Chi, but my first love was fighting and the yang arts (i was young and could handle the beatings) She and I became interested in Chinese/eastern medicine and would seek out people like your daughter. As we (Americans) become more educated in alternative medicine , we will see the benefits in the alternative choices. Thank u to your daughter. Sounds like she has had a interesting life. U too bill54321 virgo😊

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Thank you

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@nene22

I like cross country skiing until I fall and then can't get back up without taking one ski off! One time I couldn't get the ski off the boot and had to take off the boot too. Luckily I wasn't far from my car. I have been thinking about getting an elliptical machine. What brand do you have?

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Hi @nene22 Unfortunately I have a brand that is no longer made, but others might have more current brands. Mine is now 16 years old, but still working well.

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