Two old farts sharing a moment
Recent piece in the Telegraph by Jan Etherington, 30th December - 'It's wrong to see older people as the collateral damage fo Covid'.
Lucid and literate - main points:
'Age creeps up on you as stealthily as a Japanese bullet train.'
'Ageist attitudes have seeped into the national conversation.'
'The elderly' a horrible word ... who should 'take their chance as their lives are over.'
Prue Leith (80) didn't think the old should be prioritised because 'you want to save the person who's got a life ahead of them, not the person who's had a life.' Jan suggested along the lines of - tell that to Tom Moore or David Attenborough, both older role models in their nineties plus and benighted. Prue accepted her vaccination.
Jan's godmother recently died of Covid, aged 95.
What is elderly?
I agree that older person and older people are more pleasant names.
It is a fact that we do change as we age. Physically we wear out, predetermined by information contained on our DNA. So, the 4 - Ss. Strength, suppleness, stamina and skill. Most of us cannot shift pianos from 50-60s onwards. Stiffness similarly. Most of us gradually lose cardiovascular performance from even earlier than that. Skill is hard to define, but imbalance and clumsy fine movement follow changes in our peripheral nerve pathways.
There's a whole industry ready to help out and making lots of money. The clock won't go back, but making the best use of what you have is possible with benefits.
Gyms, online exercises, pilates and so on don't suit everybody. I recommend have a go at something and do it regularly. The minimum is a stiff walk (sweaty and breathless) of 20/30 minutes up to 5 times a week. Gardening and golf, though laudable, don't count. Design your own stretches and balances. Further information from ageuk.
Anyone seen Clint Eastwood in The Mule? The theme tune is 'Don't Let the Old Man in' by Toby Keith, apologies for the gender bias.
"Many moons I have lived.
My body's weathered and worn.
Ask yourself how old would you be
If you didn't know the day you were born."
Can anyone help?
Sadly illness can dog us at any age. Many older people bounce back pretty well from acute illnesses. Even a hospital admission can be quite quick.
It's the multiple pathology and polypharmacy that's a bugger. Naturally reducing reserves are further compromised. Recovery from illness may need more time and patience. Learning to live with a new health or illness reality if full recovery is not possible. In the past these people were referred to as 'bed-blockers'. I hope this term is now extinct. One person's bed-blocker is another's second chance. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation - therapists, medics, social workers, community nurses. Forget the tribal agendas, work to what the person, patient or whatever they are called these days, want. This is the common purpose that binds the team.
Many older people, whatever their health, will thus have a future.
Don't let the covid in
many things we have done
some good and some bad
leave your troubles behind
enjoy the love that you have
stay true to yourself
keep as trim as you can
sing and dance a safe space
don't let the covid in
things have not changed
sit tight when you’re called
rules are still there for reasons
we must all get along