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Life After 90

December 6, 2015

What is life like after 90 years of age?  My parents are at that age now, and still enjoying life.  I suppose I’ll be that age too, one day.  Observing them gives me a vision of my own future.

Two or three years ago, they moved out of their house and into a suite in a senior’s home.  They wanted a two-bedroom suite.  When the home offered them a two-bedroom suite for the price of a one-bedroom, they decided to go for it.  The extra bedroom is for relatives who are visiting.  They do get lots of visitors.  Every few months, I visit them and stay in that extra bedroom.  Their suite is quite attractive, and more than adequate for them.  The combined kitchen and living room has windows all along the exterior walls.  It has a long balcony that wraps around that room and part of the spare bedroom.  The master bedroom and the spare bedroom both have their own washrooms.

The senior’s home does all the cleaning and the laundry, except for personal items.  They also serve all the meals in the dining room on the main floor.  They have a number of different activities and entertainment every day.  In addition, residents have access to the exercise room, the library, and the games room.  The home has a bus to take residents to appointments or on shopping trips, and to bring them back again.  Everything you could possibly want is either there or a short bus ride away.

My parents are not very active anymore.  Breakfast is served in the dining room at 8 am, but they prefer to sleep in and have breakfast in their suite a little later.  I go down for breakfast when I’m visiting there, but then I like to get up early.  Father uses a walker to get around.  He had a stroke a few years ago, and has trouble with one leg because of that.  Even with the walker, he moves fairly slowly.  Mother just started using a walker.  She uses it for security against falling, more than anything else.  She moves pretty quickly with her walker.

Other than going down to the dining room for the other two meals, they do spend most of their time sitting down, father in a recliner and mother on a couch.  They both read newspapers and books.  They both do crossword puzzles.  They both watch television.  Father does go down the hall to use the exercise machines almost every day.  Mother doesn’t do that, but she does do gardening on the balcony in the summer, and tends her house plants every day.  She also takes part in some of the activities organized by the senior’s home.  Father avoids those whenever he can.  I believe that both of them could benefit by more exercise, but at their age I can’t be too forceful with them.

Everybody else in that senior’s home seems to have stayed in their own home as long as they could manage it.  They all have some reason to be living at the senior’s home.  Generally, it’s an ailment that comes with old age.  For many of them, it’s mobility.  At meal times, the number of walkers lined up along the walls of the dining room is rather amazing.  They do all seem happy to be there.  They clearly appreciate the meals, and all the other services provided by the home.  They’re all about the same age as my parents, and in the same situation.  Certainly my parents enjoy socializing with them and see them as friends.  They are company in their last few years of life.

Would I want to do the same thing when I’m in my 90s?  Some aspects of their life appeals to me.  Some aspects, though, are not what I want at all.  Maybe I’ll gradually change my mind as I grow older.  Maybe if I develop some physical limitations, I’ll want to be less active and more comfortable too.  Maybe if I develop some mental limitations, I won’t care what I do any more.  Maybe I’ll be just like them when I’m older.  I don’t know what I’ll be like in the future.  I suppose I’ll be myself.  I am different from most people now.  I suppose I’ll continue to be different.  That will be good.


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