My own father was and is still for the most part, healthy as a horse, but is growing older in front of my eyes. Living a very active and full life up until a few years ago when health reasons nudged him into a community senior living arrangement, he seemed to enjoy life for the most part. He would go about his day, driving to his favorite coffee spots, visiting friends in the area and playing an occasional golf game. That was when he was
independently living, driving and taking care of all his own needs. All it can take is one event to change a persons’ life forever. Take away a seniors’ driving privileges, and total independence, as they try to adjust to a new way of life, can be the hardest challenge of their lives they will ever have to face. One day just rolls into the next, day and night repeat themselves month after month and pretty soon it’s hard to tell even what day it is.
There is less and less to talk to people about after seeing and eating with the same people every day. The most disturbing part of living with others in the same age group, that would be 80 to 90 year olds, is that one never knows when they will meet their maker.
Friendships are formed only to be broken soon after, when friends and acquaintances pass away. Still, senior community residences play a very important part for many families ; if seniors are unable to live alone and need a safe place to live, others will look out for them. The pressure of keeping up a home with all its necessities is a relief not to worry about any longer.
As my dad approaches 92 years old, I can see even more clearly now, how important it is to do all of those things you want to, and try and accomplish your goals during those years when you are able. I can not believe that I am in “middle age” already although they now say that the 50’s are the new 40’s. These recent years are like a dream so I can only imagine what they have been like for my own father. My dad has been a man of simple needs, valuing self worth that has brought him satisfaction. He and my mothers’ life had been full of wonderful times to remember and cherish; they were able to travel and enjoy their lives to the fullest. Each day I see my dad reminds me of how life moves along year by year at such speed. We spend all week looking forward and focusing on the weekend instead of making the most out of each day.
I am amazed at how old our seniors are becoming these days. The ailing ones tell me not to get old; they are not impressed with the Golden Years. It makes it all the more important to me to set goals and try and live by them; live our lives with meaning each day. Our future generations are going to live a lot longer than we are, with the way we are focusing on health prevention; all the more reason to enjoy our lives to the very fullest so
we can look back as my dad can and say he did it all. As long as we have our health, we have the power inside of each of us to pursue our goals; all we need is determination and focus.
"Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be..." A poem that Judy's parents lived by. Below her mom and dad enjoying each other's company reading the daily newspaper in their favorite spot.