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Life After 50 or No Longer Useful, Desired or Seen

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Life After 50 or No Longer Useful, Desired or Seen Jan. 21st, 2008 @ 10:31 pm
Obviously this empty community was set up by a deeply depressed and cynical journaler who had no strength left after writing it's byline.

Penny Dropping Jan. 20th, 2008 @ 01:51 pm
I've been reading about Saki (the Edwardian writer H H Munro) in the Literary Review. I loved his short stories when I was young. The review describes how, 'there is disturbing aggression at work only just below the surface of his mannered prose," and speculates whether this is a distinctively gay theme.

Hard to believe I didn't know he was gay: yet in a way I did because he reminded me of Ernest, my best friend at the time. Ernest was not my boyfriend, it was strictly platonic. This was the nineteen-fifties when homosexuality did not officially exist. We went to London theatres together and he advised me on style ('You're not wearing that, it looks terrible!!').

To some our friendship seemed strange; I was such a bushy-tailed, do-gooding, girl-guide type who never said an unkind word. That was why I needed him - the 'disturbing aggression just below the surface.' He voiced the thoughts I pretended not to have. In the end I believe he felt used and our relationship fell apart. Maybe in a time like the present things could have been out in the open and not beyond repair.

I suppose it gives me an insight into how apparently well-meaning people can live in a society or under a regime where unacceptable things are going on; they claim 'not to know'- about the disappeared, the wrongfully imprisoned, the unjustly treated. Like me at that time they do lnow but not at a fully conscious level.

A Roller Coaster in Slow Motion Jan. 20th, 2008 @ 12:29 pm
n the middle of the week my mother phoned me, completely out of the blue. She was chatty and very much in the present and was 'grateful for all that my family is doing.' It would have been a short call butfor me telling her I was taking a break at that moment and was very happy that she had called me to talk.
"Are you really?" she replied, without pathos.
"Yes, I'd like it if you called more often.
"Oh, well then, I will. I didn't want to interrupt anything, I know how busy you get."
And so we had a pleasant conversation and she might have been forty-five or fifty rather than 92.

Later that day my sister called. She had been to the doctor because mum has been staying in bed till 11 or 12 midday and missing her social clubs saying that the arthritis in her feet was too painful. My sister couldn't get her different pain killers but did get th dose increased. Meanwhile mum had gone returned to her 'clubs' but was very confused in the New Year, phoning up my sister on New Years Day Eve and New Years day to wish her 'Happy Christmas' and confabulating to fill the gaps left by the tasks she can no longer carry out.

My response, after my mother called was one of thoughtfulness and a little dread. I have a private 'superstition' that this is how it will be when she is near death. A last moment of clarity and good humour and then a peaceful or sudden collapse. My sister's news almost reassured me - though the news was a couple of weeks old. Otherwise, my sister admitted, she had seemed 'chirpy' just lately with only sudden attacks of fierce bitterness about imagined slights from my sister and grief over the 'premature' death of my stepfather.

Dementia is like a roller coaster in slow motion occasionally. There are dips and plunges into confusion, bitter recriminations and accusations which in another person might be seen as paranoid and aggressive and there are sudden short slow ascents where it is hard to see the person as anything other than old.

That always leads me back to the question 'Aren't we medicalising, pathologising certain behaviours and losses in a person when memory starts to go and confusion sets in at an age anywhere between 80 and 100?'

How conscious and present do we expect people to be in what is still considerable old age? When do we allow for people to naturally begin to lose cognitive and other mental functions because it is part of the inevitable movement beyond this life - which exacts a toll on all of us, more or less?

In an age of individualism and self-centredness when the extended family is a memory do we quickly jump into assigning labels to people that let us continue to think mostly about our own happiness and well-being than accept that once there was a responsibility and acceptance to be made where now there is only the urgent need to assign labels and create illnesses towards which we can offer no relief or care - we're so tangled up in our fiercely full lives.

How much are we struck by the fear of our own aging processes, projecting this fear as something 'other' [our shadow selves] on to the person with dementia? Long term memory - our cultural past, is rich in these parents and others at this stage of 'dementia'. Once we would have overlooked the lack of present awareness for the rich fund of family and national social history they are guardians of.

Please allow me to introduce myself Jan. 19th, 2008 @ 01:02 pm

Warm weather, plain speaking, free speech, long hot baths, peace, woods and forests, walking without any destination in mind and 'getting lost' conversation, mac computers, London, My hometown, smoking, The British Museum Reading room, solitude, the first cuckoo, The Proms at The Royal Albert Hall,


Militancy of every kind, religious, political, psychological, of every kind. Political correctness. Group think. Mass movements. New age religions and philosophies. American spelling. Insincerity, the cult of the late Princess Diana, Public outpourings of grief. The cult of celebrity. The misuse of the words 'cool' and 'awesome'. Slang. Memes, quizzes, polls. Self dramatisation and self harm. Advertising, catch phrases, cliche's, all types of fundamentalism. Rap music. The lack of interest in this site. Come on, what do over-fifties feel or think,love and hate?

all of the above are subject to change or expansion
Current Location: Nottingham, UK

Is this community dead or just having a long period of bedrest? Jan. 15th, 2008 @ 11:46 am
Other entries
» Over 50? Peridementia and our aging knowledge workers
{After writing the post [The Fear Engendered By Dementia] I Googled 'fear of dementia'dementiasupport and found this. It is both illuminating and sobering. Comments welcomed!

From: f/k/a . . .
June 16, 2005

David Giacalone @ 11:56 pm

Do you suffer from “peri-dementia“? Would you want to hire a lawyer or doctor, or any knowledge worker, who did?

Similar to perimenopause, what I call peridementia is the period before actual dementia occurs, in which the subject starts to have a mild version of the loss of intellectual capacity that is associated with dementia — i.e., impairment of attention, orientation, memory, judgment, language, motor and spatial skills, and function (notcaused by major depression).

To be called dementia, the symptoms have to be severe enough to “interfere with social or occupational functioning.” I’ve been wondering, however, just when interference with job functioning becomes significant enough that something needs to be said and done about it.

If my otherwise-healthy, middle class and professional, over-50 friends are any indication, there’s a lot of peri-dementia going around. People who joke a few years ago about their first batch of Senior Moments, aren’t joking any more. We seem to be having “brainos” that are quite a bit more worrisome than the increased numbers of typos found in our documents. They include episodes of mild confusion and disorientation; skipping steps in necessary tasks; and memory lapses considerably more important than the proverbial word on the tip of our tongues.

I’ve been meaning to talk about this topic here at f/k/a for several months, but I kept forgetting (rim shot!). A spate of news stories finally got me to buckle down and do some thinking, linking and posting.

Baby Boomers, and generations to follow, are going to be working longer — some because they have to and some because they want to do so. That’s what everyone is saying, from Merrill Lynch (in its New Retirement Survey, Feb. 2005), the New York Times (”In Overhaul of Social Security, Age Is the Elephant in the Room, June 12, 2005) and USNews (”The Big Squeeze, June 13, 2005), here in the United States, to the Ottawa BusinessJournal in Canada (”Aging boomers will have to work longer,” Oct. 7, 2003) and Australia’s News.com (”Babyboomers missout on retirement, June 6, 2005). AARP has special program to help the over-50 crowd find jobs and companies hire them.
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» Ageing
If advanced medical technologies could enable you to live into your hundreds - and beyond, how long would you like to live.
» Am I nuts or just an old fool?
My daughter is getting a divorce. She was married for 10 months, (She dated him for 10 years!), but he was miserable most of the time of their marriage and nothing she did seemed to m ake him happy. So, she started hanging out with friends more, and fell in love with one! She left because she was not happy, but I believe she didn't give it a huge try to fix the marriage because she is in love. Her soon to be ex is devistated, and says he loved her so much, and he's sorry he couldn't show it then, but she i the only thing that was ever good in her life and now his life gets worse everyday. She still loves him, but she's not IN love with him, and knows that whatever she does, even if she left the person she is seeing now (She is crazy about her and treats her like a queen), her ex would not be happy. It is entirely possible he suffers from ADD and Bi-Polar disorder.

The thing is, I still feel very bad for him. I keep seeing his face on their wedding day, he was so happy and proud! And my daughter was happy, too. She was marrying the person she adored for 10 years! But he was so sad all the time after that, and hardly spoke to her, never wanted to do what she wanted to do, and even ignored her when she was very sick.

I want so bad to tell her to go back and try to work it out and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!!! SHe was sad, he was sad, but I feel like what she did was wrong, falling for someone else and then not really going all out to try and make the marriage work. Why do I feel, in my gut, that hshe belongs with her first love? I feel terrible about this, but I guess there's no way I'm ever gonna feel right about it, and it's been 6 months since she left.
» (No Subject)
Hi everyone,

I'm a high school student from Australia, and I'm just curious as to whether any of you guys were involved in the protests against the Vietnam war, or various other protests (civil rights, student movements) of the 1960-70s , or have been involved in any type of protest/civil disobedience. Even if you were not directly involved, I would still find it highly useful to interview you, as a sort of 'witness' to the protests. If you would be interested in helping me out with a research project in answering a series of questions on your experiences with protest/civil disobedience.
If you are, leave a comment with your email address, or send me an email at ashimation@gmail.com and I will forward you the questions.

Thank you! And my apologies for a very badly worded post -- I'm sick.
» (No Subject)
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