What's it like to be 90? Like 60, but more careful

How do you behave when you're going on 90?

There are so many things to consider, health primarily. You don't want to give in to the aches and pains that come naturally. But as you age, other, more serious, problems come up, and you handle them and move on . . . more carefully than before.

Mentally you still feel like you're in your 60s. You do crossword puzzles, you play bridge, you sing in the choir and you still drive your own car. You value your independence.

You live alone in your lovely home, but you have help . . . a cleaning woman once a month and a yard man who cuts the grass and trims the shrubs. You used to be an avid gardener, taking pride in your beautiful flowers and plants, but now it's hard to walk on the grass; you could lose your balance!

And your balance is so important. You wear an alert pendant that summons help when you press it, but it only works in your home and maybe 25 to 50 feet outside — not in the grocery store, not at the gas station and not at a friend's home or anywhere else, like the mall, where you can get so tired.

You have to be very careful where you walk. Look carefully where you are going and avoid any possible dangers such as high curbs, broken or slippery pavement, stairs, (they can be so difficult) footstools, objects sticking out everywhere and small throw rugs.

And mentally, it's hard, too. You make lists and more lists. And most important of all is to keep your calendar up to date with birthdays, anniversaries and the more mundane things such as doctors' appointments, luncheon and dinner engagements (with who is picking you up or whether you're driving), bridge, concert and play dates, and the many things that need to be recorded. And make sure that you write down the right times for everything. Things can get so messed up (especially for the hostess).

You really hate to admit that you're aging. You hate to be called a senior citizen or even "old'' when you think you're coping beautifully, and you certainly don't look "that old'' even though you have attractively styled white hair.

But most of all you have family and friends who love you and a faith that knows no bounds. So you keep on keeping on, accepting setbacks that do occur, then you pick yourself up again and move on.

It's all worth it!

Lee Olson, who turned 90 in March, lives in Bayonet Point.

What's it like to be 90? Like 60, but more careful 03/23/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 2, 2009 3:54pm]

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