Episode 20 – Baby Boomers Interpreting the Aspects of Ageing

A lot of Baby Boomers don’t like terms “senior” or “elderly.” It’s probably because ageing is associated with some undesirable aspects such as declining health, loss of independence, boredom and loneliness. So whether it’s positive or negative is a matter of the individual’s own emotional intelligence. During their younger days, Baby Boomers were considered to be the most productive and hard working generation the world has ever seen. They built up good careers for themselves and raised their children very well. Now Baby Boomers are entering their third stage of life which is retirement but despite that they continue to encounter many new and amazing experiences. What are the aspects involved in ageing? Is age really just a number? These are some of the questions that the Booms Day Prepping panelists are going to answer this podcast.


Wayne Bucklar:  You’re listening to Booms Day Prepping. Every week, some of the Baby Boomers get together and talk about things of interest to, well Baby Boomers. We’re about prepping for that next stage of our lives. And as always, we’re joined by my co-host, Drew Dwyer and our panel of experts, we have with us Glen Capelli, Amanda Lambros, Bron Williams and Brian Hinselwood. Welcome to you all.

Glenn Capelli:  Good day.

Amanda Lambros:  Hey Wayne.

Bron Williams:Hi everybody, really good to be here today.

Wayne:  My name is Wayne Bucklar. And this week, we’re relying on Drew to bring us the facts about ageing and health. Now when I saw the topic, I immediately thought I could talk about my bunions and arthritis and apparently, there are other facts of interest. So Drew, tell us what’s going on.

Dr. Drew Dwyer:  Hello everyone and have rooted me. But it’s an interesting subject because it brings a lot of diversity, and thought and opinion to the table because as human beings, we experience our own healthy ageing or our own healthy through-life process in our own way. So whether it’s positive or negative is a matter for individual’s own emotional intelligence. But what I like to do and what I like to sit as a gerontologist, and a nurse and a health practitioner who does this is to keep the facts on the table and keep them transparent because more and more, we’re removing what is known fact and replacing it what is my preferred fact, my own truth and the truth that I want to exist in. And unfortunately, this builds unsafe scenario and it puts people at risk and it’s important that particularly Baby Boomers and people as we age, we understand the true facts of what aging does as I said – one is a science and two as as a prescriber or a precipitator for what how we construct our life. So some of the information that I want to talk about is not sexy by any means and it’s used from a good place to integrate information that you put it into perspective for yourself if you’re a Boomer listening to this now because I’ve been working around older people most of my adult life. And for many years, I’ve strived to learn more about what I see and experience when I connect and have an empathic relationship. I’m a clinician that preaches empathy and empathy is not just the knowledge and knowing of understanding, it’s the connection and feeling of what people would be going through or understanding that feeling and emotion so that we can find a space to help them. And with many older people, the feelings and emotions that I empathize with is the fact that either they ignored too much in the past around their health and now it’s too late and they’re stuck. And this is one of the issues I want to see unwound and I think this issue generally sits around how people interpret the aspects of ageing and specifically, where people interpret for us living in Australia, and Oceania Region or Western Regions is what is old? How do we define it? And when do you choose a start point to think about these healthy aspects all the facts of ageing because every time I have this discussion with the patient or a client and they may be in their mid 70s and they’ll tell you they’re not old which I understand, it’s all a matter of opinion. But we do have a categorization for old and that category sits for two reasons – you’re probably at pension age, 65 and above and you’re probably in a space where your body as a human biological process is now ageing, it is retracting in size, shrinking and being impacted by atrophy, hormone change, body change, physiological changes. And these are clear clinical indicators that your body is aging and that the facts of this age is about to impact on you and particularly on how your body works. So I got a question for other people on the panel, how do you explain old? What is old? And will you or do you consider old as a factor in your daily life at the moment? Amanda?

Amanda:  Well, I’m gonna say that I’m gonna answer them backwards. No, I don’t consider old in my daily life at the moment personally for myself but I do consider it for those around me. And I think that’s a really big important thing because I do see how everybody else around me is ageing. And it’s kind of allowed me to put a few things into perspective. And I think it’s kind of given me some insight which is really good that I’ve been able to do that. Now, what do I define as old was your other question? Honestly, I think it’s one of those things. I think old is really one, a state of mind and two, getting to the point that your body breaks down so much that you couldn’t do the things that you were most comfortable doing. So I think that’s in my view, my worldview of old, that’s, “I will be old, when my body will no longer allow me to do the things that I’m most comfortable doing.”

Dr. Drew:  Glenn?

Glenn:  I certainly pick up on the attitudinal side of it. I mean old to me has always been arch conservatism. So I know some 15 year olds that are really old. I’ve always had the ability in life and I guess the wonder in life of having mixture of friends at the mixture of ages. So even as a 15 year old, I was able to communicate with people who were in their 60,s 70s, 80s and find them interesting I guess because I was always interested in history. So age for me, at our best when we age, we sage and we gain some wisdom and we gain some contribution that we can continue to make society. But ageing for me is when we close down from life. So my dad aged in the last month of his life. He wanted to be gone. He was laying in the hospital bed and he’s like, “Please, don’t let me be here tomorrow morning. I’m ready to go.” That’s funny aged rand there’s aches, and pains and things that closed him down a little bit in life but attitudinally, he may open a life and embracing of life. So I think for me it is an attitudinal thing but certainly, that atrophy thing interests me too Drew and if you really look at the word, it’s “a trophy.” So maybe one of the trophies and being around for a long period of time is that we do experience a few changes and the more we can embrace them rather than fight them, it’s like “Oh, that’s interesting. There’s some chemical changes going on, there’s some physical changes going on.” I mean it’s a little time now that I can remember here. But granddad was bald at 23. So it didn’t make him old but how we embrace change I think and transitioning.

Dr. Drew:  This is right Glenn. And for me and I know Amanda sits a lot in the same space as I do. But a lot of our conversations we have on this podcast particularly thought bubble processes or driven around psychosocial thinking, emotional intelligence because we are radio program having listeners listen, thinking and hearing our language and words and trying to decipher and perfectly, related to themselves. But when we determine what is normal ageing, it’s about the deterioration for me clinically and pather physiologically. Old for me is just a categorization point. I use it specifically by age. Age is very important to clinicians and counselors and so if I know your age, I know what your life history or your life journey has encountered more or less not specifically or drill-down but overall – the generational experience, the life experience, the process in the timeline of life. But for each individual as a person ages, it’s not clear-cut scientifically around healthy human body. So I know a lot of 80 year olds that are fit and healthy and they’re still old. I still classify them as old because of their position in a timeline. When I classify them or categorize them as frail or non frail, it’s a very different thing. So as a person ages, they decrease their activity loads as you’ve said they, your dad switched out. A lot of people do this but the fear that sits around that switching the light out or turning off or at some point in time, deciding that you’ve had enough, you don’t want to exercise or do right. Then very rapidly, the human body kicks in. I believe it’s spiritually driven. I believe our human beings soul controls this and when they will and the thrive to survive is gone, the body understands it and the body kicks in and the body starts to take over. And this is a very important factor for people to understand because medical science is not yet fully attuned to it because every single person over the age of 30 as we start to examine, we see the rules changing. Medical science has a model of atrophy and it’s the 1% rule after the age of 30s, that’s how basically gerontologically we sit with it. We go every year, over the age of 30, your body will naturally atrophy or atrophy 1%. That is all of your let’s say in general, three levels of tissues, organs, bones, skin, etc. and muscle and it all starts to shrink, atrophy, become less of a working capacity. And the problem with ageing is this doesn’t just happen in one section, it’s multifaceted and it happens in more than one area of your body at once. So if you’re not attune to it, or understanding it or knowing it, the fact of your ageing body is it will come very quickly because you have not prepared or planned for it. Amanda?

Amanda:  And I think that’s something actually really important to pay attention to is that when people start feeling old, it’s like they’re saying like, you’ll hear it in their dialogue, in their narrative of, “My whole body is breaking down. Everything is falling apart. I just don’t feel like I can pull myself together anymore,” like you’ll actually hear it in their narratives and I think that’s really important to look out for.

Bron: Now what does old mean to me? Goodness me, I was thinking about this, I think that that old is a really personal thing. If I think of old, I think of my mum who’s 93. So I think old is anybody who’s older than me. But I know that in terms of an objective look at old, other people would look at me at 62 and say, “Well she’s old because she’s not 20 anymore.” And I do recognize the changes in my body that are happening – just loss of muscle tone, loss of skin tone, get tired quicker, don’t have the same interest in the high end activity things that I used to have to do. So yes, I cognitively know that my body is getting older but I don’t feel as though I am getting older. The person that is me and like that brings us right back to a nice philosophical or an existing question about who are we? Are we just our body? Are we a personality, a spirit or a combination of the lot? So yes, I think we’re a whole person – a body, and a spirit, and a mind and personality. So if my body is getting old, that means the rest of me is getting old to the other parts that make it up and I think that’s one of the most difficult things about ageing is that we feel as though inside, we’re still 20 but our body is doing different things and our body is saying other things. So I think that’s the challenge. It’s a good challenge because I always think it’s good to have a challenge as a human being that we balance that sense of self that we have that says, “I’m still 20” with the reality that our body is now 40 odd years older than that. So I’ve always wanted to embrace the season of life, how my body is in each of those seasons and so I’m going to continue to do that to work with my body as it ages and I am fortunate in there that I am still relatively healthy. I don’t have any major health issues and I don’t foresee any because I believe I’m genetically blessed in that there’s no family history of dementia and other sort of inherited diseases or conditions. So I’m anticipating that I might move through to older age and then old age will happen gradually but all sorts of things happen. So yes, I think Drew mentioned about emotional intelligence so I think that’s the thing that I can take with me.

Glenn:  Again, I can come back to that binary brain. All nothing, it’s never all nothing, it is multifaceted. And the ability to train people as we are on the empathy path and partners in the word of “empathy” to empathize with our own self, to realize we don’t always have to think in all nothing good, bad, right, wrong but we are able to look at a combo of factors and some things that have gone down, some things that are rising up. I mean the wonderful Leonard Kant said as he aged, the wicked beast was tamed because his testosterone got him into a lot of trouble. We’ve put our hands up, testosterone got a lot of us into a lot of trouble over the years. But when we dig, there’s a little bit of that, we might get a little bit wiser in love, who knows? But I love this idea of scaffolding. Dad worked on the roofs as a carpenter and there were scaffolds everywhere. Our 40 scaffold for our 50s, our 50 scaffold for our 60s, so every decade is a preparation in health and the more we look after our self in a multifaceted way, it prepares us better from the next decade. And I think the thing for me as I age, instead of thinking just decades and I think years that this year can be a scaffold preparing for a better year. If I can look after myself this year, it’ll help me be in a better situation to look after myself next year.

Dr. Drew:  When I talk about this particular subject Glenn, in my scaffolding as a nurse and a clinician, of course we always use acronyms. But for me, the acronyms are easier to build scaffolding. So the first acronym I always teach to clinicians and to patients is acronym known as “SPICES.” I love it because it reminds me of the spices of life. So if we think about the spices of life of course is heaps of things we can think about, there’s a Yin and a Yang to this particular contribution of philosophy. But in a clinical sense, the spices of life are very clear for me in regards to what it is that we’re looking at. So SPICES as letters or format of letters, the “S” stands for “Sleep or Sleep Problems.” So one of the spices of life needed for acting or having ageing process is good sleep. We need to have good sleep and good sleep is really needed for a lot of people as we age. So this whole, I don’t like the term “Nana Nap” I like the term “Power Nap.” I think we’ve had that discussion before. But getting good sleep, understanding what good sleep means for you and how sleep works for you as a person is really important. The “P” is “Problems with Nutrition and Hydration” because as we look at nutrition and hydration, we should all understand very clearly that it’s really, really important when we look at how we feed it and pump fuel into our bodies even though that’s ageing because their body’s mechanisms will be having different processes now that we are ageing. If your liver is only doing 30% of its job, it’s only going to filter out 30% of the poisons. So we have to understand that what am I putting in to my body and rehouse are being used in my body. The eyes for incontinence, so urine, and feces and the eye if you’re incontinent, then you’re going to have some problems with your whole body function and how that food goes in and how that food comes out? How that medication goes in and how that medication goes out? How that water goes in and how it comes out? So the eye and SPICES is incontinence and we need to look at it. The “C” is for “Cognition” – mindfulness, spirituality, mind, the memory and how’s the cognition working because of course if we’re not cognitive, we won’t survive very well without support. And the “E” is for “Evidence of Falls.” Mobility is a spice of life. We need to be active, walking, mobile, it keeps us independent, and going and moving. And of course, evidence of falls shows us in our bodies how risky we are and of course, one good fall will end everything for you very quickly put you in a space of no return. And then of course “S” is our “Skin Integrity” – the largest body organ, the most important body organ, the protection of our body against the external elements of the environment and of course, underneath the skin what it feeds our body nurtures, our body oils, our body in simple layman’s terms. So the spices of life also for me move across to other areas in, I just spoke clinically now I look at in lifestyle. And as for spirituality, we can step through a whole lot of things but there’s art, there’s music, there’s connection, there’s so many things around the aging body that we have a better attunement to as we age that we need to focus on because clinically, there’s a process occurring to the body. It’s different for everyone depending on their diagnosis, their comorbidity, their medications but I’m stepping away from the spiritual, the lifestyle, the art, the music, the talent, the stuff, the right and left side of brain, the stuff that we works as we age and the stuff that is in heads or as we age because we have more time for it.

Glenn:  So wonderful model Drew and I see it as a lifetime model because if the eye of incontinence becomes the eye of in and out, how we do in and out in our bodies and incontinence become part of that perhaps, if we’ve got certain health issues or as we age. And the evidence of falls is not just physical falls but how we handle mental falls in our life too. Then spices is a wonderful model for an athlete, it’s a wonderful model for a high performance team, it’s a wonderful model for each of us to embrace and becomes a lifetime model where there will be certain shifts and changes as we move into our 70s and 80s. So I love any tool that can help a fuller process that can be used throughout the entire life. I think spice girls and spice boys is a wonderful thing to embrace.

Dr. Drew:  Amanda?

Amanda:  I love that you just said Spice Girls. I think SPICES is a great thing. I was writing them down as you were saying them and I think all of those really can be applied not just in later life on raging but like Glenn said, all the way through. And I think paying attention to those things and I know we’ve said it throughout the podcast and numerous times is it’s so vitally important to pay attention to yourself and to what’s going on and be aware of it. Start talking to other people around you, make sure that they’re aware of their own bodies as well. And if you have the right amount of sleep and have the right amount of nutrition and hydration and you’re just scaffolding yourself to actually put yourself in the best position to age in what some people would say “Age Gracefully.”

Dr. Drew:  Yes, absolutely. People always actually ask me, in particular Amanda, you would know too when they’re at a point of crisis with their health because of age. It’s generally because they haven’t put any scaffolding in or prepared themselves very well with how they are doing what they meant to be doing or how they’ve looked at what they’re meant to be doing. So it’s really important that we understand that scaffolding because when we get to a point where ageing and started to have its impact on us, how do we feel and what do we do is really that’s the important part and what are we doing about this and where are we going? When I look at the SPICES model that I look at, the unique thing is of course as I said sleep in a young space physicality, independence, creativity, engagement and spirituality. So SPICES in a yang space, so away from clinical sleep, P is for Physicality, I is for Independence, C is for Creativity, E is for Engagement and S is for Spirituality. This is more or less that Yin and Yang space. So Ying being medical, what we have to do in a really refined, in a medical model of sleep problems, nutrition, hydration, incontinence, cognition, evidence of falls and skin. But the other side of the human being around active ageing, and healthy ageing or how to age well around the facts of ageing is the the sleep, the physicality, your movement, your ability to engage, independence. Being independence is a fearful thing for people who age, they don’t want to lose their independence, creativity, keeping the mind creative, music, art, drawing, color, these things are incredibly important. And as I said when people are at this later stage of ageing and they say, “Nothing is working Drew, the medicines,” I often try and move them in a scaffolding and say, “I want you to think about the Yang. Start to think about music, art, engagement.” They say, “This is no good. Mum needs medicine and mum needs this and stop, perhaps mums body’s telling you she doesn’t need this stuff anymore, it’s not working and we’re just going to burden her, and poison her and take away the other abilities that are going to have much more quality in her life.” Creativity, engagement in society in the things that matter to the older person. And then of course as we always discuss, spirituality and how they connect with it whatever which way they choose to go. But I have a model written for this and it’s quite interesting, I’ll put it up on the Boomer website. But this is where the facts about ageing need to be focused because it’s not simply and wholly clinical. Your body is dying, that is the basic language we can use as offensive as it is. People have to understand your body is ageing, shrinking and dying from atrophy. Can we stop it? Yes, we can. No, we can’t stop it.

Amanda:  We can’t stop it, you can slow it down.

Dr. Drew:  But then people often say, “But I don’t want intervention. I don’t want to be forced. I don’t want to be  this and that the other.” Well then, great. Then take the other side of the SPICES of Life Model and start to look at the holistic, the spiritual, the creativity and put more into your life that matters most. Surprisingly, what I see is when this model is adopted well, all of a sudden, the focus changes and they start to become better and well in other areas without realizing they’re just focused on mobility, or nutrition or hydration. It’s really interesting to see how a human body will change when the focus of the reason for change is actually being transformed. So instead of focusing on medical conditions and medical problems, now focus on improving your life and those medical problems seem to ease up and go away. Glenn?

Glenn:  I picking up on what you’re saying and also a phrase that Amanda you used “ageing with grace” and I new sitting above my head in this library was David Snowden’s work, “Aging with Grace.” What the nun study teaches is about leading longer, healthier and more meaningful lives. And hopefully you know, of this wonderful study about these these nuns who seemed in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s were living long prosperous lives. And part of it, I know some of your concerned that the message is going to be live without men, maybe that was only part of it but they embraced learning.

Dr. Drew:  We can only hope.

Glenn:  Yes. If you know the study, it’s just an incredibly wonderful study to embrace. So David Snowden’s work ‘Aging with Grace” and why learning a new language, learning a new instrument, taking on a whole stack of things in your life. When you do that, it does relate to all those fields you’re talking about Drew. There’s some meta things that can flow through in those fields and that’s why instead of looking for a singular end, so we look for a little combo, a little shift in change here, a little shift and change there, a little shift and change there if you’re doing this and embracing learning as you go.

Dr. Drew:  We have big problems in Australia at the moment as you all be aware of you’re watching the Australian Press in this space and that is we’re not looking after elderly. Now, some of you will see it I’ve been quite vocal in this space, in the press in the last few days and I don’t care what anyone thinks to be honest, it’s wrong. We do a bloody good job and looking after our older people in a Western society. In a place like Australia, we have a bloody good model and it works, “Okay, it’s broken, sure it’s got some problems.” But I believe with all the evidence I have and the knowledge and experience I have as a gerontologist, this is the factor that we’re missing the most. We’ve got to get back to a mindfulness of how we treat, respect, listen and engage with our older pit cohorts. Boomers, I believe other way we’re going to change and these Boomers need to get off their backsides now or it’s going to be them us in this bad position 20 years to 10 to 15 years down track and we will be row bobble when we’re sitting in that nursing home bed, not getting what we know we should be receiving because no one got off their backside to make a loud stand for it now. This isn’t really primarily around the government funding, this is around how we’re using it, what’s important to us and why we’re using it and how we face the facts. And the facts, I’ll put it in one space – “ageing will kill you.” There you go, you will die from old age, there’s a fact you can take to the bank and put money on. And no one can tell me otherwise because it’s the same as other biological factors we know. One of those incidences, medications. I can assure you, we are slowly and systematically probably poisoning more elderly than we are fixing. And you can find a ton of research in this and elderly people, older people, Boomers, just go and do Google Scholar. So go to Google Scholar and just research – polypharmacy, medication mindfulness, quality use of medicines and you will clearly see peer-reviewed journal articles that clearly state we have got this wrong and we are doing the wrong thing. So I often ask why and why are we not undoing it? Well I’ll tell you, is because the voice of the people who need to undo it us the Boomers, the consumers, we’re sitting back being complacent and we’re not educating ourselves to build a scaffolding that says, “Stop. Hang on a moment.” If I apply a quality framework to my medications, I can actually get, just keep telling me, “Less is best, why do you keep giving me more?” Now, this blends with how you see yourself as an older person. How you see your SPICES of life? How do those medications interact with those spices of life is incredibly important because when you clearly understand the simpleness of it, you realize you’re actually poisoning yourself and you’re taking away your ability to enhance your SPICES of life. Simply by blindlessly, letting medication be prescribed and used in a format that it’s should be challenged, it should be known and challenged by people. Medicines are good, don’t get me wrong. I’m a advocate for the right use of medicines but it also medicines like Yin and Yang, medicines have a bad. Everything is balanced in this universe, that’s what I love about it. And we need to understand the balance and the balance is there is some good in the medicine and there’s some bad and I’ll tell you that bad comes once you put it inside your body and it starts to affect you as a person.

Glenn:  It’s a working relationship with everything. I remember once I was prescribed with a particular thing and I avoid tablets most of the time. But I took this thing and it just knocked my brain for six. And I thought now that the side effect of this is just not worth what the reward is. So I think sometimes, the medical profession don’t want us to have 50% of the side but I always believe in collaboration, it’s a working relationship.

Dr. Drew:  Well, they’re learning very quickly Glenn I can assure you. The big discussion and discourse in the medical industry is that doctors particularly, doctors and how the health professionals now need to be more empathic, more listening to the client and we need it. We’re moving, we are moving here rapidly, globally, having a process where we give health, literacy, teacher to educate our knowledge into our clients so they make better decisions and control their own process of health governance. The patient needs to control this. There are many messages that get sent to the human body, from the human body that we have a tendency to ignore because we’ll listen to our practitioner. And that is the sillies place to be and my advice for all practitioners is pass the knowledge on, empower your client to control their health. And the unfortunate part and I’ll let Amanda to have something to say about this, the unfortunate part about it is these conversations are tough, they can be confronting and once you begin, the truth must come out and the facts have to be laid down. And a lot of clinicians believe it or not, for a number of reasons are not prepared to do it, are not trained to do it, they don’t want the conflict and not only that given their time also in their trade, or their skill or their process of care, they become unempathethic and they lose the competency of having empathy because it just becomes ho-hum boring, “I don’t need to do this blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever crack on.”

Amanda:  I think one of the things that you’ve kind of mentioned is this concept of compassion fatigue. And so we give, and give and give of ourselves to others especially those of us who are in helping professions that if you’re not receiving something in return and it’s not a monetary thing but it’s just some form of recognition and to be able to take a break or to being able to have a sit-down coffee or conversation with something. All that you need to actually recharge, you don’t need to go on vacation for 20 days or anything like that but you need to have something that recharges you. And I think unfortunately because we live in this environment where we don’t recognize compassion fatigue as being as important as it is.

Dr. Drew:  I don’t think is that we don’t recognize Amanda, I think is we don’t respect the people who are doing that work.

Amanda:  I would agree with that. So you end up with these people who are absolutely outstanding at caregiving but they just burn out. So typically, compassion fatigue leads to burnout and then they end up leaving their role of doing what their passion job.

Dr. Drew:  I want to put this context Amanda into the context of care as family care, as husband wife cares because it just sparked me then. I’ve done a little webinar video and I’ll get Wayne because he’s managing a lot of my media at the moment, I get Wayne to put this up where people can see it. And I’ve got one specific thing it says, “If you don’t have a plan for dementia, dementia has a plan for you.” And people don’t like me. In the industry they said to me, “Drew, please don’t speak like that in a public domain.” I go, “No stop, I will not because this is the fact.” One of the factors here is compassion or carer fatigue, compassion fatigue. We run big risks in providing care to older people, to loved ones when we as carers, as wives, as husbands take on that role to care and have empathy and look after a loved one in our commitment, in our marriage, in our family model, whichever it is for you. But all of a sudden, you stop being a wife, you stop being a husband, you stop being a daughter and within a short period of time, you become a carer. And then you’ve very systematically, unempathethically connect with that individual and I see this everyday, it’s heartbreaking stuff where all of a sudden, we’re not dealing with the wife, we’re dealing with the carer. The husband has no longer, I mean they have a wife but that wife is no central focused in care provision, and care and timelines and she’s not laying on the bed cuddling, nurturing, singing, touching guiding, loving, understanding now. It’s it’s a burden and they won’t admit it and so they’re caught in that compassion fatigue. And the fact that ageing is as we age, who do we choose around us to take on roles to support our ageing and what are those roles look like? And this is really again, very synergistic to the SPICES model, the engagement part of SPICES in a holistic sense where ageing has some facts about it. One of them is clearly, you will burn out and you will burn other people out if you don’t have an idea of how you’re gonna age, what it’s reality will do to you if you have something like dementia, Parkinson’s, MS and diabetes. One of these diseases going to do to your body and how is your body gonna cope with it and then what’s your expectation of those in your inner circle when you demand or expect or have an expectation that they’ll care, support and nurture you? And then all of a sudden, compassion fatigue steps in. Glenn?

Glenn:  Compassion fatigue, we’ve got an interesting society where we turn the phrase “Do-gooder into an insult” at one stage. What do we see when we see an elder? What do we see when we see somebody who’ incapacitated? What do we see when we see somebody who’s been labeled as having a disability? The mindset that we have as human beings I think is the greatest challenge of them all and we as a Western society, we do some things well, we can learn a lot about seeing our elders in a different way seeing abilities and disabilities in a different definition. And that ability to that compassion is renewed rather than fatigue. And Amanda, I pick up the point that we’ve got to have some stuff. Every human being at every stage in life has got have some stuff where you do it daily, you do a stretch, you do a thing, you do something that is if you’re living constantly mentally under stress, then you do some daily thing that is (crosstalk)

Amanda:  That’s rewarding for you.

Glenn:  But daily habits and daily patterns so that we can keep compassion as a human quality that is wonderful that we can see that having a good cause is causing good and that should be a celebration rather than an insult.

Dr. Drew:  And Glenn, that do something good every day is so important to healthy ageing with the facts of ageing because if you to take the atrophy or the 1% rule, if you haven’t made any steps, built any scaffolding or attacked yourself, really physically, aggressively looks at your own body, your own thoughts, your own ageing. By the time between 30 to 60, you could be 30% died off. From 60 to 90, you could be 60% atrophied and died off. And if you get to that point and you haven’t done something step-by-step, or focused or accepted the ageing process, by the time you get up to 70, you could be very unwell, very chronically ill and on a downward spiral, that could take a long period of time and cause a lot of pain and suffering to those around you that that are meant to be in a nurturing, loving and growing environment. And I specifically have agitation around this and I admit it because in that phrase of life, you should be absolutely enjoying, boomering, travelling, music, everything that you have been setting up to do, you should be full-on, enjoying it life. And what we’re seeing is we’re not seeing this, we’re seeing more and more that people see them as ageing, as a disability, as a social construct that requires a network of social welfare, and social support, and social gratitude and payment. It’s not the positive place to step into. However, I have strong advice for all Boomers and I always say this. If we don’t have a positive aspect of our own ageing and what aging looks like and is, then why are we surprised when people start seeing us as ages or in ages lenses? I’m proud to be ageing. If I was a senior, I would be proud to be a senior. It should have a respectful place at some point with people and we should respect ourselves as ageing and love ourselves as ageing and aging is a wonderful part of life if we do it will. And if we continue because I do this a lot, and I comment a lot I know, but “I’m not old, don’t call me old, I won’t be called a senior.” And Wayne, we get feedback on this and I’m afraid I’ve got news for all Boomers, “You’re a senior ageing, get over it.” Let’s look at the positive aspects of it and how about we all throw some more positive oil into the fire because we’ve got to stop society seeing as is disabled, and frail and stupid.

Glenn:  The best burden in life is Eric. So keep listening to music and the animal within us, so the the animal is within us. I think this whole mental cognition as a society of how will be or other human beings is at the heart and core of it all Drew and the mindset we take that human beings are interesting people, you see an elder and you see a library, you see an encyclopedia, you see a history. And when we add the “S: of senior to age, we get sage and I constantly look for the sage in the person that’s aged. And as we age, to be the kind of people that can actually sage that we learn a little bit to be wiser and do the stuff on a daily basis. We might have frail knees now but yes, we can still do some flexibility exercise. Find a way to do what we can do and do it well and do it daily.

Dr. Drew:  Absolutely. Go for a walk with someone. I love elder mentor programs, I can never get enough of them built into workplaces, and nursing homes and the spaces where I work because everybody sees the elder person is not valid or not being able to make. I just recently did a job with an older nurse, she was about to retire nun, given that she was a nun. So driven by a different light from the rest of us but she turned to me, it’s been coming to some of my sessions in leadership and change management and so forth. She said to me, “Drew, I’m not ready to retire.” And she said to me, “I’m ready to retire from work, but I’m not ready to retire from my  mission.” And as a registered nurse and a nun, a Catholic nun, she said to me, “I want you to show me how I can reinvigorate my passion for care and my passion for humanity and still be able to do this but not see it as a work sense” and so forth. So I try to structure a little process for her but every institute or organization she went to saw her clearly as a risk, clearly as a problem, she had a bit of a limp, she was old, she was in her late 70s and they thought she was useless. This is a woman with 50 years of nursing experience, 50 years of life experience, 50 years ethics, and empathy, and morality and spirituality offer to offer anyone in that working environments – some mentoring, some guidance and casual thought for 10 minutes of just conversation and unloading. Perfect person to do it with … “No. Push them to the side. Don’t use them.” So the fact about ageing is people will see you this way if we age in the way that they want to see us, if that makes sense. I am definitely growing old but I am definitely not growing up. It is not mandatory and I refuse to do it and I’m gonna remain in the ageing space where people see me and go, “Check him out, he’s gone for it, he never gives up.” And I don’t want to be in that person, the facts of ageing is if you let the clock catch you, the clock will slow you down. And we’ve gotta get that cognitive space and own it because if you lose that cognitive space as an older person, the decline becomes speedy and it starts to put an accelerator on it.

Wayne:  And at that point, the time as you mentioned, it’s caught up with us Drew. So it’s probably time for some final thoughts.

Bron: And that would be my takeaway is to use and continue to develop our emotional intelligence with ageing. To recognize the ageing process that is happening to our bodies and balance that with the sense of self that says, “I really am still only 20.” So finding balance and keeping a good emotional intelligence I think are so good, so important as we age.

Glenn:  I think in fact says, there’s acts. So when you hear a fact, then you go act upon it  and there’s always some action we can take in a positive way to help our little life, skip out a little bit more and certainly, it’s an ongoing journey – the journey of empathy and its ongoing paths and it’s exciting one when we embrace them that way.

Wayne:  Thank You Glenn. And Amanda?

Amanda:  I would say that obviously, we’re well aware that ageing is something that we can’t escape. So if you have the opportunity to scaffold your ageing and to put into place the healthy eating, or the exercising, or the socializing and all those other things that we know are vitally important to ageing, then I think it’ll just make the process better as we go.

Wayne:  And Drew?

Dr. Drew:  Well for me, it’s a simple summary. Understand how the body works, understand how your body works. Don’t be afraid of the facts and don’t deny the facts or the truth within the facts source, we can interpret it anyway we want. But the end of the day, there is a real factor around ageing and it has some negative impacts if you allow that negativity to be the strongest energy. So work your body, know your body and grow the SPICES of life or work with your SPICES of life. It’s really important as you age that you understand the facts of what’s happening to you because only you as an older person is going to be able to change or make it better and make it work for you.

Wayne:  Thank you Drew. And Dear listeners, this has been Booms Day Prepping, our regular look at getting ready for the next stage in life. And we’ve been joined as always and my thanks to our panel Glenn Capelli, Amanda Lambros, Brian Hinselwood and Bron Williams and your hosts as usual Dr. Drew Dwyer and myself Wayne Bucklar. It’s been our pleasure to be with you. Please click on all the buttons that tell us how much you like us and if you’ve got questions, any social media channel, we’re bound to get them. This is Booms Day Prepping, my name is Wayne Bucklar.

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One comment on “Episode 20 – Baby Boomers Interpreting the Aspects of Ageing

  1. Johny Hatch says:

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