What comes to mind when you think about aging? What are the things to look forward to after retirement? What are the benefits of Aging? These are the questions our hosts and panelists discussed in this week’s podcast episode. Many older people don’t like the term ‘elderly, or elder or senior’ and Baby Boomers need to practice emotional intelligence in this space because this is part of the concept that older people need to emotionally and intelligently get a good understanding of and have stability in. Aside from having a long and fruitful career and raising children, Baby Boomers are now in their third stage of life and they continue face new experiences every day. When you’re transitioning and you’re aging, one of the things you have to understand is that your body is going to shift. Your body is going to respond differently and you need to really understand what your body needs. Maintaining a healthy active retirement means maintaining aspects of healthy life. Make sure you have your dietary goals and plans are very clearly understood so that you can tell consultants and clinicians what your goals and needs are and they can map something in that suits a Baby Boomer. There are positive aspects of being older because you can look back on yourself and you can realize there are parts of you you probably have the time now to change and some good and careful and emotional intelligence skills will help you change those things in a positive way. These are just some of the opinions shared by our hosts and panelists regarding Positive Aging. Listen in to here more about their interesting discussion.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Booms Day Prepping. Our regular look at baby Boomers and our movement into the next stage of our lives. It’s about prepping for what’s coming next and as usual, I’m your host Wayne Bucklar and I’m joined by my co-host Drew Dwyer and our regular panel. We have with us Bron Williams, Brian Hinselwood, Glenn Capelli and Amanda Lambros and Baby Boomers all, welcome to the show.
Brian Hinselwood: Thank you Wayne.
Amanda Lambros: Thank you Wayne.
Wayne: Now today’s theme is the ‘Benefits of Getting Older’ and I thought I might start with you Bron because you’ve got a nice positive outlook on the world. Lead us into this conversation.
Bron Williams: The first, I actually do think there are some benefits to getting older. Obviously, the physical side of things, the body shape changes and some of those things don’t sit as well with me as I would like. However, the things that I do like about getting older is the fact that I really like myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I understand myself better. I really don’t care if other people don’t like me. I don’t go out of my way to be offensive but if people don’t like me, well, that’s the way it is and this is the skin I’m in. I think there’s that growth in confidence and liking who you are.
Wayne: And Brian, are you more confident as you’ve gotten older?
Brian: Look, I think of all the things that I might be lacking, confidence has never be one of them. So I don’t know that my confidence has improved any. But I agree with what Bron touched on there, is that I find as I’m getting older, I care less about what other people think of me. I tend to speak my mind far more than maybe I did when I was either like 20, or late teens, or even 30 or something. To some degree, I quite enjoyed being older because even my children don’t expect me to act normal and I don’t mean I’m abnormal. But they’re quite happy with me, sort of saying something kind of straight out, bluntly so I quite like that.
Wayne: And Glenn?
Glenn Capelli: I always believed in learning a new word in a day and focusing on it. I think there’s a word for our topic and it just happens to be my favorite word of all time, not a very popular word, not a very well-known word but a word that is a revolution that I’m trying to spread. So let’s spread it in this podcast and the word is “Neoteny.” It came across in the writings of Ashley Montagu, blended it with a bit of my own and the definition is “Neoteny” is ageing, yet as we age we retain the childlike behavior traits of spontaneity, creativity, curiosity, living life with a sense of exploration and living life with the sense of wonder and what we add as we age is “Wisdom.” Now I love this with a couple of accounts. One, we’ve got a whole stack of kids that are not having childhood. They’re not doing natural play. A seven-year-old should not be flying an aeroplane. They should be out in the play pretending to be one. And a healthy child placed more at the box the toy comes in than the toy itself. But as we age, we add to this brew of childlike wonder or the abnormality I guess that Brian is talking about. The playfulness and we continue that playfulness then and what we had because of experience is age. It’s wisdom.
Wayne: And Amanda, what’s your view?
Amanda: Well I think that I personally love ageing and I have a very positive view on ageing. I think unfortunately, what happens is a lot of the clients that I see don’t necessarily have a positive view on ageing, for a lot of things that Bron was actually discussing. Their bodies are changing, life shifting. They might experience the death of a spouse or a parent. So there’s all these transitions in life that they’re not so happy with. So repositioning their minds and reframing that as to why it could be so positive is actually really important. You can be more confident with who you are and what your body is doing. You’re usually a lot more settled in your job or you’re at that tail end where you’re about to retire and you can actually really start enjoying life and traveling and all those other kind of things. So I think there’s heaps of positives to take from ageing.
Dr. Drew Dwyer: Well I’d like to begin the conversation if I may looking at the aspect of aging well or “positive aging” as we like to refer to it within the space of working within the gerontological space and specifically, I mean healthy, active and positive aging is a language that we prefer to use when talking to older people. Of course, many, many older people when I meet them don’t like the term ‘elderly, or elder or senior’ and which always forces me to jump into an emotional intelligence space before consultation because this is part of the concept that older people need to emotionally and intelligently get a good understanding of it and some stability in. Although age is just a number, age is also where you’re at in the timeline. So most of what we do speak or seem to speak about around the aging aspect and the growing older aspect doesn’t seem to have much positiveness about it and people seem to view the subject matter as a pessimistic view rather than an optimistic view and taking a glass half-empty mentality all the time. But really, when we look at a person or an individual, when you look at yourself as an older person, you’ve already obtained quite a bit of longevity and you have to be understanding emotionally where that sits with you and how can you improve it from where it is and where does it go from where it has been in the past.
Everywhere within the age specific service or healthcare service industry, community care industry, we use and promote a language around healthy, active and positive lifestyles with aging which is important because more often than not, older people have the time and the ability to enact more positive, active and healthy lifestyles around the timeline that they have and within their own lives. The unfortunate part is that this language and philosophy is usually driven around the staff and the people who work in the industry so that they’re always speaking positively around the elderly, but not necessarily around the older person themselves which is a problem for me. Many people will tell me, “I’m not an elder, I’m not an elderly and I’m not a senior” and in actual fact, they more than likely probably are and it makes it harder to be able to work with older people who are in transition to get them something more positive or I get them into a more positive aspect. I generally find that people who are looking down the barrel of progressive disease or chronic illness and of course, chronic illness means having two or more disease issues that you’re dealing within your health spectrum that they will generally build a more negative influence or energy into their life. This also is associated with the amount of medications they’re taking and the indications or contraindications that those medications bring in their lives – lethargy, tiredness, sore eyes, dry mouth – and whether or not a person is able to enact a more positive healthy aging by looking at what their disease process is giving them.
Wayne: Even in a work sense, I’ve found having spent a career building a resume that having turned 60, it’s very nice to think, “Well I don’t have to build this resume anymore, it’s as it is. I can ride it to the bottom of the hill.” So the pressure not to have to build a career to be in fact, if you like harvesting or milking the work that you’ve done previously I have to say, makes my advancing years much more pleasant not feeling that pressure to have to do that. And I was talking to a colleague about this topic recently and he has just turned 66 and we were talking about sex which for those who know me well as is something that you’ll find believable and I said to him, “So, you know what’s coming for me here? What’s sex like in your late 60s and further on?”, and he said, “Well, I’ve got to tell you. Sex is still great but the wonderful thing about it for me is I don’t have to go everywhere my dick leads anymore.” And men will understand that particularly. I can’t speak on behalf of women but I would suggest that from adolescents, probably one of the prime drivers in the life of certainly the male of the species is having to follow the firm pointed direction of your genitalia and it becomes and it is a demanding thing and all of a sudden according to my mate Graham (Good morning Graham and good morning to your partner), you don’t have to go there anymore. You have a choice about this. So what’s your view Amanda given that this is one of the areas of your expertise?
Amanda: Well I absolutely love talking about sex and all things sexual and intimacy. I think as a sexologist, that’s kind of a bonus. I think when you’re transitioning and you’re ageing then one of the things you have to understand is that your body is gonna shift. So sexually, your body is going to respond differently and you just need to really understand what your body is doing for you at that time. So lubrication might be an issue, there’s ways to solve that. Hormones might be an issue, there’s ways to solve that. So it’s really just taking stock of yourself and going, “Okay, this is not my norm. How do I create this to be my new norm?” So it’s really listening to your body, don’t go, “Oh well, it’s not working the way it used to. Therefore it’s dead.” No, that’s not the case at all. It’s not working the way it used to because you are ageing so it might take a little longer or it might take whatever it is. But listen to your body enough to know what to do and see the right people to help you know what to do.
Wayne: I do love it Amanda that in every conversation we’ve had, the word “Lube” comes up at least once.
Amanda: As it should.
Dr. Drew Dwyer: It seems to be the conversation and quite, I don’t know whether it’s rightly so or it might be the group of people on this panel, but it seems to always come back to sex. Perhaps sex is a subject that needs more discussion, I believe it does. Sex is a topic that needs more discussion around the embracing of change to older life. But really when we’re looking at sex, in my book I explained the “heart has no wrinkles” and sex over 50 means you can do it better. So for Wayne, I think I’d give the comment of perhaps the positive thing around aging is that you don’t have to have sex if you don’t want to. I’m sure that’s a positive thing for certain individuals but most of the older people I deal with still have a great urge to have sex and I can assure you working in a nursing home particularly around my patients there is never a rare day where you don’t come across the physical need or physical presentation that somebody’s probably requiring to fulfill their sexual need. But sex and sexuality are different things. When we think about sex for me as a clinician, I think about males and females and I think about sexual health and sexuality. I think about preference and of course, sexual lifestyle and the Maslow’s Theory of Human Need and what we do with love and belongingness and self-esteem. Sex is a security issue for a lot of people and it’s something you need to be into the debate and the first thing that bring back the basics is understanding that to check yourself because sex is a normal part of living. We do it, we’re primal instinct animals and that’s what we do as mammals.
Probably, best for people in their sex life who are elderly or older, you start to get out and meet and greet and get back on your feet if you’re single, start to meet more people, associate with people who are like-minded. It maybe your interest to meet more people who are younger than you and bring your sexy back. And I always advise people that’s a great or positive space to go after it and be mindful and have some emotional intelligence. We do have a bit of age on our timeline scale, so maybe leather tight pants aren’t the thing we need to be wearing or perhaps, they probably are if you’ve got the body and the physique to show it off. Recently on my blog post on Doctor Drew, a Big Man Talking in Facebook, I posted a series of older women and men who are models in their late 60s and they’re smashing the model scene with their clothes and their styles and been looking very sexy, very nuance and very out-there and I think it’s wonderful and excellent to see and we should encourage more of it.
Glenn: The wonderful Leonard Cohen and write play in life, one of his song lyrics was the “Beast is Tamed.” So we know now who tamed the beast as from this moment on, it becomes known as wise dick. Thank you very much Wayne. It sounds like a contradiction in terms having a wise dick. But Tony Randall became a dad for the first time aged 75. One of you’re acting fraternity colleagues perhaps Brian and with a younger wife but they enjoyed sexual life and had a sexual life, a wiser sexual life, it is believed in late years. So can the wise dick actually occur Amanda? Is it a real thing, a possibility?
Amanda: I think for us probably a small amount of people absolutely, yes. But it goes back to you really understanding yourself and being comfortable with yourself, whereas if you’re just kind of chasing tail as you tend to do when you’re in your late teens or early 20s, now you don’t have to. Now you’re comfortable enough with yourself to know what you want and how you want it and you’re comfortable to have a conversation with people and be, “Hey, this is what I really enjoy so how about you try that?” Instead of playing mind games and trying to hope that someone can read your mind of what you want done in bed.
Brian: Yes. I think that’s really important that point you brought up there Amanda about being able to just say what you feel to people rather than like as you say in your 20s, “I hope somebody can read my mind because what I’d like to do is whatever it is”, and they never do. I’ve never met a mind reader. It’s been very frustrating.
Bron: It comes back to intimacy, doesn’t it? And I think as we become more confident with ourselves, we can allow someone else in and allow ourselves to open up on a whole lot of different levels and that certainly plays out in the physical intimacy as well. It takes a different shape, still can be as completely satisfying but sometimes even more deeply so because it’s no longer about performance. It’s about pleasing, and pleasure, and mutuality and all of those things.
Amanda: And enjoyment.
Bron: Yes, just plain enjoyment.
Dr. Drew: I think all older people should find a space to relight their fire and to have a look at what is sex for them, or sexuality and sexual health for them and how sex becomes an active part of their healthy aging. I meet many, many, many older people, Boomers in particular and people over the age of 65 who have just created new sexual identities or sexual relationships and they’re absolutely flourishing and booming in this space because there’s now a lot of information available to read, and to divulge and to digest when it comes to sex, sexual health and sexuality.
So we don’t live in an age anymore where the only gay in the village is someone who lives in a closet, we now live in a community and society where sex is not necessarily – whether it be LGBT sex or gay sex, or straight sex – is something that is a closeted conversation. A lot of the older cohorts still are very quite closeted about how they discuss and see and view sexual health and sexuality but in a modern context, this is for emotional intelligence and people need to understand that they own their sexuality and they should be doing it. Some of my tips for having a better sex life when you’re getting older, dress for “succsex.” So dress for succex, sex means to dress up, put on the good gear, I’ve spoken about this before, go put on the makeup, reinvigorate yourself. There’s nothing wrong with adapting to a bit of doctor botox, find the good clinicians and the good people who can advise you about trying to keep young kicking 18 away, there’s a great new business market in this. And I myself am no shy person when it comes to creams, potions and lotions and of course visiting anyone who’s an expert in anti-aging techniques. Be proud of who you are no matter what because we need to have pride in our sexual health and sexuality because sexual health matters to people. All people of all ages and of course, if you are LGBTIQ, then you need to find your space and be proud of who you are hopefully that the community and family around you will support you in your endeavors to be who you are.
Wayne: Bron do you think that it gets easier with age, that letting someone in?
Bron: I think yes and no. So I’ll sit on the fence here. Yes in that when we’re more comfortable with ourselves, I think we are more comfortable to share ourselves. However, as we get older and particularly where I can only speak for myself in a fairly new relationship, you come with baggage, everybody does, with life experiences. And so letting someone in sometimes gets a little bit more difficult because you filter your current experiences through your past experiences. That gets difficult and fear actually plays a big part here. It doesn’t matter how much you want to trust someone else. If you have been badly hurt along the way at different times, that sense of wanting to trust even though you think that other person might be eminently trustworthy, actually trusting them is a whole other ballgame.
Wayne: And Bron, you say a “fairly new relationship”. How new is that?
Bron: Less than two years.
Wayne: Now that’s older than my first marriage. It didn’t last two years. My point being that time changes I think as you get older. As a young man in my 20s, two years was forever and in fact two months was a pretty long time. And now I think my perspective of time has changed that two years is just kind of a reasonable starting time and I don’t just meant for relationships. I mean for getting business plans established and for getting the garden to look good and all these things which in my 20s and 30s I needed to happen in 15 minutes. I’m now much more content to wait a much longer time for things to mature which is surprising really because at 20 I had 70 years ahead of me and now I don’t have anymore. So I’m not sure why that is.
Dr. Drew: Noticeably, particularly in Australia, it is the new immigrant that is coming in and taking over the workforce and achieving more jobs and particularly more of the low-skilled or what we would call low-skilled jobs and it is closing up for older people to get more work that is suitable to having a part-time lifestyle, part-time working lifestyle. So for example, working in a supermarket, working in a factory, working probably as an office help person. And noticeably that this is a fear factor for older people who want a positive aging and want to include work-life balance is that they’re trying to look at what skills they’re going to need to adapt to the new workforce. Well for all Boomers listening, you’re never too young or never too old to learn and you’re always young enough to learn more. And so part of this work cohort of older workers is entering the workforce in a change state means that you’ve already come with skills, you have to plan and master what skills are going to be best suited to the job that you’re chasing.
Generation X people that sit around us, they’re the children of the Baby Boomers are always the biggest threat. They want the older worker out of the way, they want the older worker to retire quickly so they can take up the job positions and the better paid positions of the more
experienced people. So they too can get their lifestyle of balancing their life, working hours from home, mixing their hours and having their breakfast time and their walks on the beach and fitting in their yoga. But what they don’t understand as an X generation is that this is also the last time that the Baby Boomer Generations to keep working hard towards getting. And the Baby Boomer generation has to be more positive about holding onto the aspects of their worklife to give them that positive aging specs.
Glenn: Maybe it’s the maths we most need to understand. It’s the maths of life. Two years, when you’re 15 is a huge percentage of your life. Two years when you’re 75, it’s not bigger as bigger percentage. So there is a difference around time urgency. Perhaps also when we’re younger, there’s something in our chemistry where we want to change the world. And as we discover a bit of wisdom, we realize we are haven’t been able to impact the whole world but we might have been able to impact somebody’s world. And we get into more the stage process, staging process. One of those transition things I think and it’s best when you age if you transition into educator, you take the indigenous traditional role and the elder is somebody that passes on to some lines, passes on some wisdom, passes on some art, passes on some story. And we perhaps need a fundamental society shift in our part of the world to see ageing does that and to see the aged does that. The baggage has got some wonderful clothes in the baggage. We’ve got some wonderful old shirts in there to share with the world and it’s a time of renewal perhaps.
Brian: I just thought as you got older, time just went faster. I mean, once you get past that 60, 65, the years are no longer 12 months long. They’re like eight and a half or something months long and they just whizzed past. So I think that’s got a lot to do with time seems to travel so much faster as you get older and you think, “Oh I’m going to do this in the next week, next six months, whatever.”
Glenn: Certainly there are things that emerge as we age. I mean you talked of retirement and has anyone ever eaten at KFC? If we’ve munched on some chicken in our times in Kentucky Fried Chicken as it used to be, how old was Colonel Sanders when he started that company? 65 years of age. If you’ve ever read Little House on the Prairie or any of that wonderful series. I mean Laura Ingalls Wilder was again 65 when she first published. So sometimes the encore of life is to rediscover because they might have a bit more time. Zipping this time buys but didn’t go back to some of the crayons we can really play with and leave our story behind whether it’s for the whole world or whether it’s just for your own family, of your heritage and the people around you.
Bron: I really resonate with that Glenn because that’s exactly the position I mean. Wayne said earlier that he likes it now that he feels like he doesn’t need to build a resume anymore and he can sort of skid down the hill on what are these that he has. But for me who has started a new business in the last couple of years, I am now drawing on that past resume to leave my legacy, to do exactly what you’re saying Glenn. Actually, that’s what I have longed since lived is that it’s in this last third of life that we can get to do maybe even the one thing we put on the earth to do, because we’ve got the wisdom. We’ve got the experience. We know ourselves better. We’ve got the time and often the money to invest.
Glenn: And my many munch on your metaphorical chicken.
Bron: Thank you Glenn. Yes, munch away.
Brian: This is where I have a different thing. I’m constantly working off my past resume. And in fact just prior to coming on here today, I had a meeting with my agent who informs me that I was really, really close to getting an acting role in what will be the new Harry Potter movie but I’m 10 centimeters too tall they told her. Does anybody ever heard of “Digging a Ditch”? I can’t believe it, anyway.
Brian: That close to getting a role.
Wayne: You don’t use your knees all that much, just have them removed.
Brian: I don’t. I could have quite easily done it on my knees.
Glenn: When we get to do this on camera, people can see what a wonderful Harry Potter character you would actually make. They’ll say, “Yes, of course. Cast him! Cast him!”
Brian: They might never know.
Glenn: It’s good at sitting down. It’s a transitioning time.
Wayne: Now we’ve covered of the “biggies,” we’ve covered of wisdom, and we’ve covered of sex and we’ve covered of resumes. Glenn could tell us that one of the advantages of growing older is that you save on shampoo. What are the other advantages? What are the some of the benefits that we can nominate here?
Amanda: I think one of the benefits that we kind of overlooked, well we didn’t really overlooked but time. Time to actually do things, time to hang out with your family, time to cook a great meal if you want to because you may not necessarily be at work and have that stress of the 9-5.
Glenn: There’s an age state formula for me which is move it, use it, snooze it, cruise it. And when we were young, we don’t have to snooze it, cruise it built into every day but certainly, if you’re able to move, move. If you can paint, paint. If you can sing, sing. Use it, but then snooze it. Thirty minutes of sleep in the afternoon, two naps in a day doesn’t matter, renewal rejuvenation time, power naps rather than nanny naps and cruise it. We don’t have to be perfect anymore. We realize that practice didn’t make perfect, never ever did. Practice makes progress and we can just be on a progress road with things and be a little bit gentler with ourselves. So move it, use it, snooze it, cruise it.
Brian: I think being gentle with yourself is really important Glenn. I also think being gentle with other people. I’m always, not always because it doesn’t always happen, but whenever I see somebody in trouble, I always thought even if it’s some drunk in the street – I’ll stop and help him onto the sidewalk or something. I think as a young person, I probably didn’t do that. Well, I certainly didn’t do this much than I do now. But I agree with that being gentle both with yourself and with other people.
Glenn: I just want to thank you for helping me up a few times out of the gutter and propping me up against the wall. Thank you.
Brian: Alright Glenn. I’ve been there, I know what it’s like.
Wayne: Now what about come the next stage? When we’re starting to look for assisted living and residential care, what are the positives in that?
Brian: One of the positives surely has got to be that now because the population in general is getting older, when you see some of the retirement villages and hospitals and places like that, some of them look and I know you have to pay serious money for it, but some often look quite luxurious. And it’s not like you’re going into some little dingy room somewhere. I mean you can move in with your partner, with your wife, husband, whoever. I think that’s going to make it a lot easier for people who want to do that or need to do that.
Wayne: Some years ago, Brian and I were toying with the script for a show called “Whispering Gums” which was intended to be either a stage or a TV show, but it was exploring some of the issues of moving into assisted living residential care and some of the issues around that and Brian and Meg have, what a 20-year age difference Brian I think?
Brian: Yes, more than that. It’s alright. I’m ignoring that.
Wayne: Meg wouldn’t have been eligible to live in some retirement villages because she was not old enough. And at the time, I was a gay man with a gay partner and I wouldn’t have been eligible to live in retirement care with my gay partner. It’s changed a little now. But for people contemplating, giving up their family home and moving into a village or needing to move into a village, what are the positives you can draw from that? As Brian said it’s some of them are luxurious, they’re very nice. Anything else come to mind?
Bron: Well so many of them provide a new community, that can be really difficult by transitioning from where you have been in community with before. But I think that sense if you’re up for it, to make some new friends, to have activities. Most of the residential aged-care facilities have lots of activities, there are things to do and you can choose to do them and so you can be as involved or as not as involved as you want to be.
Glenn: Parents would often come to me with youngsters and say, “Is this a good school or is this not a good school?” And I’ll say well it depends on the youngster. You’ve got to go and see and see what the match is. I think one of the positive things and it’s gradually happening and it does need to accentuate more is this more variety and options available in the kinds of communities and there needs to be even more of that and it should never be price resistant only for the rich kind of thing. So when Mum needed to go into assisted care, living in a different state than where I’m living, we went and saw six different places and some of them would have been horrible for Mum, absolutely horrible. It’s good to visit those ones first and then when we got the one that was a real gem, we knew that it was a gem. If we’d started with the gem, she would have resisted it but when she’d seen what some of the other places were she eventually found a place where she just had a new lease of life for the 18 months that she lived there before.
Dr. Drew: So one of the other aspects I want to put in as rather than an outside of plan to stay in the workforce is maintaining a healthy active retirement means maintaining aspects of healthy life. As we’ve grown in society and particularly because of the younger cohorts that are getting more intelligent, more educated beneath us, they have a lot of information and science built around probiotics, healthy foods, super foods. And one of the things that I always look at with nutrition and hydration experts that I consult with is how can we develop and get better, and faster and more active nutrition, hydration vitamins and minerals into an older person who is clinically atrophying which means shrinking, and probably not absorbing the right amount of nutrients and food that they need on a daily basis? Well I suggest everyone goes and has a look what superfoods are. I use a product myself and recommended it to all my clients and that is a “Nutribullet”, it’s a fast-acting blending machine and I use this machine at least 3 times a week where I will start my day with a shake in the nutribullet and it will contain green, blackberries and red berries are very good, antioxidants and for cleansing, maybe some lemon juice. There are different types of shakes that I will use on a daily basis or weekly basis if I want to detox or cleanse. If I want to build my protein and vitamins there’s lots of powders and superfoods to put in them. I generally mix these with water, sometimes with a bit of yogurt, a bit of honey, some nuts and you’d be surprised how nicely shakes taste and how many different consistencies and flavors you can get. And the more you look at this, the more easy it is to understand, you’re getting a full nutrients into your body rather than cooking a full meal at that time of the day by consuming a nice flavored shake and getting a combination of the right nutrients you can take. So there are many ways to achieve a healthy active diet in your aging and not necessarily having to cook a meal or prepare a meal.
A lot of elderly that I sit with and talk with get very frustrated as we have a discussion around nutrients. Their families are always thought I’m under pressure about their diet and they will often tell me that they don’t want to cook, they’re too tired to cook or it’s boring or they’re often cooking for themselves. The aspect to having meals delivered to their house is not something most people want, no one likes meals on wheels although I will give it a tick in the box as a good service particularly for our very old people living independently.
Talk to a nutritionist, talk to a dietitian, find one that suits you, that understands the type of client, and person and consumer you are. Some of the nutritionists these days are very young, very focused in a lot of young ideals and a young way of being. So they’re probably not going to be the nutritionist or dietitian that’s going to suit your lifestyle on what you want. Make sure you have your goals and your plans very clearly understood so that you can tell these people and these consultants and clinicians what your goals and needs are and they can map something in that suits you, that’s very important. As an older person, you know yourself better than most other people and you know what you can and can’t do and where your goal setting is. But I want you to be mindful everyone listening that there are numerous ways to get good healthy diets into these days and you don’t necessarily have to be eating large amounts of vegetables to do that. As again, look at the super foods, look at shakes, look at vitamins and supplements, talk to a dietitian and nutritionist and at least, beginning the basic perimeters of having a good chat with your GP, your general practitioner or medical doctor over the aspects of where you should travel with this and what you should be looking at.
Wayne: And group homes are becoming much more common too which is something that I think is interesting. I’ve read a couple of stories of couples building their own group homes. So we might see if we can find some of those people and have a chat to them in one of the future episodes. When my mum and dad moved into retirement living, they found various positives but for my mother who at that stage had been a housewife and a working housewife for 40 years, her great joy was that someone else had to put a meal on the table. That after years and years of having being responsible and accountable for putting a meal on the table three times a day and the thing she hated most was having to decide what people wanted to eat. She just found great pleasure in walking into the dining room with no idea what was on the menu and not caring. So people do draw positives from different experiences I guess.
Brian: There are of course downsides to growing old. I mean couple of years ago, I had a very dear friend who had to go into a retirement village which was ran by the Salvation Army I might say. He went downhill rapidly once he was in there because he lost his independence. He didn’t want the people looking after him. He didn’t want somebody putting a meal on the table and he didn’t know what it was. He wanted to withdraw himself, he couldn’t. I mean he had to be in there. But the effect it had on him was quite terrifying to see. It was really quite sad.
Wayne: I think that’s one of these emotional intelligence questions that we’ve spoken about on a previous episode. It does bother me that that stage of life is going to be a bit like school again or boarding school again where you are compelled to live with some people who you may not like. You’re compelled to have relationships with people that you may not care for and you depended on someone else for the level of care that you get. So it’s not something that I anticipate eagerly, I have to say.
Brian: Yes. I don’t think anybody looks forward to it.
Glenn: Well, I’ll give you a sentence and see if you can tell me whom this might be about. This person private themselves on certain childlike features such as curiosity and the defiance of convention and they did it all through their life – Albert Einstein. I think part of that, it’s a working relationship wherever you are and if there’s an environment that somebody’s going into where it doesn’t allow them to be 50% of the equation, then the alarm bell certainly need to be rung Brian. Sadly it’s not too easy for some people once they’re placed somewhere to get to move on and we need to make people more flexible.
Brian: Yes, that’s right. Particularly in this guy’s case because it was his family, not his immediate family and because he was a gay older man and he’d been in a relationship for 40 years and his partner died. So his family, his nieces and various people took over the running of his life and they put him in there. And so it was very sad.
Bron: Yes. We’re working through this Bradbury situation at the moment with my mum who’s just turned 93. She spent time in hospital. Prior to Christmas I spent 6 weeks with her and my sister is with her now. And Mum is angry at the moment because she actually does need some help. Being on her own in the home is getting much more difficult to because she has a pinched nerve in her back and she’s in a lot of pain. She was on a new regime of drugs. Her body’s got used to that. They’re having to up their level, so she’s in that season of her life but really finding it hard to come to terms with. I think one of the things I have tried to do as I’ve watched my mother age is to learn from her and her responses, because none of us get to know beforehand like with every other season of life, what that last season of our life, those last couple of years are going to be like. We don’t know whether we’re going to be able to be so cognitively aware or whether we’re going to lose our physical function as Mum is. She’s finding it harder to walk. But it just comes back to that emotional intelligence, that sense of, “This is my new normal”, that’s what we’re trying to help Mum see. This is your new normal. It’s okay to be angry but you have to learn somehow to take this on board now as your new normal, find out how to be you in this. You haven’t changed but it is. It’s a huge process and she’s still on her own in her own home. We would like her to stay there as long as possible, because we know that’s where she’ll be happy. I don’t know whether that’s going to be possible though.
Wayne: I’m of mixed mind about this whether and as you know I’ve said before, I’m not someone who is terribly tied to place but it does seem that some people stay at home, until they move into assisted living is really dramatic and then it’s much harder to form relationships. It’s like your friend, Brian, your kind of out of control. If he had 10 years earlier moved into a retirement environment, he would have been a feisty old bugger who would have got his own way and probably have shaped his final years more easily. So I’m always a little torn about whether it’s a good idea to stay in your own home for a long period of time or not. I have been reading about some European habits of people setting up partnerships with much younger people not sexual relationships not even emotional relationships, but partnerships about having someone living in the house with them, using the house which is a major asset as a mechanism to pay for the care that they’re getting and to subsidize that and moving into those. And of course here as you know, I’m living in Asia. Here, there is a plethora of old white men with much younger partners and spousal partners who are, I think at least in their mind to some degree is this element of care when they need it. So we seem to have a funny habit now that we don’t have our children living with us in an intergenerational way, that if you and your spouse are of the same age, you’re both going to get old together. I’m not sure that there’s not a better way to deal with that.
Brian: There’s a very good experiment happening in the UK at the moment, where they’ve got students living with older people. The students get free accommodation which of course helps them because students generally speaking have very little money. And so they get free
accommodation on the home and they’re there if the old person has fallen or gets sick or whatever happens, to notify somebody and I think it’s a brilliant idea, a really good idea.
Wayne: I guess I have to rely on Bron here a bit for some backup evidence but as someone who spent a lot of my life living alone, it’s not just when you have a fall, it’s the benefit of someone who says, “Good morning to you.”. So that when you say good morning to the fridge, the fridge answers back then you need someone living in the house. What do you find Bron? Is this having someone else in your house make life more pleasant?
Bron: Certainly. And certainly as a woman, there’s that old thing about women speak how many times more words in a day than men do?
Wayne: Several thousands.
Bron: Yes, that’s quite true. The reality is they’re not empty words because often women are processing what they’re feeling, what they’re thinking, what they’re planning by talking it out, that’s often have been observed. The men go off to their caves, they figure out what’s going on, they decide what they’re going to do and they come back out and they tell us. Women get together whether it’s with other women or with a partner or a good male friend and they talk it out and it’s halfway through the conversation they go, “Ah, that’s what I meant. That’s what I’m about.” I think it’s that lack of someone to talk to from a female perspective that can be quite difficult when you’re older because that’s part of who we are as the female of the species. We need that, whereas I’m not sure that men need that verbal communication as much. I’m happy to be corrected about that though.
Glenn: Men in particular or maybe anyone, we need disruption. Whatever the patterns are that we’re engaged. When you only are alone with the fridge, these days the fridge can talk back to you Wayne. When we’re alone, we could set in patterns. I know some of my mates, they no longer know how to be civil with human beings. They no longer need to be respectful with human beings. If you got somebody that just disrupts you now and again it stops you from just being so self focused, I think that’s a good thing and part of what relationship does. We all need a little bit of irritable vowel syndrome sometimes. Somebody who disrupts your own pattern of speech.
Bron: I like it, thank you Glenn. That’s good.
Brian: Is that irritable bowel or irritable vowel?
Glenn: Vowel, I was going with that but we could run with both. If you’re going to have a vowel movement every now and again Brian, I believe.
Wayne: There’s a pun in here somewhere but I’m not going to get near to it.
Brian: Yes, don’t go there Wayne.
Glenn: I’m constantly finding, if the folk who have discovered new ways in later in life and I think Martha Graham that the dancer is the example I love. I mean she changed the rules of dance. And then she got retired because the New York Times ran an article about her saying she’d retired. Now she hadn’t retired but they officially retired her. For three years, she was angry and then she decided at the age of 75 to start a dance troupe. So instead of being the dancer, she would be the dance leader, figure person passing things on. I’ve had 30 years as a professional speaker and these days, I do quite a bit of people come to me for some coaching. They want to help in design or delivery of a speech or their speaking skills. So we just find a new way to position ourselves I think. There’s more talent inside a human being and more experience than what we even recognize and there’ll be somebody out there who will, we can shift and impact in a positive way and when we do that, I think it shifts. It’s a positive ageing for ourselves.
Wayne: Are there any positives in health as you get older?
Brian: Nothing springs into mind. I mean I think one of the downsides of getting older is not just what’s happening to you. I mean you got this probably, you got that from, it’s your friends as well, we’re all getting older at the same time obviously. And you think, “Oh! I just heard Peter is this and somebody is like this and someone is something.” And that kind of, after a while, becomes “Oh my God! everybody is falling to pieces.” So I can’t think of a health benefit of getting older. I might be wrong. I hope I’m wrong.
Glenn: My brother’s hip, they generated so much that he needed a brand new one and transformed his life. So he was going downhill. He was in decline and now he’s at renewal but that’s a bit of an artificial implant I guess.
Wayne: I do like the fact that my relationship with my doctors these days is much more predictable I guess. Well you kind of know all the things you’re going to be allergic to and you know all the things that how you’re going to react to this that or the other thing and it’s like the rest of us getting older. It’s more laid-back.
Bron: I like the slowness that comes with my body ageing as well. Look, I’ve done the gym thing. I’ve done the power walking. I’ve even done some running, I’m not a natural runner. But now I’m actually enjoying. I went out for a walk this morning so it doesn’t mean I don’t move, but I don’t have the power walk up the hill. I can actually walk down to the river, stop for a bit and then walk home again and just know that that movement is good for me. That my bones are actually getting renewed each time, my muscles move over a long bone. I’m putting down new bone marrow. That’s a really good thing. Those things are all happening. But I don’t have to do it at the pace or the intensity. I can maybe enjoy my movement a bit more.
Wayne: And Drew has been very quiet for this episode but we might give him a couple of minutes to fill us in on his views.
Drew Dwyer: So growing old has many negative aspects but it also has a lot of positives that surround it. A Baby Boomer aged somewhere over 50, 55, into 65, or 65 and over to 70, looking at changing their life or looking at a more positive life really does have a lot in their base platform or foundation to build a more positive life. If you are a Boomer, has structured their financial wealth in a proper way, you probably don’t need to work at all. However, you probably need to be mindful that the money that you had it has to at least keep you in a satisfied lifestyle for about 30 years. So if you’re 70, you’ll probably want to get to 100 with a healthy lifestyle, paying for your medical bills, making sure you’re incumbent with your house and you’re not holding a mortgage or paying rent.
Funnily enough, the statistics in this area quite high the other way where we have a lot of Baby Boomers who actually don’t own property and are paying rent and of course this is a factor of life that has a downward pressure on them as they get older, they realize they need further income and they can’t see how they’re going to manage to sustain a good job to pay a good wage, to pay their bills and mortgage. These should now be the trigger issues for Baby Boomers and all the people to consider where are they in their financial existence and how they’re looking at building a positive and active lifestyle to being financially stable.
So again, I’ll always revert this back to emotional intelligence – knowing yourself and yourself awareness, knowing who you are and where you sit in your timeline and what you have ahead of you in comparison where you’ve been and what you’ve got behind you. It’s never too late and we should always look at the aspect of recreation or we already had a session in our podcast about renewal and it’s never too late to renew yourself because you’re going to live a lot longer than you think and you want to be able to be living in that new aging life in a more positive way.
Wayne: Thanks for that Drew. Well I guess that kind of brings us to the end of positive ageing. Does anyone have any wrapping up thoughts?
Glenn: I stood what Bron was saying and I think the healthier we can be today, will lead to a healthier “to marrow.”
Bron: Thank you Glenn.
Glenn: And you wanted a pun Wayne. Probably you’re going to get that one.
Wayne: Yes. I have to count that as a pun.
Bron: And I have a bone to pick with you about that. I think one of the good things being alive in this day and age is they’re always discovering new things. I mean whether it’s some part of your body being transplanted which thankfully I’ve never had to have, but new medicines, new things. I remember as a child talking to my grandmother. I know what I’m telling you is true. I asked her how old she was and she said 49. I don’t know she was, I think she was probably older, but she said 49. And she said, “Why are you asking?” I said, “Oh I thought you were about a hundred.” Which indeed meets my grandmother now, as you can imagine. But I think as a youngster, people at my age then, I used to think we’re so old and now you’ll be saying – and all my friends are of similar age – you’d think actually it’s not that old. We expect to live now for another whatever. I don’t know 20 years or something. I don’t know if we will but thanks for some of our world leaders. But we expect to live a healthier life much longer now.
Wayne: You’ve been listening to Booms Day Prepping where us Baby Boomers get to tell you what we think. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please click the “Like” button or share it or do whatever your social media allows you to do to let us know that you love us, even if you didn’t love us that much, we’d still appreciate the attention because that’s the kind of people we are. My guests today have been Bron Williams, Glenn Capelli, Amanda Lambros and Brian Hinselwood, thank you all.
Brian: Thank you Wayne.
Bron: Thanks, that was good.
Amanda: Thanks Wayne.
Glenn: Thank you.
Dr. Drew: Goodbye everyone, it was great being a tuned in or tapped in member of the panel for this session. It’s marvelous what technology can do, so all you Baby Boomers start to learn more about technology. I hope you’re enjoying the podcast. Panel, I love having you on and for the listeners I’d like to see some more interaction in our social media, go to our website boomsdayprepping.com and let’s see if we get some Facebook feeds and some feedback so we can bring you in and talk to you personally as we discuss our panel going forward. That’s it from me as well, bye everyone. Thanks for your attendance. Happy aging!
Wayne: You can always head to boomsdayprepping.com and catch up on any other episodes and you can subscribe on SoundCloud, iTunes, YouTube, lots of places to make sure you never miss an episode. My name is Wayne Bucklar. My co-host is Drew Dwyer. This is Booms Day Prepping, we look forward to seeing you in a week’s time.