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On becoming frail

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On becoming frail

Postby Coffee » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:29 pm

I had to ask myself, can an older person bounce back or recover from frailty? Pretty soon I found livescience.com. There's an interesting short article there about frailty. It seems, slow walking speed is the most powerful indicator of frailty. The article describes what frailty is and touches on special conditions such as high glucose levels. I'm not going to try to explain all the article says. It does suggest increasing one's physical activity, and "engage" as much as one can. Clean house, garden, etc. One last thing the article mentions is, "growing old may be inevitable, but growing frail is not..." Mark.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Coffee » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:26 pm

On another site, I see there is a scale for frailty (about nine degrees of it). Then there are three levels of dementia, if dementia is present, too. This is pretty depressing stuff and I almost regret bringing it up, but it does seem important, especially if one can manage these conditions.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby wallsal55 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:59 am

I try to focus on what I can do (according to the present situation). I know my dad took up bicycle riding every morning when he officially retired from farming. I know he stuck with his riding lawn mower as long as he could. Now, he is still number one fan on the "50 yard line" of all sports. If he is not on the "50 yard line" we hear about it. They won't let him go missing. I know I can never hold a torch to every thing he is or does, but I guess he's my role model.
I know there's yoga, goat yoga chair dancing, Classical Stretch, Sit & Be Fit. I know I have to take pause to figure out why I am slowimg down some days. Then to know when I can work through it or time to see a dr.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Lightening Bug » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:51 am

What I found out in late '95 when recovering from a major operation, is there are those who take advantage of those who are, temporarily, frail. I would need to work with those in SS to handle medical bills and to receive disability coverage. At that time it seemed road blocks were intentionally put in place until one would say I had a lawyer handling this. All of a sudden problems dissolved.

After phone calls I would need time to gather myself together and keep moving forward. Too often it appeared that some tried to take advantage of diminished capability. Well, even while I wasn't up to par, I still was able to present my case and over came the road blocks. But I've often thought that it is unreasonable that the system is set up to make life more difficult when you need assistance.

I did the same thing Wallsal described about her Father. Worked hard to come back up to speed and to take care of the every day needs. For some reason I knew I'd be okay once again but it wasn't easy, some days, getting there.

Just some thoughts.

Take care. :D
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Bkeepr » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:06 am

My mother is 91, still lives by herself.

I do think of her as frail, but really mostly because I compare her to what she used to be--very active, never-say-no, just git 'er done well into her 80s. She does more at her age than many folks I know 25 years younger.

She does shuffle along, walks slowly, and expresses herself slowly, so many folks would just see a frail old lady.

But I'd point out that she still takes daily care of herself; manages her own meds and many doc's appointments; drives; cooks, cleans, does laundry, vacuums at least weekly, grocery shops, hosts holiday gatherings, takes her own trash out. She only recently, and reluctantly, accepts help with shoveling snow our of her driveway.

Is she ever going to "get better"? Nope. Will she continue declining? Absolutely. But she ain't giving up without a fight, so I think my frail old lady of a mom does prove the adage that keeping moving keeps you younger.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby smugpug » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:50 am

Having attended Mennonite church is most of my adult life I have seen quite a few older people who are very Physically Active. Farming, gardening, other chores, and while they declined they did not seem to be frail. I have seen people who are very inactive, while retaining their mind, become extremely frail
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Bamabear » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:54 am

Mama is 84, I think she has just given up... She will not go anywhere anymore but to the doctor, she has gotten to where she will not even walk and get her mail anymore... She is her own pity party, the docs say she is fine, nothing wrong.. but she is repeating herself more, Now she tells me I get out too much, like going with my granddaughter,shopping , out to eat and taking trips to Gatlinburg and other places... My aunt says she is addicted to a pain pill.... I forgot the name, I never thought I would see the day she would stop going to church, My brother says she is doom and gloom all the time, telling so and so was sick, or so and so died... people I don't know ,and I don't really think she does either, we did not have a family reunion this year,cause she said she would not go.. so the only family reunion we will have will be funerals... I don't know...
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Bkeepr » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:35 pm

Bamabear wrote:Mama is 84, I think she has just given up... She will not go anywhere anymore but to the doctor, she has gotten to where she will not even walk and get her mail anymore... She is her own pity party, the docs say she is fine, nothing wrong.. but she is repeating herself more, Now she tells me I get out too much, like going with my granddaughter,shopping , out to eat and taking trips to Gatlinburg and other places... My aunt says she is addicted to a pain pill.... I forgot the name, I never thought I would see the day she would stop going to church, My brother says she is doom and gloom all the time, telling so and so was sick, or so and so died... people I don't know ,and I don't really think she does either, we did not have a family reunion this year,cause she said she would not go.. so the only family reunion we will have will be funerals... I don't know...


BB: it sounds very much like she is suffering from clinical depression, as much as anything. That is very common among older folks, and it is treatable. The hard part is often convincing the individual that's the problem, but once they understand it is possible, then a doc *can* help. Perhaps y'all can help her see it for what it is, and get help from a doctor.

Tom A
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Coffee » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:53 pm

I can relate to everything said above, except I have never been around Mennonites. There are some around here, as well as Amish, and I'd say among active people around here, they are some of the best examples.
I know about "giving up," because I've seen that (sadly). And I remember feeling so frustrated by an insurance lady on the phone insisting I had to have my Dad sign a certain paper. He was in a nursing home bed at the time. I kept telling her he couldn't sign because he had had a stroke. He could hardly hold a pen in either hand. Well, he must sign that, at the bottom. He can't sign. He had a stroke. Finally she said, can he make an X there, that would be enough. I don't remember if we even got the X accomplished. It didn't matter much because Dad passed away about a month later.
I really enjoy walking with Dakota every day. When there are areas of snow in the field, as well as the brown hay, she blends in SO well with the background. I wonder if natural selection had anything to do with that. Sometimes Dakota likes to trot, twenty feet or so ahead of me. Watching her trot, usually into the wind, where she smells things, and me trotting for a couple hundred feet with her, is one of my better joys in life. Don't think anyone else is down there watching us; it might look sort of funny. I feel I can be myself down there; there is something to be said for owning land.
Thank you Sal, Lightening Bug, Bkeepr, smugpug, and Bamabear.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby rkunsaw » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:49 pm

The docs have me taking physical therapy twice a week. My legs are so weal I have trouble getting up from a chair. I try to keep moving as much as possible and hope to start gardening as soon as it gets a bit warmer. Balance is another thing too, staying upright is not always easy.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Red Dave » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:07 pm

I had knee problems that ended up with some arthroscopic surgery on my knee last July.
Between favoring one leg because of knee pain for several months and then having to rehab the knee after surgery, I lost quite a bit of strength in that leg. I had to be very careful where and how I placed that foot or it would cause a lot of pain. Uneven surfaces really caused pain in that knee. That caused me to walk very slowly and deliberately for awhile. It's surprising how vulnerable and off balance you feel when you can't put full weight on one leg.

It happened fast too. Seems like it happened overnight.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Coffee » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:09 pm

Yes, there are lots of muscles to exercise, if you want to do it. I use small weights to do arm exercises: push up type of movement, curls (for biceps) and turn the arm over and lift the weights in that position, arms straight out, but upside down. Then some sit ups and leg lifts. Then stand up and do some partial squats. Can hold weights, balance on one foot for 20 seconds and do arm curls while you're doing that. Then balance on the other foot. If there's snow to shovel in the driveway, like today, forget about the indoor exercises. Still need to walk or bicycle, but not necessarily after shoving white stuff. Hope your PT helps you, rkunsaw.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Coffee » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:18 pm

Red Dave, I wish you well. Knee trouble sounds painful. Guess I'm fortunate-never had joint pain I couldn't live with.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby chamat » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:30 pm

Been frail a lot of times and came back just fine. My first coma was weird , .when I woke up from it. A car crash into a rock fence, and a brick house took a chunk of my skull out. The nice people poured ice water on my exposed brain to stop the bleeding. I guess it worked...I am still here. There were other problems...I learned to walk and talk again. Coming out of a coma, you're just a blob of nothing or someone...It's all up to you. Easy to give up everything and just fade away. The hard part is to say no...I ain't done here...I want some more. ...I ain't done yet. I walked before, and I can walk again.
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Re: On becoming frail

Postby Coffee » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:01 pm

Chamat, I don't know what to say back to you. I was looking at a video where this Doctor was describing his own near-death experience. He was a Neurologist, if I remember right. I think he had meningitis. He was in a coma for a while; said he experienced rising up to a peaceful valley, where he felt tremendous love, and there were other souls around. Then a voice told him, "you're going back." After a while he came out of the coma and is perfectly normal today, I guess. No bunkum. Coffee. I like your writing, chamat.
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