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Lonely Seniors: Another Lesson Learned

by Patty Smith
(WA)

I was thinking about a saying my mother used to refer to:

"you get old too soon,
and smart too late".


A few years back I was busy enjoying my retirement and had a busy, happy life. Talking to some other seniors, I couldn't understand, they seemed down, sad, bored, especially the ones who were now living alone. I said there is so much available out there to do. Yes, they said, but not fun doing it alone.

I have shared a house with another retired lady for 25 years, I never really realized just how much we depended and relied on each other. To do things with, for, to have someone at home to talk to and share things and ideas.

In April, my friend became very ill and had to be hospitalized. She was riddled with arthritis and infections...her knee was crooked and she was unable to get herself dressed or out of bed. he finally got her knee replaced as an emergency because she couldn't walk. But her post op progress was poor, she refused to walk, wasn't cooperating, complained about everything and everyone. She was very paranoid along with seeing early signs of dementia setting in.

She felt I had abandoned her, dumped her in the hospital so I could have the house to myself. I took so much verbal abuse from her and finally I said I just can't come every 2 days anymore. It was getting me down and I was spending my nights crying myself to sleep. Now I only go every 3 - 4 days.

I bring her coffee and goodies from home, do her wash and try to make her stay as nice as it is possible to do.

She's been in the hospital 2 months now, I am alone in the house. There is nothing to go out and look for, little to shop for, no one to share things with. My mind wanders back to what those lonely seniors said: "Just wait till you are alone, and then you'll understand what we say".

As we age, so do our families and friends and we start losing them and it ads to the loneliness. So love and appreciate what you have now...you don't know for long you'll have it.

I am told that there is a possibility she may never come home. If she can't walk and look after herself, she'll have to go into a home. It is funny how we'll gripe about someone when they are here, yet miss them like crazy when they're not. Sometimes I think I hear her in her bedroom, of course, it is silent, like the rest of the house.

I understand she doesn't even realize she's said those hurtful things to me. But that doesn't ease the sting I feel when she blames me for all her problems, for dumping and abandoning her in hospital. She is being sent to a special rehab unit to try and get her more mentally and physically mobilized. It is the last chance she has, if in 6 weeks she's not functioning well enough to live at home, then she'll definitely be transferred to a nursing home, then I'll really be alone.

Comments for Lonely Seniors: Another Lesson Learned

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So True!
by: Angel

Patty,
Your story is so true...those closest to us are often taken for granted..until they are no longer around. Your friend is receiving care you could not provide. During her absence you have time to consider what you can do to improve your situation. Think of what you enjoy doing...you may find that once you start enjoying an activity you will meet others. My thoughts are with you.

December Already?
by: Ricardo

As I sit here contemplating some thoughts before I forget them, as I look at the calendar and flip to the next month, I realize that it is December...the last month of the year 2012....it has come, and has just about left. Where oh where does time go....can someone out there help me with that one?

Oh well, as I look outside, the weather for this part of the U.S. Is balmy...about 55 degrees, no snow on the ground, and they are predicting the mid 60's the next few days...I'll take it, one day less of messing with moving snow around with some sore muscles!

It is hard to believe Christmas is around the corner. As I age it really has become another day, other than the joy and delight that I see it brings to my grandchildren. I suppose we were all at that "childhood state of mind", once upon a time, when we were filled with the wonderment that the season brings. Many of us loose that feeling as we age, or forget.....my grandchildren help me to remember.....and that's a good thing.

Happy holidays to all!

Wendy: Merry Christmas to you too, Rikk!!
I cannot, however, answer your question on where time goes... I have no clue, especially after retirement! Grin!

Reactions In Life
by: Ricardo

....As I read thru some of the more recent posts on this web site, one thing in particular seems to "jump out" at me, and that is individuals continue to share their "plights" in this journey that we call life. They seem to be reaching out and looking for something or someone to "make it all better."

Well, sometimes in life we have to be willing to take up the slack so to speak and run with it.

People, many well intentioned can give advice until they are "blue in the face", it may work for some and not for others....we know our own selves best, and what will work and what will not work....in other words, if we do not know our limitations {that we set ourselves}, by this stage in our lives, we never will!

I reflect on the the adage.....IT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS IN OUR LIVES THAT IS IMPORTANT, BUT RATHER HOW WE RESPOND TO WHAT HAPPENS IN OUR LIVES, that makes all the difference in the world!

We alone control "that response" and have to live with the repercussions that it brings...either positive or negative.

It is easy to say to someone, "look on the brighter side of life", but if that individual is suffering or in anguish, there may not be a "brighter side."

We must all search out, if we choose to, the "brighter side", and try to find that "glimmer of light" in sometimes a lonely world. In many cases it has to come from within....we must try....it makes us a stronger person....we MUST keep searching to find that "glimmer".....when we give up the search, and depend on others, the battle is over, and sometimes life itself!


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