Advanced Decrepitude

by Marguerite Bladen



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 2/28/2015

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 50
ISBN : 9781503538986
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 50
ISBN : 9781503538979

About the Book

The community I chose is very environmentally lovely—I will use the term (delicately) as "high-end," with beauty salon, a resident-run boutique, a gym, library, bistro, putting green and saltwater pool with heated spa. Advertising brochures depict the place and others like it as highly desirable and designed to promote sales among the largely well-heeled among whom, I hasten to add, I do not include myself. They show snapshots of happy, smiling, relaxed seniors enjoying lunch or dinner seated at tables with snowy cloths and within easy reach of the cruise-style self-service central salad bar. Young waiters hover discreetly nearby, anticipating every diner's need. However, despite these common depictions of the elderly as individuals who are serenely content, I can personally attest that this is absolutely not the case. In brief, our lives at eighty and beyond, in terms of quantity remaining, can be summed up of course as "not much." But what about quality? I have to tell you the answer is the same: "not much." Why is this so? It is because if we live beyond eighty (and even earlier), we typically suffer from such an assortment of maladies that the capacity to enjoy life is diminished. We require the use of a wheelchair or walker or at least a cane to move around, and chronic pain is etched on many faces or is evident in our physical demeanor. But what I have found most disconcerting is an absence of irreverent humor and appreciation of the absurd. Dinnertime conversation tends to be repetitious, without much reference to the outside world. It's almost as if we elderly have already left it and no longer find it of interest despite the breakthroughs and amazing discoveries in science, technology, and the cosmos. I hope I can avoid this loss of curiosity in what is going on "out there” and, at the same time, retain my enjoyment in silly stuff. The stories that follow illustrate my attempts over the years to do this, but you must be the judge of my successes and failures.

About the Author

I have just finished reading "I See You Made an Effort" by Annabelle Gurwitch, which is about facing the trauma of turning fifty. This is a pretty funny book despite its rueful tinge of self-mockery, but it has just hit me! I myself have turned eighty, and not only that, I am halfway to turning ninety—and this is not funny at all! First I should let you know that eighteen months ago, at the age of eighty-three, I made the decision to enter into a facility of the kind known as a "Continuing Care Retirement Community" because I was finding increasing difficulty in managing housekeeping, grocery shopping, preparing meals, etc., and most dire, my mobility was diminishing at an alarming rate. It was not that I could not perform those activities but rather that they were requiring an increasing effort, obviously not likely to become easier.