Omdahl: Aging is hazardous to one’s health
Having just had another of numerous birthdays, I have become more aware that this constant aging is becoming more and more hazardous to my health.
The hazardous warning label should be put on every curb, stairway, slippery spot, high spot, ladder, kitchen and bedroom.
We often think that the bed is the safest place but people over the age of 70 are four more times likely to fall out of bed than those in nursing homes. There isn’t any research to back that up but it sounds pretty convincing.
Those with the statistics say that a large proportion of accidents happen in the kitchen. That’s because people are always eating and becoming obese which is even more dangerous. If you don’t fall in the kitchen, you will explode in the bedroom.
As you age, gravity becomes a mortal enemy. It wants you to fall down and break something. Many older people don’t even want to get up. With so little time left, they can’t amortize the effort. It’s unassisted suicide.
When you get old and something happens, you will not feel better in the morning. At a certain age, that expectation is unfounded. Hurt goes on and on. Doctors just shake their heads.
They tell you that it is old age but that’s not true. Your whole body is the same age so why do some parts hurt more than others? Hips hurt more than heads. That tells you what has been used most.
Until they realize they are old, older people think they can still do everything they did when 25. They point out that Winston Churchill was elected for his second term at age 77, but then they’re not Winston Churchill. Neither was he for much of that term.
George Burns urged people to make it past 100 because very few people die over 100. George kept his advice by 37days and was so ecstatic that he let go of his cigar and fell down. He wouldn’t get up.
Fortunately, life expectancy tables have been calculated so you can know when to liquidate. For example, life expectancy at 80 is 88; at 95, it’s 98. At age 80, you have eight years; at 95, you have three years.
You’re losing ground every year. The lines come together at age 102 and that’s where to mark the spot. Of course, if you get hit by a truck, the life expectancy table is out the window.
You might think that modern medicine can get you transplants any time you need them. But that means somebody has to die before you can get parts.
There’s no use praying about that. I don’t think God is going to kill someone just to get you a part no matter how much you donated to the church building fund.
You notice that I have avoided the topic of memory loss. Memory loss starts happening at age 27 but accelerates rapidly in the 70s. That is too bad because by that time you have accumulated a lot to remember, some of it worthwhile. At 75, the only things you can remember happened 60 years ago and what happened yesterday is a blank.
They have pills for memory loss. But 87 percent of the people with memory loss forget to take them. I made that statistic up but it sounds reasonable. Hopefully, it will frighten family members into taking charge of the memory pills and maybe sneak one or two for themselves as preventative medicine.
My advice is to live recklessly and contribute to the statistics as best you can.
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