Getting Older and I Don't Wanna
Over the Hill & Picking Up Speed
My family is getting older and I don’t like it. My mother is closing in on the big 8 zero and dad passed away not long ago at about 80. My sister, the oldest of my siblings, left this earth shortly after dad at 60 years of age. That leaves me and four brothers still surviving. However, I’m not sure how long the rest will be around.
Tom, now the oldest at 59 seems to be ageing before my eyes. His lifestyle in earlier days is responsible for some of it. He used hard drugs for years. Although he appears to be about 10 years my senior he is actually only one year older. Other health factors such as epilepsy that was a later result of a car crash also contribute to his physical condition. His hair is totally grey now (2010). In 1996 his hair was still all dark brown.
My younger brother Mike is one year younger than I. He was born legally blind, but is rapidly losing the slight vision he did have. Although I am older, some of my hair color remains. Mike’s hair is all grey as is the rest of my family’s’, and he looks older than me.
Old? Old? Who says I'm Old?
The two youngest brothers are about 7 or eight years my junior, but they look older. I’m the middle child at 58 years old but I still maintain a modicum of my youthful appearance. I’m not getting older, just better.
I realize it happens to all of us and the aging process isn’t fully understood by medical professionals. But ongoing research is being done to improve the quality of our later years. But what causes it and can we do anything to slow it down? It’s caused by a build up of damage in our body - we can control some aspects of the ageing process. The lifestyle choices we make are important.
Of course, how aging affects us is part luck and where the damage strikes. Each individual is affected differently. Some of this is due to genetics, others by lifestyle choices such as abusing drugs, alcohol and smoking as well as diet. Some researchers say certain foods can slow the ageing process. An example would be fish which contain Omega-3.
We can eat foods that damage our body’s saturated fats, or we can eat foods high in natural anti-oxidants that will aid in the body's defense. Some may keep their mental faculties intact until over 100. Others might suffer from dementia
Some of us will still get about and others with conditions like arthritis will find it more difficult.
In addition we can exercise to keep our muscles, lungs and blood circulatory system in good shape. We can exercise our minds to our network connection between brain cells. The average life span is about 75-80 for women and 70-75 for men. However, with current developments in healthcare and public health, more people might expect a longer life span.
We are living longer than ever before. But we urgently need to find ways to slow or prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and arthritis that make life miserable. The longest we can hope to live today is about 120 years.
Only one woman, Madame Jeanne Calment, from Arles in France, lived to be 122, had reliable proof she had lived longer. She was born on February 21, 1875 and died August 4, 1997. She took up fencing at 85, still rode a bicycle at 100, and released a rap CD at 121. She claimed she was "never bored. In the end she was blind, nearly deaf and in a wheelchair, but still mentally alert.
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