Doris Land is a National Committee Member with Housing & Care 21. We asked her to write about what life is like as you get older, and this is her response in her own words:
“Well all through your life you keep getting sent that curve ball that knocks you out for a while. Unfortunately as your life progresses they seem to come more frequently, the secret is how we cope with them. We could sit and moan: “Oh poor me, things are going wrong for me again,” or we can take the bull by the horns and say “up yours I may be old, I may be unable to do all the things I used to, BUT I am still a person in my own right and I have rights too.”
It is very difficult to find out that you might need someone to help you. Housing & Care 21 have a team that may be able to help – ask your Manager to get in touch with them. Talk to a family member, a friend or even a fellow resident – a problem shared is easier to solve than one kept to yourself.
It’s quite frightening as you look in that mirror and wonder ‘who that old person is staring back at you’ and then you realise, ‘it’s you, what happened to that carefree person of yesterday’. I remember asking my grandmother was she wrinkled on the inside as she was on the outside, I've always remembered her answer, “no” she said, “I'm only in my twenties on the inside.” I've always taken this to mean keep young in mind and heart wake up each morning and say thank you for another day with family and friends. So yes you’re in pain, so yes you can't do what you used to, you have experience, you have years of knowledge in how to live.
Life can be hard at any age – think back to some of the hardships you have overcome, and look forward to your senior years knowing they will be difficult at times. Look at what you have achieved in life – you have survived to this age, there is still life to have and enjoy, even if it's just having a nice cup of tea and a cake, a cuddle from a loved one or the odd wee dram now and then.
As the years progress we are living longer and longer – just look at all that combined knowledge we possess – we should rule the world!”