Thursday, February 5, 2015

GRAY, GREY, GRAYING, AGING

While doing a little research for my Village volunteer work, I learned about a new fear.  Gerontophobia.  A fear of getting old or a fear of older people.

WHAT?  Fear of old people?  There's a whole definition of this?  



I can sort of understand a personal fear of growing old. Especially if you have health issues and are slowly losing your independence.  Our hospice nurse told us about a class seminar all the hospice workers attended.  Each person got a sheet of paper with a circle in the middle and thirteen spokes going out from the circle.  They put their name in the circle then wrote down 13 basic daily or weekly things they typically do.  Eat.  Drink. Take a shower.  Drive.  Walk.  Hear.  Use the restroom.  Swim.  Visit. Speak.  And so on.

Lots of talking about what was considered a BASIC!!  The next step was to cross out three of those activities.  Could you still have a life that you would want to live?  Oh sure, probably. The rest of the basics would keep me going, because of course I picked the things that were easiest to give up (she says now ... while she doesn't have to give up any one of them)  Next they had to cross off three more.  And so on.  These helpers got to learn first hand how their patients might be feeling about their loss of independence.  

This exercise makes me think more about depression than fear about getting old.  But heck I get fearful some days if I let myself wander down that "what if" path of things that could go wrong.

7 comments:

  1. Fear of aging is a catch all phrase for all the other fears...fear of losing our Independence, fear of losing our health, our incomes, our minds, our friends, our homes and so on and so on. Who in their right mind would NOT fear some or all of these things, at least some of the time?

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    1. Whoa! This blog looks TERRIBLE! I'll have to figure that out.

      I'm afraid about about everything, some of the time .... but not yet panicked. Golden years? Huh???

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  2. Gerontophobia! I've never heard the word, but my spellcheck doesn't like it. I don't think I do either.

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  3. Oh great! As if I don't have enough phobias to worry about--now this one, LOL. Well--I've experienced a couple of those things, income, friends, not being able to get around as well as I used too--BUT, as my BFF used to say, "As long as I'm on the topside of the grass--life is great!"

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    1. As my BFF would say ... as long as all the parts start moving within the hour, I'm good!

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  4. Why does God save the toughest assignments of life until the end? Ever known any debilitated old person to warble lyrically about the beauties of graceful aging?

    I heard about an experiment where young people wore outfits that were as constricting as the stiff, painful joints, etc. are to an elder.

    Yikes! What person in their right mind wouldn't be gerontophobic? (spell check doesn't like this word, either )

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