As Old As You Feel
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones that I do, and the eyesight to know the
Beloit College "Mindset List" for the Class of 2006
Most students entering college this fall were born in 1984.
And in 1984, perhaps it was "Too Soon to Tell"...
The list from 2 years ago:
Do you feel old yet?
Source: beloit.edu © 2002 Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin
To tell you the truth, lists like these bored me when I was younger. Now that I'm older, I guess they still do. I suppose they have some value in helping to put rate of change into perspective. The trick is not to expect anything to be around forever because it won't.
Baby Boomers' Driving Days Dwindle
by Kathleen Fackelmann
By the year 2030, about 7 million baby boomers age 85 and older will have stopped driving and will be forced to rely on other forms of transportation, says a new study. Such dependency will raise a host of issues for freedom-loving baby boomers, their families and society as a whole, says study author Dan Foley of the National Institute on Ageing, part of the National Institutes of Health. His study appears in the August 2002 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
Foley and his colleagues studied nearly 5,000 men and women, age 70 and older, who had a car and were still driving in 1993. For the next two years, they noted each time someone in the study stopped driving. The findings are based on drivers in the 1990s, so it is possible the number of seniors who stay behind the wheel may change in the coming years. But based on this study's predictions, men and women ages 70 to 74 can expect to drive a car for another 11 years, Foley says.
The findings indicate that women, after turning in the car keys, will spend about a decade finding other ways to get to the grocery store or go on other errands. For men, the findings mean about six years of scrounging for other forms of transportation.
This study suggests that more than 600,000 Americans stop driving each year, a number that will rise sharply in the coming decades as baby boomers begin to retire. Seniors stop driving for a variety of reasons, including poor eyesight, memory problems, or other health issues that make it difficult for them to get behind the wheel says Jeff Runge, the administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Many of those same problems make it difficult for seniors to rely on buses or other forms of public transportation, Foley says. A very frail older person may have trouble walking a few blocks to catch a bus, he says. Older people with lots of health problems may need help getting in and out of a van or car. Some communities have services that provide such curb-to-curb service. But in many places, seniors must turn to family or friends to get them to and from their daily activities, Foley says.
For an older person, the loss of the car can be a huge inconvenience. But it also can lead to more serious problems. For example, seniors who can't drive may have trouble getting timely health care, and they may get sick as a result. And Foley notes that American seniors are travelling more and driving more miles than ever before. He says some studies suggest that older people who quit driving run a risk of depression.
There's no set age at which older adults should give up driving a car, Runge says. He says that the warning signs of a driving problem can include difficulty seeing or cognitive problems such as getting lost in a familiar place. But adult children often have trouble talking to Mom or Dad about the possibility of taking the car keys away. He suggests that families take a hard look at the situation before a crisis occurs. Often a trusted doctor can assess the situation and help break the news to an older person who is no longer fit to drive, he says.
Source: USA Today Tuesday 30 July 2002
Unfortunately, the truth of this article has been brought home recently by an incident at an outdoor farmers market in Santa Monica, California on 16 July 2003. An 86-year-old man killed 10 pedestrians and injured 69 when he apparently hit the accelerator rather than the brake as he had intended. Fatal crashes involving drivers over 70 are increasing as older drivers form a greater percentage of the population. Older drivers are twice as likely as younger drivers to die at intersections where judgments of speed and distance have to be made quickly. Since the old now make up about 15% of the population, it is apparent that some steps need to be taken.
For People Born before 1945
We were born before television, before penicillin, before polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox copiers, plastics, Frisbees, contact lenses, and the pill. We were before radar, credit cards, split atoms, lasers, and ballpoint pens; before pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothes, and before men walked on the moon.
We got married first, and THEN lived together.
In our time, closets were for clothes, not for "coming out of". "Bunnies" were small rabbits, and "Rabbits" were not Volkswagens. "Designer Jeans" were scheming girls, and "having a meaningful relationship" meant getting along with our cousins.
We thought "fast food" was what you ate during Lent, and "outer space" was the balcony of the Riviera Theatre.
We were before house-husbands, gay rights, computer dating, dual careers, and commuter marriages; before day-care centres, group therapy, and nursing homes. We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, CD players, CD-ROMs, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt, and guys wearing earrings. For us, "time sharing" meant togetherness, not computers or condominiums. A "chip" meant a piece of wood; "hardware" meant hardware, and "software" wasn't even a WORD yet!
When we were young, "Made in Japan" meant junk, and the term "making out" referred to how you did on your exam. We never heard of pizzas, McDonalds, or instant coffee.
We hit the scene when there were "5 &10¢ stores" where you could actually BUY something for 5¢ or 10¢. Ice cream cones were a nickel for one scoop, or a dime for two big scoops. For ONE nickel you could ride a street car or a bus, make a phone call, buy a large Pepsi, or buy enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards. We could buy a brand-new Chevy Coupe for $600... but who could afford one? (A pity too, because gas was only 11¢ a gallon!)
In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, "grass" was something we mowed, "coke" was a cold drink, and "pot" was something you cooked in. "Rock music" was a lullaby that Grandma sang, and "aids" were helpers in the Principal's office.
We certainly did not come before the difference between the sexes was discovered, but we we came before sex change - we made do with what we were given. And we were the last generation that thought you actually needed a husband to have a baby!
So, next time you find yourself pondering how today's "generation gap" could possibly have come to exist, re-read the above, and begin to understand. But we've survived, still a valuable resource to be treasured. (And don't let anyone tell you otherwise!)
At least this is somewhat more amusing than a bare list. And it's the last of this subject - I promise!
He'll Know Soon Enough
His BMW hidden discreetly under the moonlit trees, Dr Morrison embraced Sally in the unlit entrance to the Nurses' Home, but as she stared into those wonderful bedside manner eyes, she wondered if she should mention that recently her genital area had become very sensitive, easily irritated and intensely itchy, and that it was also sore and dry and she had begun to find bladder control difficult.
Source: Terry Chapman, Waiatarua, Auckland as quoted in Dr Brian Edwards' Top of the Morning Worst First Sentence of a Novel Competition 1999
For Clues to Ageing and a new definition of what it means to believe alive, see Cell's Recycling May Yield Clues to Ageing. For lots more on ageing, including feats that can be accomplished and a non-spiritual look at what happens after death - funerals, jerky, popsicles, fertiliser, ashes, orbit or dust - see Older and Under, the section on ageing and beyond.
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