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I Want To Be Able To Wipe My Own Butt When I'm 105

Maintaining independence is a choice

Glen loved golf, but he had to quit playing when he turned 80. The so called, “retirement sport,” a game he’d played his whole life was gone because he lacked the balance, strength, or stamina to play.

Flash forward ten years and Glen is living in an assisted living apartment. When the urge to go to the bathroom happens, often he’s not able to get up from his chair and make it to the bathroom in time. When he does, sometimes he can’t get up from the toilet, even using the safety rails.

Broken and embarrassed, he refuses to let family come visit. He spends the next 5 years of his life alone except for the visits by staff to clean him up and make sure he’s eating and taking his medications.

Glen was my grandfather, my father’s father.

Mentally, he was sharp as a tack well into his late 80s (the last time I saw him). He was still chasing women. Well, not chasing, but he had the gift of gab.

We sat in a booth at Hardys eating breakfast together. All he could talk about was a woman he’d met in the grocery store checkout line the day before. He had not asked her for her phone number, but he did have her first name. He desperately wanted to find this woman.

He had the mind and zest of a man in his 20s, but his body was quickly failing him. Soon, he’d be trapped in that body as it withered away.

How do you see the last 10 - 15 years of your life? Is it a slow decline into dependence and misery? Or a quick pop at 47 like my stepfather? Or do you see yourself living a long, active life? One where you are independent and involved in the lives of your kids, grandkids, and maybe great-grandkids?

Why This Happens

As we age...

What It Takes

To fight...

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