Groundhog’s Day Shadow Proves Disastrous

The groundhog (Marmota monax) is a rodent of t...
The groundhog (Marmota monax) is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday was Groundhog’s Day and on the surface the news was good.  The groundhog officially proclaimed spring would arrive early. Meanwhile, I experienced a dangerous shadow of my own.

I suffered a bad  fall due to the one half inch of snowfall we had early Saturday morning.  I was reminded of the post we had last month about being able to be emphatic with the elderly.

Now I know how it feels to suddenly have your feet fly up from underneath you casting you down several slippery steps with one step thrusting  you directly in the back as you hit the cold ground hard.

I was not the only one in trouble.  There were over 200 car wrecks in a little over an hour.  People who often move in from other places make a lot of fun of us here in middle Tennessee when it comes to snow.  We don’t know how to get around in it  very well whether we’re in cars or on foot.  That’s just a plain fact.

I can still feel the sharp shape of the  step I had a collision  with.  In fact, I was sprawled out on the ground in the snow for about ten minutes, unable to get up.

Meanwhile, cars were passing me right and left because I had fallen at one of our rentals which is on a very busy street.  No one stopped to help me.  Nashville has been described as the buckle of the Bible Belt but I was alone and on my own until I could get the attention of the the tenant living on the other side of the duplex.

I’m still recovering and it’s painful.  I didn’t break anything but the muscles were damaged. It was a preview of what is to come with old age.  You have to think about every move you make so you won’t disturb the sore  muscles.  If you don’t, you will suffer searing pains running up and down left of your spine, even down to your feet. Getting out of bed and off the couch can be excruciating and  heaven help me if I sneeze.

But it’s the boredom of not being able to work that really is the final wicked blow.

We take so much for granted if we can walk and work.

We often complain about our workdays and everything we have to get done.  But what if we can’t move?  I couldn’t even get back into my car yesterday, much less drive.  I was leaning against the car for almost an hour.  I finally found out when the heating and cooling man says he’s just getting his truck out doesn’t necessarily mean he’s on the way.

I had to call my nephew to come get me and to take care of   the heating and cooling man.  (The tenants  without heat  had left and had placed me on voice mail.  I guarantee that won’t be happening again.  Their little phone kingdoms better include a clear channel for me from now on.)

But the worst part is not being able to do the daily tasks of caring for  my aging parents.  I couldn’t cook for them.  I couldn’t do all the things around the house I had planned for a “free Saturday.”

Then there’s my regular job.  We’re already behind because of the weather last week.  One tenant didn’t move out on time.  Another unit is way behind schedule for re-renting.  I feel helpless and depressed because I can’t make things that need to happen -happen. Instead, I’m on the couch watching shows like  “Too Cute  Kittens” and “Hillbilly Hand Fishing”.

Why am I speaking so freely?

This is daily life for caregivers.  We have to stay healthy because we have the aged depending upon us.  If we get down, it can cause disastrous effects for many others.

But there’s a bright side to all of this.  Other family members may  recognize what you do only when you can’t do it. A light suddenly reveals  what you do and if you’re a typical caregiver trying to work outside with a regular job, it is a massive amount of work.  It doesn’t hurt for others to see that just as it sometimes doesn’t harm us to catch a brief glimpse of what our elderly have to endure.




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Do You Have Gerascophobia?

Gerascophobia is a phobia many baby boomers have.  What is it?  It is the fear of growing old.

Yes, I’ve got it too.  Sometimes it hits me during those few quiet moments when I’m not working, or caregiving.  Other times it sears me with an anxiety that almost makes me hyperventilate.

Why?  Because I see what old age is doing to my parents.  I see my mother getting more frail everyday and I grieve over my father’s inability to walk.

As I’ve pointed out before, I was visiting an elderly lady in a nursing home a few years ago and she said, ” I didn’t think old age would come so fast.”

One of my friends and I were discussing the patients stricken  with recent meningitis  outbreak at the pain clinic  and we talked about a specific one who died.  She was my age and she  left behind a husband who was suffering from Lou Gehrig disease.  She had been taking care of him for twenty years.

My friend’s comment was if you can bend over and pick something up from the floor without being in pain, thank God for that.  We shouldn’t complain.

I think there is a very good article from the Huffington Post  about aging by Donna Mincieli you might want to look at.  She discusses her pointers about how to deal with gerascophobia.  She’s got some good advice.  Stay as healthy as you can.

There is a lot of truth to that.  Is it really necessary to suffer for years from bad health?  Not necessarily- if you take good care of yourself when you are younger.

Okay, for some of us, we’re already into middle age and  have acquired some health problems.  There is still hope.

We can begin to think healthy and to set healthy goals.  If we have diabetes we can work to  get it under control.  If we are forcing our hearts to pump for far  too many pounds we can start shedding some of those pounds.  We can exercise and we can improve our diets.  These are things we can actually do.

Ms. Mincieli also  talks about creatine.  I’m not recommending that, but I have heard of doctors who are also recommending it.  She gives nine reasons why creatine, which is a protein,  works.

Creatine is good for muscles and energizes them.  That is why many athletes and fitness experts use it as a supplement.

I’m not advocating this because I think you should always check with your doctor first.  However, she does make a strong case.


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Senior Citizen Flash Mobs Are ‘Dynamite’

The latest craze among senior citizens is the senior citizen flash mob.  We have chosen four of the best and most entertaining ones featuring seniors who are as young as 95.

These vids prove our points that seniors can get out in their communities and show the younger people how to have a good time.  Keep your eyes peeled next time you’re at the mall, because you never know when seniors will suddenly (or kind of suddenly) burst into song and dance.

The Meadowlake Estates Flash Mob at Target

This vid has been watched over 1,680,000 times on Youtube.

It takes a little stage planning, but it goes off without a hitch.  I especially like the senior who continues shopping.  Flash mobbing is great fun and it’s entertaining to find seniors getting into a good song.


Union Square, NYC  Creative Dance Art Group

This one contains some priceless quotes.

“We are not dead yet.”

“I can still argue.”

“I can say anything and get away with it…”

These seniors certainly score high on the cuteness scale.

Asbury Heights Residents are ‘Dynamite’

Just in case that Halloween party isn’t getting off the ground, you can always bring in the top performers to rev things up a little. This vid features Helen Paracca, 95 and Ralph Hauser, 82.



Senior Flash Mob Indian Style

These seniors seem to be younger than most.  I love the reactions of the younger people in the crowd. At first they’re apprehensive as if they’re thinking, ‘I’m not sure about this’.  But then the camera phones pop out and everyone, or almost everyone, gets into the song.


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