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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A chat with my 105 year old neighbor who gives advice for my 90 year old Mom

Saturday I went over to my neighbor's house to pick up some books she was donating to the library.  My friend was out of town but her 105 year old Mom was home and happily said she would come downstairs and unlock the back door so we could get the books.  Hubby loaded up the books and took off while I stayed to chat.  She showed me a huge planter of lovely blooming flowers that was a birthday gift first.

The most interesting thing was that she started giving me advice to pass on to my 90 year old Mom regarding how to successfully live as an old person.  Stay connected with family and friends.  Make new friends.  Let people know you need to feel loved.  Keep your mind active by talking about things.  Take advantage of modern medicine.  Stay in charge of your own life and affairs.  Be active (this from a lady who walks down steep steps and then a steep driveway to walk back and forth on the street almost every day - she does stop and sit on a wall in the middle of the walk and holds court talking with passers by or waving).  We chatted some more about how to set ground rules when you move in with a relative as an older person.  She touched on the need to save your money for the future.

She also told me about some of the interviews she has done with students about the depression and about aging.  And she told me about how the library she worked at during the depression didn't buy books but rather rented them for a number of months and then turned them in and rented some more so they could have a variety of books in distribution.

She is quite an interesting and dynamic person with a lively mind. I'm going to tell my Mom her advice and am happy to report that none of it is news to my Mom!

8 comments:

  1. LOL. The part about "talking about things" means my MIL is the healthiest 83 yr. old on the planet. I am sure she will talk herself to the age of 110. ; )

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    1. I gather she has a lot to say! My Mom chatters whenever someone is around or I call her, but I figure it is in part because she is alone so much.

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  2. I wonder if she would be 105 if she were not living with your neighbor? Does she have an apartment upstairs from her family?
    Great interview. We need to hear more from this lady!

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    1. Janette - Thanks for commenting. Her bedroom is upstairs and I think she would be fine if she hadn't moved in with her daughter. She is fiercely independent and says when she can't take care of herself (with the help of an aide) and manage her own finances then she will move into an assisted living place.

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  3. Gosh that's just amazing!! What a blessing to live to be 105! She must have seen soo many wonderful things in her lifetime! :)

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    1. Carla, she has a lot of interesting stories. She was a librarian all of her adult life and went to college right out of high school. She was telling me that the public library rented books to lend during the Depression as they couldn't afford to purchase them. She knew Margaret Mitchell, etc.

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  4. We have so much to learn from our seniors. I volunteer with seniors every week and have a new client who will be 100 this summer. She lives alone, still does embroidery, cooks and cleans all by herself and is quick witted and so positive. I just adore her. One thing I notice about all the healthy and spry elderly people I know is that they stay active and social. My 85 yo Italian friend is going to try yoga this week - he never ceases to amaze me with his non-stop activity.

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    1. Adrienne, What wonderful "clients" you have and great role models too. They are both the opposite of the sit in front of the TV group that then wonders why they don't have the energy or strength to do anything. Staying active and connected is vital at all ages.

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