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Aging and personality

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Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

I wonder how many people here have aging parents and how well they communicate with them. My mother has recently turned 86 (she is more than old enough to be my grandmother). Physically and mentally, she is very active, and quite happy. I call her almost everyday. But while talking to her, I've noticed that she seems repetitive, and always tells me each little detail of her day, and this can go on and on and on. In other words, she seems unable to summerize events and make a good point succinctly. A lot of the things she tells me are redundant, but she doesn't seem to notice or realize this.

So, sometimes I sense this communication problem with her, and can become impatient. I'm curious how common this is among the elderly and how others deal with it.





a mother's viewpoint

Posted by ANN [1003.516] on July 29, 2004 at 17:08:46:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

she started repeating stuff at least 5 times when you were very young, because you never seemed to get it the first four times. She's been doing this all your life, but you've only started paying good enough attention to notice recently.



Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point...

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:16:20:

In Reply to: a mother's viewpoint posted by ANN [1003.516] on July 29, 2004 at 17:08:46:

Ok, ANN, so you are saying this is a habit she *acquired* while bring me up. hmm, but my father played half of the job of bringing me up, too, yet I don't remember he was repetitive at all. Could be gender-related?



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 17:46:12:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Hi Bing,
I see this happening with my father too. He is almost 90,
doing well in all aspects, eats well, takes supplements ad exercises but tha is one area he is starting to show hi age. He lives downstairs with us and comes up many times talking about supreficial things like some advertisements he gets in the mais for example and goes on and on about how stupid they are and asking why is it 9.99 instead of 10.00. I ask him why he is so worried about tand he just shruggs it off and keeps on talking. When he keeps talking about the same thing I just pretend to listen and nod. I thik he is bored and just wants to find somthing to talk abut or maybe he just forgets, I am not sure.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Jan S. [791.81] on July 29, 2004 at 17:50:58:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

It seems you are describing a tendency of many older people. My father is one of them, but then he has always been somewhat that way.

I sometimes wonder if, when you get much older, you become more focused on small details just because "the big picture" is fading from view, literally. You stop taking a long view since you know there isn't as much of a future left as there was, and you'd rather not focus on that. (I guess eventually I'll find out.)



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Naya [120.14] on July 29, 2004 at 18:38:43:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

My 91 y/o father is the same way. He talks about the same things every week when I call him and he is a former university professor. He's still sharp intellectually, but repeats the same stuff over and over again. He also asks me the same questions again and again and often doesn't remember what I have told him many times.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by peterb [27.23] on July 29, 2004 at 18:40:21:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Hi bing. My mother, who is 85 this Fall, was always this way.
I haven't had to adjust at all! Sometimes I roll my hand in the air
as a gesture for her to hurry up and get it out, and other times
I see people doing this to me because I've been infected.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 18:41:52:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 17:46:12:

"When he keeps talking about the same thing I just pretend to listen and nod."

You must be a good daughter, to humor your father like that. Sometimes I "pretend," too, but I'm really not very good at it. More often, I'd show my true nature/color and lose patience.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by June.one [294.4] on July 29, 2004 at 18:43:42:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 17:46:12:

I think elderly parents are just bored too in many cases. Some elderly people seem to feel the need to keep repeating things because "you young people just don't listen" or "because I didn't think you were paying attention."

Patience, though, is something we need to really try to cultivate with our elderly family members. You kind of miss those type of things when you realize one day you'll never hear those musings again.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 18:48:39:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Jan S. [791.81] on July 29, 2004 at 17:50:58:

You are probably right about the tendency. Interesting enough, my father didn't have this problem; what he had at age 92 was overly suspicious of my mom and the maid stealing his money, which is totally ungrounded. That's a rather humorous personality change.

Your last point, well, we ALL will find that out, in time...


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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 18:51:35:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by June.one [294.4] on July 29, 2004 at 18:43:42:

Very true, June! I dread the time when I will ot hear it again. I know it will happen eventually but push it out of my mind.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 18:52:01:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Naya [120.14] on July 29, 2004 at 18:38:43:

I wonder what's the real cause for this repetitiveness. ANN has an interesting theory but I'm not sure I agree with that.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 18:55:29:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by peterb [27.23] on July 29, 2004 at 18:40:21:

Your mother probably acquired this since you were young--see Ann's response.

Are you saying you have a very repetitive personality?



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 18:55:32:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 18:41:52:

Hi Bing,
I am trying my best. Sometimes it's not easy especially when my father is so "independent". He can't clean very well but will not let me help him so I have to look often at his dirthy floor, bathroom, sink or stove and I know there isn't much I can do. He thinks he is doing wonderful job and don't want to bring him down so I just have to tolerate it.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:00:05:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 18:55:32:

Definitely you are a better daughter than I am. I have to try very hard to be tolerant. In theory, I know I need to be more understanding, more tolerant, listen more, etc. In practice, however, it's very easy for me to lose patience-- I sometimes even argue with her. Bad, I know.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by PhillyLady [1906.41] on July 29, 2004 at 19:03:15:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Hi Bing:

My mother is very old too...yes, she could have been my grandmother. But to this day she is still very sharp and reads every day and does her crossword puzzles.

I think old people repeat themselves because they still need some form of mental stimulation. They no longer have their jobs to occupy their minds. Lack of new development in their lives keeps them talking repeatedly about the same things until something else comes along to become the new topic.

What would WE do if we no longer had jobs or small children to look after, and had to live every single day as if it were a replica of the previous day?



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Carol B. [924.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:05:28:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Oh dear, I'm nowhere near 90 (laughing) but I get repetitive and have poor short term memory. Many times every day, I find myself standing in front of a cupboard or drawer wondering "huh?" Most of the time I manage to remember what it is that I was going to get, but it makes preparing a meal difficult.

But then, I have Lyme Disease.
Many elderly people are just not so "sharp" mentally. Head injury patients also have problems with memory and concentration.

There are some supplements that widen the blood vessels so that the increased blood flow to the brain will lessen these symptoms. I did try Ginko a couple times, but it gave me heartburn, and I stopped.

Maybe someone else will know which supplements help this.
Carol B.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by PhillyLady [1906.41] on July 29, 2004 at 19:17:17:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Carol B. [924.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:05:28:

Hi Carol:

The herb Gotu Kola is good for the brain:-)

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 19:20:35:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:00:05:

I guess I became more tolerant after my mom died. Whe I was really young and she was very strict I argued with her sometimes too because I wantd to go see my friends or a party and she wouldn;t let me. When she died I wished I could have been more understading and see that she just wanted best for me so now I am trying to be more patient with dad. Mayb I am trying to make up for my youth but I am also much older and I guess more patient because of it.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 29, 2004 at 19:25:27:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Have you tried steering her past the details ? Maybe she doesn't think you understand them and is trying to inform you.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:28:22:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by PhillyLady [1906.41] on July 29, 2004 at 19:03:15:

Right PL, mental sharpness doesn't seem to keep the elderly from being repetitive and recounting each little detail.

"What would WE do if we no longer had jobs or small children to look after, and had to live every single day as if it were a replica of the previous day?"

I have never thought it possible to live each day the same as the previouse one. In any event, I think I'll just focus on my, um, "spiritual growth"...

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:32:37:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Carol B. [924.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:05:28:

Carol! long time no see :) Hi.

Yea, my mom is that way, too: when entering another room, she'd forget what she came here for...:)

I remember your LD was fixed--didn't you post about it awhile ago? but I could be wrong.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:45:40:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 29, 2004 at 19:25:27:

Yep, I have. Sometimes I just finish her sentence for her. But maybe you are right about her attempt to make sure I understand her completely.

While I'm writing this, it just occured to me that it's like she was reliving those moments in detail when she recounted her day to me. There might be something worth digging in that area...but it's almost 6--dinner time now :)



Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point...

Posted by ANN [1003.516] on July 29, 2004 at 21:02:38:

In Reply to: Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point... posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:16:20:

he didn't notice she was telling you anything and didn't know there was anything needed doing- see Dave bARRY FOR THE PERCEPTUAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 21:07:28:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by June.one [294.4] on July 29, 2004 at 18:43:42:

Oh, I almost missed your post, June.

"Patience, though, is something we need to really try to cultivate with our elderly family members. You kind of miss those type of things when you realize one day you'll never hear those musings again."

How true. Yes, patience needs to be cultivated in dealing with aging family menbers. I really need to practice more in this area. Sounds like you have given quite some thoughts in dealing with the elderly. I'll remember your last statement...

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Ron [1540.81] on July 29, 2004 at 21:12:45:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Hi Bing,

She may be worried that the phone call she is participating may be her last one....
Sort of like the last meal that a convicted fellon has before facing the gallows... If it were me, it would have at least 30 courses and include a couple of bottles of scotch.

If there is someone else who could call her and break up her long day, it would be good for her and less onerous for you.

Be patient, one day it could be you that your kids are talking about.

If she has shown signs of alzheimers, it might be a good idea to check what her diet consits of and try to cut back on refined carbs by substituting unground grains.
A major cause of alzheimers appears to be mini-strokes, which explains why it gets progressively worse.

Ron



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 21:15:01:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 19:20:35:

"When she died I wished I could have been more understading and see that she just wanted best for me"

Sorry to hear about your mom. It must be painful for you to come to that realization. I bet you still miss her.

I think moms often don't realize their grown-up children are grown-ups.




Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point...

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 21:22:25:

In Reply to: Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point... posted by ANN [1003.516] on July 29, 2004 at 21:02:38:

Maybe you are right.

My father never nagged--not at all. Sometimes, he didn't even have to say anything--just a stern look was enough to make me behave. But mother would nag, nag, nag...

I see what you mean about Dave Berry. He is actually my favorite humor writer.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 21:31:24:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Ron [1540.81] on July 29, 2004 at 21:12:45:

Gosh, Ron, the "last one" idea is so sentimental...you have a pretty sensitive soul.

She is actually quite active, doing lots of things she enjoy doing, like gardening, exercising, cooking, shopping, etc. So it doesn't really seem to be boredom. Nor has she signs of Alzheimers--I think she has passed the age to acquire that.

"one day it could be you that your kids are talking about."

Then I'll make sure I don't have kids. That way, they'll never criticize me ;)

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 21:38:18:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 21:15:01:

Thanks Bing!
Not a day goes by that I donl;t miss her. She was only 67 when she died. I just wish I could go back and show her more appreciation but I think many people realize that when it's too late.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Ron [1540.81] on July 29, 2004 at 21:41:41:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Hi Bing,

She may be worried that the phone call she is participating may be her last one....
Sort of like the last meal that a convicted fellon has before facing the gallows... If it were me, it would have at least 30 courses and include a couple of bottles of scotch.

If there is someone else who could call her and break up her long day, it would be good for her and less onerous for you.

Be patient, one day it could be you that your kids are talking about.

If she has shown signs of alzheimers, it might be a good idea to check what her diet consits of and try to cut back on refined carbs by substituting unground grains.
A major cause of alzheimers appears to be mini-strokes, which explains why it gets progressively worse.

Ron

Follow Ups:


Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Jennifer [18.209] on July 29, 2004 at 21:41:42:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

The people I have known who have done this same thing, I believe were just trying to talk to someone. If she doesn't get out much and talks to others, you are probably one of the few she gets to talk with.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 29, 2004 at 22:25:40:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 19:45:40:

if you finish her sentences, make sure you know what she was going to say.

Sounds like you have a good relationship. Maybe you can tell her she has told you before or you understand. Try different things and something may work. Maybe waiting till you are in a good mood before calling.



Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point...

Posted by ANN [1003.516] on July 29, 2004 at 23:12:12:

In Reply to: Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point... posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 21:22:25:

when you talk to your mom, you might try that feedback method that shrinks use- repeat what she says, rephrased, so she knows you're listening, or, if she has a strong heart, agree with her about a few things (not just um-huh, but, when she says , "you should eat more spinach" say, I think you're right, I should eat more spinach. Next conversation, lead off with the fact you have been eating more spinach and you feel better. Then observe, whether she still repeats the stuff, or whether she stops because you've finally let her know you've heard her.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 23:48:49:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 29, 2004 at 21:38:18:

"I just wish I could go back and show her more appreciation but I think many people realize that when it's too late."

Gee, that's very touching. And very true.

I think your mom passed away at too young an age. Imagine what it would be like if she could live to be 90's. But then again, even in their 90's, it's still too soon. My dad made it to 92, but I still think he was gone too early, and I miss him terribly, everyday, for the last 3 years. It's comforting, though, to realize that 6 month before he was gone, I visited my parents and spent some happy with him. He was loving, understanding, and he and I shared some quality time together, talking about his favorite poems, talking about life. At that time, I had no idea that it was the last time to be with him...Nowadays, I can see him in my mind's eye all the time, whenever I want to. I can tell he is happy and content, watching over me. Yet, I still miss him :)



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 23:54:44:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Jennifer [18.209] on July 29, 2004 at 21:41:42:

Thanks, J. She has some friends living close by to talk to. But I have no idea how she communicates with her friends.

I think it's just her personality.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Elisa [217.566] on July 29, 2004 at 23:57:49:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Oh boy can I relate to this one! I have the same issue with my
mother. It seems to have developed in the past couple of years
and she is only 67. My father who is older does not seem to do this
as much. He seems to be spaced out and tired a lot, but does not
repeat himself all the time.

I have given much thought to this too because it can be irritating,
and then I feel badly that I am so impatient with her. Not only does
she tend to repeat things, but she also talks a lot about really
"insignificant" events. She knows about every detail of her
neighbors' goings on, and which car on the street belongs to
which one and how that dumpy looking one has been there for 7
days without moving and she's thinking of calling the city to
complain etc. She seems to want to tell me the most ordinary
details of how she does everything, from shopping to planting in
the garden, but not in summary, always the details. She mentions
several times that the mail is now delivered at 4pm instead of noon
and how she wishes it was the old way blah blah,and how she
wishes the post office would blah blah blah instead of changing
the times blah blah without warning people blah blah blah! She
really does prattle on and on about the dullest things without any
clue of how her audience is not really interested. She was never
so talkative when she was younger and certainly not about these
tedious details. Even my father seems annoyed by it. I don't mean
to sound anti-feminist but I've noticed in general this happens to
women when they age more than men.

So why does this happen to older people? I really think that older
people are often like this because their world becomes smaller
when they are no longer working or raising children or traveling or
do any of the things that used to keep their minds stimulated with
new ideas and sites. They don't expose themselves to much
beyond their home or a simple routine, therefore things in that little
environment become relatively important.

The repeating thing is different though. Perhaps that is because
their memories are not so good and they don't remember having
told you something.

I also have observed repeating of instructions with my mother. If
she is going out of town to see my sister and I am taking care of the
cat feeding and watering she will tell me a million details about
how to do it. Things that are obvious and I have already heard from
all the other times she went out of town. The instructions are so
basic that anyone could do it just from a simple note, but she
always writes a note and tells me to come over before she leaves
so she can "show me" what to do. I mean how hard it is to figur
eout ow to put the garbage can out the night before pick up. Don't
we all do these things in our own homes all the time without issue?
She did not do this when she was younger. In fact she was not the
kind of Mom that was bossy or told people how to do stuff. This
definitely developed with age.

It really is a test of patience. But the least we can do is try not to
snap at them. My mother has given so much of her time and
energy and love to me over the years, I figure the least I can do is
listen to her in her autumn years!




Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 23:58:03:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 29, 2004 at 22:25:40:

Yea, we do have a fairly good relationship. But I do argue with her sometimes. Maybe I should read Dave Berry before calling her :)

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Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point...

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 00:01:19:

In Reply to: Re: a mother's viewpoint--that's an interesting point... posted by ANN [1003.516] on July 29, 2004 at 23:12:12:

Thanks, ANN. Will try those methods.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 00:22:43:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Elisa [217.566] on July 29, 2004 at 23:57:49:

Oh boy, your 2nd paragraph describes my mother exactly! Yes, precisely, it's those insignificant, tedious details that annoy me, and the fact that she doesn't seem to be aware that others are not interested. Sometimes, she would retell TV stories she watched in detail, with great interest. And yes, I also realize that she wasn't like this when she was younger. In fact, I have heard her describing HER grandmother being like this. Looks like the cycle goes on...

I also agree that this probably affects older women more, but men may have it too--see Naya's and WOW's response, about the dads.

I like what you said in the last paragraph. I'm embarrsed to admit that I have snapped at her several times. Hmm, it seem very important to learn patience, as several of you have pointed out. Patience--I'll remember that, always.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by thessa [112.20] on July 30, 2004 at 00:34:19:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Hi Bing,
Perhaps she just misses you?
Or feels that death is at her door and wants to make sure she communicates everything she can to you before she goes?



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 30, 2004 at 00:36:45:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 23:48:49:

She was much too young and I will miss her as long as I live the same way you are missing your dad. At least we have good memories of them and that will be with us forever. I am so glad my father is taking such a good care of himself, he takes more supplements than anybody on this board and know a lot about them too. When he had a hip surgery last year, his doctor was stunned how well he went through anethesia and how quicklyhe recovered. He is still using hs hand weihts for exercise and cooks all his meals, I am so thakful for that! It sounds like your dad lived a long happy life and you should be grateful for that too. He was a good father and made you who you are today, a good, educated, itelligent person. Here is to our dads!



I think many of you are way off beam!

Posted by Maz [1200.624] on July 30, 2004 at 04:41:33:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

I believe this is a simple form of mild dementia. My mother had it, my partner's mother has it, lots of elderly people have it! Mind I said "mild". It's just short term memory loss that's all. She forgets she told you already. All this about how you were brought up, in my opinion, is irrelevant!

Maz



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Nina [24.4] on July 30, 2004 at 08:25:22:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 00:22:43:

My mother will be 80 in October and she, too has these tendencies. I attibute it to having had a good bit of stress in her life. She took care of her grandparents, mother and dad, lost her husband 15 years ago, and lost 2 children, helped raise most of her grandchildren. She works a garden every year (by herself) works in her yard (which is beautiful), keeps her house clean and cooks as if all her children are still home. Yes, she rambles on about the most petty things. The one most recent thing that I can remember that was all but crazy was she was watching the "Batchelor" tv show. I went over to her house and she was taking notes about this stupid tv series. She was helping this guy choose the girl. I got so tickled about that. You would have thought that she was taking a college course and was about to be tested on it. Hey.....we will probably all be there one of these days. She has been my family's rock, she loves God, she still keeps herself fixed up and if I can't tolerate a little craziness from her every once in a while, something is wrong with me. I know there is coming a day when I will miss those repetitious statements, her walking into my house unannounced and talking to me while I am on the phone, scolding me for not doing what she thinks is right, asking why I have not been to see her more often, saying "huh" 10 times because she refuses to wear the hearing aid which she says she does NOT need, still insisting on wearing high heels, still drives a lot at night (which she does not need to). All these things should be and ARE precious to me because you only have ONE mother and I have been blessed to have had one who has stamina and all these little things that she does that gets on my nerves are beginning to be familiar to me as I will probably be the very same way............if I am lucky.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by PhillyLady [1906.1315] on July 30, 2004 at 08:31:30:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Nina [24.4] on July 30, 2004 at 08:25:22:

Hi Nina:

(LOL)...Boy, can I relate to the constant "Huh" of older parents. It's true, no matter how much their hearing has deteriorated, in their minds it's not the hearing, it's the child's "mumbling" that is a problem.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 30, 2004 at 09:03:33:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Nina [24.4] on July 30, 2004 at 08:25:22:

Be glad that your mother has the drive, interest, and energy to keep living and interested. My parents did and my grandfather used to write till all his friends till he died (killed) at 104. He was put in a home to slow him down and when in there wanted to have a dozen pens, writing paper, and 100 stamps. One day when the family was away I went to see him to make sure he didn't need anything. He told me he couldn't talk, I thought something was wrong with his throat, but he said he was writing and I had to wait. I dozed off and when I woke he was finished and going through 2 bundles of envelopes and took one from each. I asked what he was doing and he said that he preaddreses them since he writes often And since He liked to send and get mail, he put a Self addreses stamped envelope in with his note to make it Easier for someone to reply. That way they just had to get a piece of paper and write on it and stick it in the envlope He supplied. He asked me to mail the letters and Kept reminding me NOT to forget..

He didn't like using reading glases so was Always telling me to write Bigger and Darker if I wrote something down for him. Felt tiped markers were the best. He had some circulation problems in his ankles so was Always being told to not walk around and to lay in bed with his legs raised. He would get in a wheelchair and use his feet to move him and when anyone saw him he would Say that he Wasn't walking since he was in the chair. He had to be conned to lay in bed. He usually told an aide he would if they kissed hime. he would get in and as soon as they left, he would be out. Said, he felt like he was in a coffin. He didn't want to be laying down when he wanted to be up and about. he was always on the phone calling someone.

It would have been Interesting to see how long he would have lived but a hospital killed him. When he was in his late 90's he used to go in town and stand on the corner and watch the girls pass. I was passing through one day and stoped at a light and saw an old guy checking them out. I started to laugh at the dirty old guy but the sport jacket looked Very familiar and when he turned I saw it was him. Then I realized where he used to get all the sample packs of cigarettes he would offer me.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Steve [135.4] on July 30, 2004 at 10:29:36:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Bing,

My mother did the same thing..I asked the doctor about it and I liked his reasoning..Many old people live in the past and you are the link to that past so anytime she sees you she will fondly remember the past..My brother and I had a standing joke when talking to our mother was " get out your pillow and tooth brush because you are going to be here for a while "..Give your mother her just due and listen to her as she has earned the right..

Silver Fox!

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 10:30:04:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 30, 2004 at 00:36:45:

Thanks, WOW. You are right. Here is to our dads, and moms: wishing them happy and content, wherever they are! :)



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Michele [15.15] on July 30, 2004 at 10:39:51:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

I used to feel the same way as you; now that my mother is gone, I'd give an arm to hear one of her winded stories again :)

Older people are not living the same rushed life (sometimes) as "us" so they spend more time talking, sharing etc.... it's actually an asset.... I wish I would have smelled the roses more and seen the lighter side of her stories now..
enjoy her!



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 10:40:06:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by thessa [112.20] on July 30, 2004 at 00:34:19:

"Perhaps she just misses you?
Or feels that death is at her door and wants to make sure she communicates everything she can to you before she goes?"

I'm sure she does; and she has been missing me for all these years since I went to college at 16. But this new habit of hers is something more recent.

I think it's more likely connected to her aging brain, since a lot of the details she tells me are extremely unimportant.



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Re: I think many of you are way off beam!

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 10:47:30:

In Reply to: I think many of you are way off beam! posted by Maz [1200.624] on July 30, 2004 at 04:41:33:

That's an interesting point, and I have considered that possibility. The funny thing is, my mom still has a fairly good memory--that's why she can rememory all the little details during her day and retells them. That makes me not so sure about the "short term menory loss."

I think it IS related to aging, though. She wasn't like this when she was younger.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 10:51:57:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Nina [24.4] on July 30, 2004 at 08:25:22:

Thanks, Nina.

"I will probably be the very same way............if I am lucky."

Well, I know all of us will probably be there some day, logically speaking. But at this point, it's really hard for me to imagine I'll be like here several dacades later...aren't we supposed to be young forever? :)

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Re: I think many of you are way off beam!

Posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 30, 2004 at 10:52:06:

In Reply to: Re: I think many of you are way off beam! posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 10:47:30:

does your mom have anyone else to talk to, or Just You? Some people are talkers and some keep things to themselves. Sounds like your mom is a talker.



Re: Aging and personality--Michele and Steve

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 10:57:56:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Michele [15.15] on July 30, 2004 at 10:39:51:

Thank you. You are probably right. I need to pay more attention to the act of communication with her than content of what is being communicated. And maybe just be happy that I can hear mother's voice...

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Re: I think many of you are way off beam!

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 11:03:10:

In Reply to: Re: I think many of you are way off beam! posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 30, 2004 at 10:52:06:

Yes, she has friends to talk to. And you are probably right: she is more of a talker than a listener.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 30, 2004 at 11:24:42:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 10:30:04:

You are welcome Bing! Oh, excuse all the typos, lots of my keys stick, I am not sure what happened to my keyboard. I am used to type without looking and whe I read later I notice all the letters missing or words combined together - space bar sticks too, argh....
Here is again to our moms and dads!

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 30, 2004 at 11:34:14:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Oh, forgot to tell you something else about my father. He waits all day by the door for the mailman and runs upstairs about 10 times a day saying that mailman is late, that yesterday he was here at 1:00 and today, at 4:00 he is still not here. Sometimes his whole point of the day is getting the mail and bringing it to me with the bang. He subscribes to True Story and reads every stupid little article in there and then brings it to me ad tells me to read a particular one he thinks applies to me. I don't want to put him down by telling him that I don;t read this kitch so I read that one because he always wats to talk about it in detal. Yikes!



Re: Excuse my keyboard, some letters stick and are missing in the post.Sorry!nmi

Posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 30, 2004 at 11:37:11:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 30, 2004 at 11:34:14:

nmi

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 12:29:27:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by WOW [1317.457] on July 30, 2004 at 11:34:14:

It's really funny that aging can cause a personality change--sometimes it's like a totally different person!

What I'm also interested in learning is HOW to avoid (or infina]itely delay) this aging of our brain/mind (and of course, our body) so WE won't be like them...I hope this is do-able for us.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Steve [135.4] on July 30, 2004 at 12:57:45:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 30, 2004 at 12:29:27:

Bing,

If you want to advoid brain aging then feed the body a good diet, exercise and detox..It is heavy metals that get into the brain and kill the cells..Keep your immune system strong and clean..Feed your cells with fish oil and Co-Q-10..Keep busy, help people and adopt a new pet from the animal shelter..

Silver Fox!



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 30, 2004 at 15:09:24:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Steve [135.4] on July 30, 2004 at 12:57:45:

do metals cause the plaques to build up?



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Steve [14.431] on July 30, 2004 at 18:37:44:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Vince F [173.9] on July 30, 2004 at 15:09:24:

Vince,

My understanding is heavy metals just kill the brain cells..Memory loss is the start..

Silver Fox!

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by zap4 [2452.4] on July 31, 2004 at 10:36:35:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

my father does this too. I just gently tell him "Father, you told me this already."

He lost his short term memory in a TIA, and we are working together to restore it. Not much in the way of success so far. Probably hard to keep in mind bing, but this is the
woman, along with your father who raised you. Try to have more patience than you would normally have with other people who make you impatient.
And remember that sometimes she is cruising along on memories...



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Jim H. [1146.1238] on July 31, 2004 at 11:17:20:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Hi Bing,

Our "dust to dust" journey may lead through two periods of infancy, the one
at the beginning of life, and the one at the end. We begin in diapers, and we
could end up in diapers too.

This reality that we may have to face in ourselves, and "aging behaviors" in
general, came up often in conversations I had with several dear old friends in
San Diego this week, where I arrived in response to disturbing news from my
87 year old father. He called to tell us he had just bought a new car! On the
surface this may sound like just an ordinary thing to do, but we had just
managed, about a year and a half ago, to get his car from him before
something terrible happened. And something would have; I rode with him at
the end!

So we made quickie plans for the quickie trip to check things out (read: talk
him out of the car). On the way, he called our cell phone and explained that
the first two days of driving went well, but on the third day he strayed a little
out of his four-square-block area, got disoriented, and had two near
accidents. He said he parked the car and won't use it again. Well, this was a
big sigh of relief. He lived most of his life, until eighteen months ago, in a
small town, and even that was too much for him to drive. Father blundering
through San Diego in his shiny red Escort (yes, red!) was our worst nightmare.
I think we have dodged that bullet yet again.

The behavior you describe in your mother is part of a downhill slide I am
experiencing with my father. The friends I discussed this with report the
same. You can analyze, fantasize, quote studies, and predict. You can scoff
and vow not to be that way. We all remembered when our folks laughed
about their parents and promised not to be that way. Guess what? They’re
exactly the same. Karma suggests we should be kind and understanding with
our parents, because the wheel does turn.

So do your three-legged stool, by all means, but if you live long enough…well
…what was I saying?

What's my name?





Re: Aging and personality

Posted by gabriella [87.890] on July 31, 2004 at 12:39:32:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Jim H. [1146.1238] on July 31, 2004 at 11:17:20:

"Karma suggests we should be kind and understanding with
our parents, because the wheel does turn."

You couldn't have said it any better Jim! EVERYBODY gets older, it's a fact of life, not a crime, and they should still be loved for who they were, who they are, and who they may or may not become...

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Sonja [1227.1329] on July 31, 2004 at 14:40:19:

In Reply to: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 17:04:57:

Hi Bing,
long time, no communicate :)

I can relate to what you are going through. I think it is a combination of aging and personality (and has little to do with your listening or not).

My mum is 75, and has recently moved to an aged care facility. She was living on her own for the past...20 years or so. I am the only child, and I call her once every week. Sometimes this is too often, other times I call in between. Depends on what is going on. She was never repetitive and is not that yet (luckily). But then, she has a system. She notes everything she'd like to tell me, and goes through a list of 'news'. Sometimes she reads them off a post-it pad, in a funny I-am-reading-it-now voice. She is mentally alert and spends a lot of time brooding and wondering. Then asks me questions. HOw can people do such and such thing, Sonja?

We used to have a turbulent relationship. For some reason, she had a dreadful temper she could not control. Unfortunately this was worst when I was small. But she knew it and was always sorry for what I had to go through. I confronted her with the damage she has done when I grew up. She had a hard time, but accepted it. She did apologise. She understood that I was an adult when I said that I will not take any nonsense or silly comments. What I did was my decision, and she learned to refrain to comment. Together, we learned a new way of communicating. Luckily we managed this early enough, while she was still capable of learning. From that point onwards, our relationship has taken a better turn.

Sometimes, particularly if nothing special happens, our conversation might be boring. But most of the time, we have such lovely conversations, recognising each other in what we observe, how we think and react to surroundings. You are just like me, she laughs. Or this could be my line... She lives for my calls, and recently admitted it is hard to be surrounded by people who are slowly deteriorating mentally. She decribes many of the people she meets daily at this institution as being unable to hold a meaningful conversation. Luckily she made some good friends, one of whom is a 92 year old lady. Mum said actually that many of the people she visits are repeating themselves. Most of the time, she is genuinely compassionate, and listens to them, and does small errands for them, but sometimes she feels this is so disheartening and tiresome. I guess this is only natural... She is always so happy to hear my voice. Hello Mrs.S., she says, how are you? I'm fine Mrs. D., I say, how are you today? Finally I can have a good talk, she'd say.

We seldom talk about the weather, meals or trivia. Mostly we discus the human nature, mum and I. Sometimes we talk about my childhood. Many times we go through things from the past, this time arriving at a deeper understanding of what we have been through, and accepting it for what it was. I know this sounds like an unbelivable happy-end movie, but believe me, we have been working on it. And sometimes we have a row, but we apologise and carry on.

I hope she will remain healthy until the end. She is not worried about dying. "It has to happen, Sonja. I just accept it", she says. I do hope she will live as long as possible - even though I joke sometimes and say that I can't pay that long (I'm paying for her stay) - but really, I dread the day when I ca't call her anymore.


I understand very well that it can be tiresome at times, but there is little you can do, other than gently accept that this is how it is. And that's fine. Whatever comes, accept it. That's what my mum taught me.


Best wishes,

Sonja



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 31, 2004 at 15:25:19:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Jim H. [1146.1238] on July 31, 2004 at 11:17:20:

Thank you for your input, Jim.

What your father did made me laugh: I can almost visulize a 87-year old naughty boy driveing around in a RED Escord :) But from HIS perspective, it could be the car (and color) that he had always wanted, perhaps since his youth.

I know it's not easy to build the bridge of full understanding between children and their parents, but most of us still try to make a great effort. Just by reading the posted responses here, I see that the more mature the children are, the better they can understand their parents. So, understanding is everything, huh.

Another--better--approach of this issue is to stop the aging process. I'd love to be able to enjoy MY golden years with super intelligence, enhanced spiritual awareness, wisdom, wit, and humor, and show no sign of senility. I'm sure you (and others) do, too. So, let's try stop the aging process, starting from us. That way, the karma you speak of will change into a more beautiful wheel...

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 31, 2004 at 16:31:53:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Sonja [1227.1329] on July 31, 2004 at 14:40:19:

Sonja! A long time indeed...

It's a pleasure reading how you and your mom communicate. Your account has made your mom and her personality come alive, vividly. She sounds like she is flowing into her golden years gracefully, with that all accepting attitude...

Looks like you and I have a lot in common: I am the only child, too. And my mom also has a temper, with an over-emotional personality. She also tended to be over-protective while I was growing up. Sometimes, when I look back into my childhood, I can see neither she nor my father was the perfect parent (or spouse), but I also doubt if the perfect parents really exist in real life. Imperfect as they are, I'm extremely grateful that they did what THEY deemed best for me, and I've always felt safe, loved, and cared for at home. In fact, it has never occured to me to feel otherwise. It is from them that I have learned all the positive traits I have now as a humanbeing, and that alone is enough for me to feel nothing but gratitude towards my parents, despite their temper, personality, and other limitations they have, as all other humanbeings do.

I marvel at your mother's ability to acknowlege the "damage she has done while [you] grew up," and her appology. You and her must be good communicators to achieve this. A few weeks ago, I ventured into the same territory while talking to my mother, but she turned out to be extremely defensive, overly emotional, so the conversation ended unpleasantly. Since then, it has been bugging me quite a bit.

Just like you, I enjoy hearing mother telling me stories about my childhood, about her childhood, about her life experiences, about what she knows about my father and his family etc. While listening to her, I notice she tends to be in denial of some of her not-so-pleasant experiences early in her life (all of which had happened way before she married my father). Sometimes it pains me to see this side of hers, because I know she can be even happier and healthier if she can realize her denial and get over it by accepting them and seeing the positive side in them. But I don't know how to wake her up from this denial so she can start to simply accept those experiences as part of her life instead of something she psychologically tries to repress. This leads me to wonder about a bigger topic: what kind of role adult children can play in the life of their parents (beyond being caretakers)? Any thoughts? Anyone?

In this area, my father and I did much better. His analytical and reasoning ability is way, way better than my mom, so communication with him was much easier. He was also read to listen to my opinions on many issues--a much better listener than mom. I sometimes don't know how to deal with an emotional mom who doesn't (or can not) listen to reason, other than just humoring her. And this emotional side of her has nothing to do with aging--she has been like this all her life.

Often, I pat myself on the shoulder for choosing not to have children (with success so far), so no one will criticize me later in my life :)




Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 31, 2004 at 16:47:10:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by zap4 [2452.4] on July 31, 2004 at 10:36:35:

"Probably hard to keep in mind bing, but this is the
woman, along with your father who raised you. Try to have more patience than you would normally have with other people who make you impatient."

Yeah, I agree. But it's easier said than done. If I remember correctly, you have a similar problem too with your mom, G ;)

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Sonja [298.1329] on July 31, 2004 at 16:50:57:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 31, 2004 at 16:31:53:

Hi Bing,
nice to read your comments. I agree, there are no perfect parents. Yours seem to me did the same thing as my did, tried to do their best, succeeding in some things, failing in others.

My mum has good and bad sides, just like I do. She was overprotective too, but when I decided to travel abroad (only 21 years old), she just let me go, even supported me. My father was my best friend, but he died when I was only 6.

My mother did not arrive at apology/ acceptance easily. It was a process - here described in one sentence, you know - but in reality it took several years. Still, I know it is amazing, as most people tend to go into denial. Maybe they lack mental force to face their own weaknesses. I don't know. I can lash out at someone, but then apologise and really mean it. Of course, I'd prefer to always be composed, but unfortunately I'm not.

What kind of role can adult children play in life of parents? That depends on their life situation. I had lots of time on my hands, since I did not have children. (I call that period of my life "Educating mother" :)I should have written a book on it). So I chose to use it on straightening out the relationship with mother, as I could not get away from her...but you see, adults with full family life can't afford that. Unlike you, I am deeply sad for not having been able to have children. I love children, and I would have been a good mother, I'm sure. And if they criticised me, I would try to listen, much as it would hurt.
If you had your own children now, you may not have been in this situation. You wouldn't have the time to talk to your mum so often... :)rearing the kids.

This is never easy, I'm sure we can agree about that :)

Take care, Bing




Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on July 31, 2004 at 17:20:08:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Sonja [298.1329] on July 31, 2004 at 16:50:57:

Funny that you used the phrase "Educating mother." What a coincidence! A couple of weeks ago, I used exactly the same verb, "educate" (in Chinese of course), to my mother, and she was deeply offended. She said that one is not allowed to educate an elder, but my attempts to explain that the word "educate" is not age-related didn't succeed. Yes, you really should write a book on "educating mother"--I'm your first reader :)

Oh, so sorry to hear that about your father.

About having children, well, it was a tough decision to make (I chose to have an abortion several years ago), since I love children, too. It turns out to be a wise choice, especially now we are no longer married anymore, and therefore we didn't have to involve child/children in the breaking-up. I'm sure you'd be a good mother, having succeeded in "straightening out" difficult mother-daughter relationships. Many people never achieved this feat all their life, or even bother to try. I'm still learning in this area, and always attempting to build a better relationship with those who are important in my life, so what you told me is quite helpful, even enlightening.

Thanks, Sonja.




Re: Aging and personality

Posted by Sonja [298.1329] on July 31, 2004 at 19:08:04:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 31, 2004 at 17:20:08:

Oh, Bing, you've touched my heart. That was a tough decision on your part, I hope you did the right thing.

Glad to hear that I helped somewhat. (One meaningful thing that happened today!) It is after midnight here...and I have to retreat. Thanks for the responses; it was good to exchange thoughts with you.

All the best,
Sonja



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by peterb [27.23] on August 01, 2004 at 09:44:58:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by bing [312.10] on July 29, 2004 at 18:55:29:

I think what I'm referring to isn't what Ann is talking about. It's more about finding new ways to tell the same story, or repeating the story days, weeks, or months later. I think it's about boredom and lonliness more than forgetfullness.



Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on August 01, 2004 at 11:35:26:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by Sonja [298.1329] on July 31, 2004 at 19:08:04:

Hi Sonja. I hope you enjoyed the beautiful full moon last night, from the other side of the globe (Norway, right?). From here, the moon was very bright, and, um, round :)

Thank you for sharing your story and thoughts--it was a pleasure, as alaways. Take care.

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Re: Aging and personality

Posted by bing [312.10] on August 01, 2004 at 11:52:36:

In Reply to: Re: Aging and personality posted by peterb [27.23] on August 01, 2004 at 09:44:58:

Peter, I should've used a smiley in my earlier post so you'd get my humorous tone. I was implying that you must be a difficult kid to bring up for your mom, and that seems a logical conclusion of her always being this way (i.e. repetitive, according to what you posted). I intended it as a joke.

You said that your mother's repetitiveness might have "infected" you, well, I think I have noticed that from discussing/debating supplements with you...LOL

Ok, seriously, back to the main topic: you said "I think what I'm referring to isn't what Ann is talking about. It's more about finding new ways to tell the same story, or repeating the story days, weeks, or months later. I think it's about boredom and lonliness more than forgetfullness."

I'm not quite sure what "new ways" you are refering to.

I agree with you that bordom and loneliness is an issue that the elderlies have to face. And this is not limited to the elderly population either.


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