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Old 03-22-2016, 07:02 AM
Location: delaware
688 posts, read 864,694 times
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i'll be 73 in a few months and I get out quite frequently- 3 different groups of which i'm a part that each meets once a month, 2-3 times a month for lunch/dinner by myself or with a friend, a trip back to former home town for lunch with former co-workers/friends, some of whom I've known 40+ years, about every 3 months, out with the significant other 2+ times a week, and a book group I attend usually every other month. until this spring semester I was an instructor at a life long learning program through U. De, and taught 1-2 courses a week, each semester for the last five years.

I rarely go out at night because I don't see well to drive after dark; consequently I've found that I have less interest in being out at night, and prefer to be "tucked in" at home with a book, Netflix, or PBS.

I have never been interested in going out for the sake of going. I do not need constant ,invented stimulation, or for that matter, company, if it's not someone with whom I enjoy spending time. I have always been interested in depth rather than quantity or frequency of contacts in relationships. I find depth more difficult to find now, and more so than when I was younger, i'd rather have nothing than superficiality.

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Old 03-22-2016, 07:56 AM
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Clearly people differ greatly but this thread does seem to point out a pattern. The pattern might be related to some older patterns; i.e., stereotypes.

Especially for the older generations, women were more centered around the home and family. They always got out of the house less often. Those who worked often worked less and had fewer enjoyment and opportunities in work. BTW this trend seems to have come to a screeching halt in my extended family. There are 3 families with young kids and in each case the male has stayed at home raising the kids while the females have been working and pursuing careers.

There is another pattern-stereotype that has not changed. Women are way more interested in looks, clothing and fashion. This is still very apparent at the local malls. There are few men and they look bored and impatient while the women of all ages continue to shop until they drop. In addition to the clothing, women want to get made up, decked out and then go some place to show off. Men have been more likely to be interested in outdoor activities, sporting events, golf, hunting, etc. In older age the men can continue with previous hobbies. There is less and less point for elderly women to get dressed and show off. That typically ends with the passing of serious sexual activity.

There is one more point that has to be mentioned. There are way more older women sitting in their houses because a lot of the men have already died off.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:32 AM
7,801 posts, read 4,391,333 times
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Maybe they're secret drinkers, lol? I think a lot of the usual, obligatory connections between people are being severed in our mobile society (families are more spread out, neighbors don't associate with each other like they used to). Then old friends begin to die off, and it requires a lot of effort to make new ones and socialize, and I can see just getting tired after a while...

I've always been told that you have to retire to something (a mission, hobby, adventure, new location) and not from something (a job, parenting) or... I guess THIS is likely to happen???

Don't forget that even children are "reclusive" these days, staying indoors with electronics...
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:46 AM
6,256 posts, read 4,734,369 times
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post

Don't forget that even children are "reclusive" these days, staying indoors with electronics...
Not that I have seen. In fact in the suburban area where I live the world seems to revolve around activities for kids. That includes late buses and after school activities of all sorts. Parent seem to be perpetual soccer moms and dads on the weekends.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:58 AM
6,315 posts, read 3,578,007 times
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Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
I have known women like this and I think it starts as a habit and eventually turns into fear, and finally terror, about leaving the house. And I said women because I have known no men with this problem, just women.

This does scare me. I wonder if I am at risk for similar behavior. Every once in a while I am out doing whatever and I realize I didn't leave the house/yard in the last week! Money is part of it. If I stay home, I am not out spending or using gas. I try to be organized to cut down on un-necessary trips but that may not always be the best plan.

Home is like a refuge for me. I can wear whatever is comfortable. I have the whole world at my fingertips and so many books to read and projects to do I could probably stay busy till I drop dead. I guess it bothers me because it doesn't bother me to be home. I tend to alternate between solitary and social.

This may become a more prevalent issue in the future. I communicate mostly by computer. No face to face interaction. And more and more people work from home now too.
I thought of money right away also. When we talk about people needing financial assistance I think the general picture is of immigrants, minorities or younger people with families.

Sometimes I think elderly men and women of the middle class are the forgotten ones among us. As they age and their spouses die they often don't have the money or driving abilities, the mobility to get out like they used to.

Isolation occurs as friends die or move into care facilities. Failure to adapt to modern technology can mean even more isolation.

They fall into that area of too much money for help and not enough to do some of the things they need to do for themselves. Our invisible poor.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:59 AM
Location: Over yonder a piece
3,910 posts, read 4,650,428 times
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My grandmother had an active social life until her late 90s, and had been a widow since her mid-60s (never remarried - her choice). She played bridge 1-2x a week, and had friends popping in all the time. She ate every meal out at a restaurant in town (she had a regular booth since she had been eating there almost daily for 50 years).

My other grandmother was definitely more of a homebody, but it was mainly due to the fact that she walked in their house in the middle of their home being ransacked and robbed, and became fearful about leaving after that incident. She only went out for special occasions, and never by herself. She was okay BEING home by herself - she just never wanted to COME home by herself.

My own mother has an active social life, but it does mainly involve people coming to HER. She hosts ladies groups and events at her home every other week, and owned her own home-based business for 20 years until she sold it last year.

My MIL, until her passing, was very much a homebody and rarely left the apartment. But if I was older and lived in a fifth-floor walkup in NYC, I wouldn't like to leave very often either.

As for me, I'm getting healthy now so I can enjoy my retirement in 20 years. I have a friend that retired and became a travel agent on the side. Don't believe the hype that people don't use agents in this digital age - she has TONS of people using her services. She helps people book trips, but also gets freebies every year to "try out" new resorts so that she can recommend them to her clients. She and her husband take 5-6 trips a year - 100% PAID FOR! /jealous

I'm hoping that's the kind of retiree I'll be - active, engaged, healthy. Yes, I enjoy couch-surfing and watching movies, but I'm also hoping that I'll continue to do things like book club and going to church weekly, in addition to some traveling and time with family.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:05 AM
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,934,660 times
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I have seen it as my friends are aging (I am not - lol). And one of the things I've seen is friends who have lost some of their hearing. Even though they have me as an example, they are missing that they, too, are now losing their hearing. my hearing loss began in my 20s and it's now pretty severe (I'm profoundly hearing impaired). I keep pointing out to my friends that some of their reluctance to socialize is because they are missing parts of conversations. Complaints that people are mumbling more, speaking softer, too much noise in the background, what they say makes no sense, etc. all point to hearing loss.

When you lose your vision, you lose contact with things: when you lose your hearing, you lose contact with people.

For a very long time, I was semi-reclusive. Once I accepted that I will likely be deaf relatively soon, I stopped avoiding people and I tell them upfront that I can't hear well. But the world is very much heairng-based. You can have poor vision and people will help you navigate; but the inability to understand mumbled speech, not be looked at, etc. are isolating. I REFUSE to be isolated. It takes energy on my part and I cannot be in a large group for long as it's exhausting, but I do put forth the effort.

And that effort sometimes is too much and so I retreat - for a little while. I am an extrovert and still it takes effort, conscious/deliberate effort, to choose to go out and find that one person who will help me be a part of...whatever it is.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:56 AM
1,440 posts, read 723,802 times
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Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
Presentable to who? Who gets to decide if I fall within the presentable category? You? Someone else I do not know and do not care about their opinion of me? If I am wearing a black trash bag and stilettos and I am happy and comfortable then I am presentable in my opinion which is the only one that counts.

Sigh....here we go....another of the "I can do whatever I want as long as it makes me happy and I'm ok with it" crowd.

Anyone with a little self respect would be at least slightly concerned about the image they present when out and about.....men or women. If only not to go out and look like a hobo, bag lady or crazy person. It's not totally about caring what other's think but being a bit considerate of how a normal person would act & present themselves in society.

So, by your rationale, if one doesn't want to bathe, use deodorant, wash their clothes, etc. it should not be a problem for anyone else since that person doesn't have to do any of that if they choose not to. Your argument doesn't come off as being proud about doing whatever you want and not caring what anyone thinks.....it comes off as you having an entitled mindset and screw everyone else.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:09 AM
Location: NE Mississippi
13,672 posts, read 8,580,903 times
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Wow. I have learned a lot from some of the responses.

My feeling on the issue of becoming more reclusive as we age is that it has a lot to do with accepting ourselves as we age. Basically, I think a great many women are in hiding.
It's a cultural thing. In western culture where women's beauty and youth trump their age and experience, women can easily lose sight of how valuable they are. So they hide.

But it's complicated. Physical difficulties, such as loss of hearing or difficulty in getting around are certainly one of the components, but I am sure the emotional difficulty of no longer being a "head turner" affects the actions of some women.

And each of us ages differently. My wife has joint problems; I do not. She does not drive at night; I don't have any problem seeing at night. As we both age I am more interested in abstract subjects and conversation; she is not.

We've always been different. We're not exactly polar opposites, but in many ways we have always recognized that we are not twins. And now that we're retired and getting older (71) our differences are becoming more and more apparent.

We cope. Next year I am going to drag her off to Belize for 2 weeks. But while she sits in the shade by the beach and reads I will be off exploring Mayan ruins, horseback riding, and hiking through the jungle. While she visits the spa and gets herself pampered I will go to Belize City and hit a few local bars and talk to some local people and hear what they have to say about things. So we'll be OK..... It's just we have become so different over the years. And we're not alone. One or the other of most couples we know are slowing down a lot.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:11 AM
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,826,042 times
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Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
Presentable to who? Who gets to decide if I fall within the presentable category? You? Someone else I do not know and do not care about their opinion of me? If I am wearing a black trash bag and stilettos and I am happy and comfortable then I am presentable in my opinion which is the only one that counts.

Obviously, Clemencia meant 'presentable' according to a person's own idea of presentable.

Around the house I can wear holey shirts or ragged sweatpants. If I have to go out, I put different clothes on. Not because I'm concerned about what others might think of me, but because I believe that holey shirts and ragged sweatpants are not 'presentable'.

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