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Old 02-24-2018, 02:27 AM
 
Location: Boise
609 posts, read 582,819 times
Reputation: 1327

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Best of luck to the OP, aging can really suck at times.

I too would be distressed if I lost my ability to walk much or drive.

That said, it sound like you've done your homework. You might have to get on the horse again. Slowly, but surely,you'll get there.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,416 posts, read 5,141,639 times
Reputation: 7231
I too am 68 and day time driving is no problem at all but my night vision is poor. Driving after dark from town back home (about 10 miles on a main road) is OK but I'm reluctant to do trips that are much longer. If I go up to the 'bergs I try to plan on being home by dark. Oncoming headlight really seem to blind me, especially when drivers are slow to dim their headlights.

A friend recently suggested that It might help a bit if I were to replace the windshield on my 22 year Suburban that has over 205,000 miles. I'll have to do some research on that.

I've still got my original knees and hips but the stamina and flexibility is not great so things like standing on a ladder to change a light bulb (remove globe, burned out bulb, install new bulb and rehang the globe is about my limit for standing with my knees locked.

There is no way to know what the future holds but I'm hoping to age in place and not have to leave my rural home for someplace where access to amenities is closer and easier.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,498,481 times
Reputation: 8734
OP I'm 68 and I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties. My best advice is speak to your doctor about all this. This needs to be addressed. I haven't had to deal with the issues you mention yet. However living around other retirees here in Fla. I see what your describing far to early in age. Many seem much older than their actual age. So for whatever the reasons, we all age differently.


I believe keeping physically fit and a healthy outlook, has much to do with the aging process. I've been a Type 1 Diabetic most of my life, so I always had to be disciplined on my health. I honestly don't feel 68 at all.

If walking is difficult, then what about a swimming pool. Is one available in your community.? Many seniors do water aerobics, because walking is a problem. I do think some even minor phys activity would help you. That and a good talk with a doctor your comfortable with. 68 is far to young to be dealing with all this.

I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,701 posts, read 4,431,692 times
Reputation: 11710
So sorry for you. We are the same age and it seems horrific to me that your limitations are hampering your liberties so dramatically. Given the explanation regarding the impact of your physical disabilities on your driving skill, I really do appreciate you not driving very much and hope you find alternatives to get yourself out in the world. Certainly don’t want you on the road and endangering others. 3 car accidents in such a short timeframe is a sure sign.

Have you considered finding another place to live, another town, where mass transport and community services offers better options? Have you connected with local social services to explore possibility of local volunteers who could drive you places? Is there a local community senior recreation center that offers interesting activities and can help with transport issues to the center? These things are available in many cities.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:58 AM
 
Location: MIAMI FLORIDA
44 posts, read 28,508 times
Reputation: 148
[quote=2nd trick op;51118541]I'm just beginning to understand how my retirement hopes came crashing down over the past two years; I'm essentially healthy, but both my ability to drive, and to walk longer distances have been severely compromised within that time, and those were once very important parts of my strategy.

The driving issue first surfaced on the longer (200-mile-plus) trips that used to be such a pleasure, and an integral part of my hobby interests. Since my last fender-bender three months ago, I haven't touched a wheel, and while I probably have no choice but to try again, I'll have to limit it to short, in-town trips and daylight driving only, and insurance will be expensive, We have a senior paratransit system, but it's not very good -- a 40-mile round trip to a regional hospital is going to take most of the day.

I can walk just fine -- but hopefully, not on broken ground, and after about a half-mile, my gait slips back into the shuffle of a man of much greater years, especially if carrying something; balance, rather than stamina, seems to be the issue. The MD's are looking into everything, but the process is a slow one.


I'm 61 and I feel that way too;to the point of considering going on disability but won't be able to financially.
I have peripheral arterial disease,which is made up of 2 symptoms ...neuropathy and intermittent claudication.
Based on your description of the walking issues..you are lucky that you can still walk 1/2 mile ..I can barely go more than a couple hundred feet without having to stop for 30 seconds to a minute then repeat again.
My gait is affected and the pain in my shins and knees becomes torture-like..as if someone had my lower extremities in a vise grip or shoved a lit torch against my shins.
I can barely climb stairs,have to take one step and then place the other foot on the same step while holding up for dear life to the handrail,,,downstairs is even more difficult.
Can't walk on grass anymore as I lack the "shock absorbers" in my legs that will allow me not to topple over
to the ground..If I take off my shoes and close my eyes I cannot tell if I'm standing on grass or on concrete,or if the ground is icy cold or boiling hot.

I can also commiserate with you on the driving issue...It's happened to me twice already that I actually accelerated instead of braking because I couldn't tell where my foot was. I even took a class driving with hand controls like paraplegics and little people do,but that has its own set of issues,including changing your driver's license and testing like you are driving for the first time.
It's one of the reasons why I drive the same 20 year old car...I'm just afraid that if I get another car I
my legs will have no "muscle memory" where they shouid be and I will crash the car on the test drive.

All I can do is commiserate with you,I cannot offer encouraging or positive suggestions.......in my case,after 15 years of doctors,and trying to take care of myself by
quitting smoking 13 years ago,exercising with a stationary bike,and eating right...there has been no improvement to my condition and I'm actually getting worse.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:10 AM
 
2,635 posts, read 3,379,455 times
Reputation: 6975
I think the OP is giving up to easily.

Have you considered some intensive rehabilitation / physical therapy focusing on strengthening, gait stability and core strength? And then starting an exercise program on your own? Why give up now. I don't see any reason why you cannot improve your situation.

Have you considered a driving rehab course to touch up your skills and improve your confidence? Or checking with your doctor to see if an anxiety issue may now be inhibiting your progress? There are lots of ways to address this.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:22 PM
 
1,838 posts, read 791,821 times
Reputation: 3385
Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
I too am 68 and day time driving is no problem at all but my night vision is poor. Driving after dark from town back home (about 10 miles on a main road) is OK but I'm reluctant to do trips that are much longer. If I go up to the 'bergs I try to plan on being home by dark. Oncoming headlight really seem to blind me, especially when drivers are slow to dim their headlights.

A friend recently suggested that It might help a bit if I were to replace the windshield on my 22 year Suburban that has over 205,000 miles. I'll have to do some research on that.

I've still got my original knees and hips but the stamina and flexibility is not great so things like standing on a ladder to change a light bulb (remove globe, burned out bulb, install new bulb and rehang the globe is about my limit for standing with my knees locked.

There is no way to know what the future holds but I'm hoping to age in place and not have to leave my rural home for someplace where access to amenities is closer and easier.
Have your eyes checked. Night vision difficulties are a common issue with cataracts. Surgery is easy peasy. Your windshield and your headlights might also need replacing as like the eyes they become crazed with age.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,711 posts, read 4,738,002 times
Reputation: 28260
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
I think the OP is giving up to easily.

Have you considered some intensive rehabilitation / physical therapy focusing on strengthening, gait stability and core strength? And then starting an exercise program on your own? Why give up now. I don't see any reason why you cannot improve your situation.

Have you considered a driving rehab course to touch up your skills and improve your confidence? Or checking with your doctor to see if an anxiety issue may now be inhibiting your progress? There are lots of ways to address this.
Someone who had five vertebrae fused at age nine probably has genetic issues. Of course I could be wrong.
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:19 PM
 
2,635 posts, read 3,379,455 times
Reputation: 6975
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Someone who had five vertebrae fused at age nine probably has genetic issues. Of course I could be wrong.

I do wonder if he has a diagnosis by now. I suspect we have made much progress in medicine since he had his surgery. He hasn't spoken about recommended treatments from the doctors to slow progression, what they project as his disease course, or any physical therapy.

Doctors often forget about physical therapy. It is one of the most important things we can do with aging. It is something to think about whenever you notice a decline in function, a bad fall, a car accident etc...

If he truly had a clear diagnosis and doctors were telling him to make all of these drastic changes in his life (are they?), then if I were him I would be trying to move to a location where I could continue to be just as active as he has been, but where places of interest are closer. Closer hospitals. More choices for public transportation. More close driving volunteering options.

But first.... PT! Don't give up!

I wish the OP the best in his work-up with his doctors. I hope he really pushes them to find out what is going on. If he doesn't get answers, get a second opinion. And start that PT ASAP.
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,711 posts, read 4,738,002 times
Reputation: 28260
Oh, I see now why you recommended PT and core strengthening...

Quote:
I can walk just fine -- but hopefully, not on broken ground, and after about a half-mile, my gait slips back into the shuffle of a man of much greater years, especially if carrying something; balance, rather than stamina, seems to be the issue. The MD's are looking into everything, but the process is a slow one.
I've always found it difficult to walk long distances while carrying something. We tend to swing our arms in opposite motion to our legs because that keeps us balanced. Another component of balance is that core strength. Some oblique work might help.
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