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Old 04-23-2008, 08:00 PM
Location: ...in the desert...
36 posts, read 159,864 times
Reputation: 34


gemkeeper, just to clarify -- I'm not knocking the elderly who have cognitive problems and challenges and who tend to cling to the past because they are shut out from the present by ill health, failing eyesight/memory, and mental decline.

I'm talking about those robust elderly who just are determined to cling to things long gone, and who won't even open the door to their hearts or minds a fraction of an inch -- they are actively shutting out anything and anyone "new", and it makes it extremely frustrating to try to connect with them -- they don't want the connection -- they just want their sorrow and their wall firmly up. If you set them at a feast, they'd just see what they DON'T have. And this isn't just seniors by any means. I've met 30 year olds who are obsessed with their high school days and who let the present just go begging.

The city-data retirees I've been reading on this website seem very vital, very open and wise. They are jumping right in and it's wonderful to see!!!
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:56 PM
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,728 posts, read 9,086,222 times
Reputation: 3463
I agree with you completely, BrushFyre, on the attitudes and expectations of many retired and elderly people, as well as, lots of younger ones. Some will never see the glass as half full.

I was commenting more on the experiences that I, personally, have had with the elderly, not countering your experiences with some. Being retired myself, I am seeing these feelings that you have described among some of my acquaintances as they age. But, as I look back over the years, I think that many of them have always been dissatisfied with the hand they were dealt.

I feel fortunate that the time that I have shared reading to and talking with nursing home residents, I see more reminiscing about past events than longing for what cannot any longer be. I hope that I can hang onto that positive acceptance myself as the years pass. I truly feel that if you want to start where you left off years ago in your old hometown, you will be sorely disappointed.

I really appreciate what CarolL said in her last post - that she realizes that she "cannot recapture the past. I want to build on it, not return to it". I think that this is a very healthy, sensible and realistic insight when considering returning to the old hometown.
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