Executive Functioning & Diseases of Aging

A Humanitarian Problem
short-sighted at best – unconscionable at worst

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
part of the Executive Functioning Series

This might be the most important post I have ever written
(out of 500+ information-dense articles).
It applies to every single one of us,
so I hope you will take the time to read it all.

A tragic implication of Boiling Frog Syndrome

As I began in an article as part of the Executive Functioning Series, two Mondays ago [How well do you REALLY function?], when things decline gradually we tend to accommodate the accumulation of difficulties until we are struggling to cope and practically desperate for help.

Before I continue with a Series of articles designed to describe and discuss EF struggles, what’s involved, and explain what you can do to mitigate the effects (before, during and after they develop), I want to take just a bit of a side trip to talk about something that WILL affect ALL of us, one way or another — unless, of course, something worse gets us first.

EF challenges as the result of AGING

According to a biomedical gerontologist ‪Dr. Aubrey de Grey‬, what we consider and accept as “normal” aging is far more complex than the accumulation of an increasing number of birthdays — that is, chronological aging.

Biological aging is a different matter entirely, and that is what his organization studies and believes they will be able to impact positively.

Biological aging is what causes the greatest number of functional problems in brain and body, responsible for cognitive struggles as well as the pain and suffering of the degenerative diseases of aging.

So remember that when researchers like de Grey talk about “reversing” aging with restoration therapies, healthy aging is the focus of their desire. Looking and feeling younger for an extended life-span is a beneficial side-effect.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey redefines Aging

“Aging is the life-long accumulation of ‘damage’ to the body that occurs as intrinsic side-effects of the body’s normal operation.  The body can tolerate some damage, but too much of it causes disease and disability.”

DAMAGE: changes in structure and composition that the body cannot – or can no longer – automatically reverse.

Dr. de Grey is the Cambridge educated co-founder and Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, dedicated to exploring and combating the aging process, a 501(c)(3) public charity that is transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related disease.

Dr. de Grey is also the Editor in Chief of Rejuvenation Research, a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Mary Ann Liebert that covers research on rejuvenation and biogerontology.

Speaking all over the world for many years, to lay as well as professional audiences, he spreads the message that the deleterious effects of aging are not something we need to accept as a given — in other words, they are NOT conditions that are impossible to prevent or reverse.

He presents his cogent explanations and arguments for the need for a drastic change in paradigm in many lectures, debates and discussions available on YouTube.

We do NOT have to accept the idea that the decline and eventual disappearance of the body’s resilience is inevitable.  ~ mgh

Turning things around

“One of the biggest frustrations for me in my work is that old people don’t complain enough about how GRIM it is to be old — and if they did, maybe something more would be done about it.” ~ Aubrey de Grey

  • The desire for healthy aging is an issue that concerns 100% of the people currently living today.
  • Yet most of us are suffering from Boiling Frog Syndrome, refusing to give this issue the consideration it merits — which includes our lack of willingness to advocate aggressively for resources to address the many challenges of aging that the clear majority of us WILL face before we die.
  • It surprises most people to learn that, for example, only a fraction of 1% of the research budget of the U.S. Federal Government goes toward the basic biology of aging.   Other countries don’t allocate appreciably greater funding, and some do much less.  ‘Sup with that?
  • Once enough people begin thinking about the physical and cognitive devastation of aging as medical problems that we can actually prevent and reverse – insisting that our political leaders consider it seriously and fund it appropriately – it will change the way we approach the public health “game” completely, with predictably positive results for every single person reading these words.

Our most important health-related goal needs to be applying our resources to solve the global challenge of remaining as healthy as possible for as long as possible – for as many people as possible.
~ mgh

Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

HOVER before clicking – often a box will appear to tell you what to expect

Manifestations of ignoring the obvious

Increasing Awareness and FUNDING

On or around the first of every month I post a calendar of Mental Health Awareness “days” – adding a bit of text to those many of you may not be familiar with already, or underscoring the relevance to mental health.

Almost every single disease or disorder included in those posts results in a negative impact on Executive Functioning, most of which are struggling for research funding to eliminate or treat these conditions.

Obviously, I am in strong opposition to the short-sighted goals of America’s current administration, who seem hell-bent on cutting medical research funding and medical insurance benefits by billions of dollars.

Thank goodness, the Republican Plan to Cut Funding for Biomedical Research has hit Opposition in Congress – and we ALL need to keep up the pressure to make sure those funding cuts never happen.

But America is not the only country with its
head in the sand about the problems of aging.

I believe it is essential to do WHATEVER WE CAN to ensure the ongoing health and mental functioning of the people of this planet we share. When you read the numbers I am about to share, I believe many of you will agree with me about that.

WHY are we reluctant – or afraid – to END the problems of aging? WHY are any of us willing to tolerate a world-view where access to life-long preventative health care remains the province of the wealthy?

Not only is that situation ethically anathema, it is economic suicide.

According to U.S. statistics, in 1960 5% of the GDP** was spent on health care.  By 2010, that figure had increased to 18% and will continue to increase.

It is projected that, unless things change significantly, by the year 2040 over 40% of the gross GDP** of the US will go into health care alone.

This is obviously a problem we cannot possibly afford.

An unusually large portion of those expenditures will continue to occur during the last six months of life – on the chronic, progressive “diseases of old age” that become exponentially more prevalent the longer you live and that are increasingly expensive to manage (vs. cure, since we currently don’t have ways to cure them).  

**GDP [Gross Domestic Product] is the total value of everything produced by all the individuals, companies and corporations in a country, citizen and foreign-owned alike. It is considered to be the best way to measure the state of a country’s economy.

Staggering Statistics

100,000 people die of old age-related illnesses every single day. Frailty alone kills 6-7% of the population and leads to many of the other diseases below.

Sadly, if we live long enough, and without a drastic change in how we approach health-science research, most of us WILL be challenged by one or more of the following degenerative illnesses:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Type II diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • sarcopenia – muscle wasting over time
  • advanced heart disease
  • one or more of a great many cancers
  • eye diseases and blindness
  • osteoporosis
  • osteoarthritis
  • and a list HERE of almost 125 ailments, ranked by risk factor

And The Problem is escalating quickly

According to the UN, the population of elderly human beings is the fastest growing around the world, and the number of elderly people by 2050 will be close to 2 BILLION. MANY of you reading will be among them – if you have not already succumbed to one of the diseases of aging.

By the year 2020 – in the entire world – there will be more people over 65 than under 5 years of age. As the 5 year olds enter the workforce, those who are now 65 become 75 and 85 and begin to become terminally ill.

We won’t have enough people on the planet to afford this ailing and aging population.

By overcoming the diseases of aging, we can literally save trillions of dollars.
~ ‪Liz Parrish, CEO of BioViva Sciences USA – Human of the Future‬ (video)

So why are we willing to tolerate the MANY diseases of advancing age?

Don’t kid yourself, unless we speak up forcefully for increased research funding, we are indeed “tolerating” – if not actually facilitating – continued disease and suffering for the largest population demographic on the planet.

As it stands right now, each and every one of us will eventually become a part of that particular demographic.

Why are we so short-sighted?


Thoughts from Dr. Aubrey de Grey

Is Aging the World’s Most Important Problem?

It has intrigued me and, indeed, frustrated and astonished me for many years that this is something that needs to be explained to people. It seems to me to be completely obvious.

It has been obvious to me ever since I was a young kid that aging IS the world’s most important problem in the very obvious sense that it causes the most suffering.

Ninety percent, probably, of the medical problems in the entire world, certainly in the industrialized world (and it’s going up really fast – it’s way over 50% in the developing world) are caused by simply having being born a long time ago, due to the accumulation of damage in the body as a side effect of being alive.

Undoubtedly, the overwhelming majority of suffering in the world is caused by ill health, so it’s a no brainer.  AND YET, people don’t think that way.

Why NOT?

I would say that the only reason – the overwhelming reason why people don’t think that way is because it’s too scary – too miserable. And the reason it’s miserable is that until quite recently we haven’t had the faintest idea what we could ever DO about it.

If there’s some ghastly thing that is going to happen to you and your loved ones in the relatively distant future, then you’re not going to want to spend your miserably short life being preoccupied by this terrible thing.

What you’re going to want to do is find some way to put it out of your mind – any way you can.  And it doesn’t matter how irrational your rationalization is. So I come across the most utterly laughable, tragic rationalizations for insisting that aging is actually a good thing.

In the past 10 or 15 years that kind of thinking has become out of date.

More from de Gray’s compelling interview below

PLEASE don’t miss the greater message because you are focusing on the sound-bite title, most likely chosen by the interviewer.

Dr. de Grey has been extremely clear that the GOAL is to eliminate the effects and suffering of age-related health issues, and that increased longevity is a side-effect of getting rid of the “diseases” and conditions that are causing most of us to suffer during the last few years before we die.

Despite a $20,000 prize to disprove the worthiness of de Grey’s studies (put up by himself, MIT and de Grey’s own foundation years ago now) his work still stands, finally capturing the imagination of molecular biologists and the public alike.

Interview begins at 5:25

Wanna’ sing out, learn more and have a ton of fun?

Click HERE to find out about RAADfest 2017
August 9th-13th | San Diego, CA

RAADFest 2016 — How many MORE people would have attended Woodstock if they had any inkling of its historical impact? Get there if you can – and blog about it!

More to come

In future posts we’ll explore more about Executive Functioning struggles and their implications, along with what’s needed to learn to swim with the current, so stay tuned. Getting real about what’s going on just might allow you to let yourself reach out for help.

Check out some of the links above and the Related Content below for self-help and a few success stories. Life doesn’t have to be so hard.

© 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

A Few LinkLists by Category (to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)

Related Articles/Videos ’round the net – get informed!

BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

92 Responses to Executive Functioning & Diseases of Aging

  1. Pingback: November 2017 Mental Health Awareness | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Pingback: Of Kings and Kindness | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. Pingback: Surviving Cancer – a celebration | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  4. John Fioravanti says:

    Reblogged this on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti and commented:
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie presents a startling article about the prevention of age-related illnesses. Please, read on…


    • Thanks for helping to spread this message, John. Aubrey (and others) have been spreading it for over a decade and it STILL only recently reached me. Together we can pick up the velocity and pick up the numbers to be able to INSIST that funding be allocated to address this issue before it is too late.


  5. John Fioravanti says:

    Fantastic post, Madelyn! You hit the nail right on the head – most people think that the negative effects of aging are inevitable and inescapable. I learned a lot here, thank you!


    • Thanks John. I was stunned when I discovered the first breadcrumb on the trail that has been scattered by the the gerontologists for well over a decade.

      How come I didn’t know this ALREADY? (astonishing lack of support for the issue is the answer, of course).

      I’ve since spent hours and HOURS following that trail – and more still trying to encapsulate the highlights so that others wouldn’t HAVE to (and shared a few links so they could).

      It needs to be taken out of the realm of controversy and opinion and into the realm of science and evidence. Only the appropriation of research dollars can make that happen before it is too late – but it won’t unless more of us become aware of it and rally to call for funding. And SOON!


  6. Pingback: Reaching the Boiling Point | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  7. Tina Frisco says:

    Fantastic article, Madelyn. Preventative medicine is critical. Doctors (and heath insurers) should be paid to keep us healthy and give free care when we get sick. Dr. de Grey is among those engendering hope for slowing, if not reversing the aging process. Using a new technique that takes adult cells back to their embryonic form, US researchers at the Salk Institute in California showed it was possible to reverse aging in mice, allowing them to not only look younger, but also live 30% longer. And scientists have discovered a key signalling process in DNA repair that they’ve used in the development of a drug to reverse aging. Trials on mice found that the pill repaired DNA damage after a week. I just hope we live long enough to reap the benefits! 🙂 ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  8. floridaborne says:

    Ah…succumbing to the ravages of time. The worst part about aging is the upside-down thought pyramid where our culture reveres youth and discards the wisdom of age.

    When you find something that gives you self worth — such as writing, yoga, or a hobby — that helps a lot..

    I was on a plane when a 20-something walked past the place where 3 older women were sitting and said, “This must be the Medicare section.” People laughed. What if “medicare” were replaced by an ethnic group or color? It’s called hypocrisy, and few people see it.

    As more of us have come to realize that we’re going to have to work until we die, employers continue to pass up a 60-something for a job. Sure, s/he might stay for only 5 years, but s/he brings along a good work ethic and a lifetime of experience. That 20-something the employer ends up hiring might stay for 2 years and bring along a sense of entitlement and a wealth of inexperience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WONDERFUL points! Thanks so much for taking the time to share them.

      Ageism is as disgusting and inappropriate as sexism, racism or any other -ism, and, unfortunately, rampant. As intellectually embarrassing, actually, as some of the “jokes” that TV character Archie Bunker used to find funny.

      I have a BIG mouth and get bolder every year I’m alive, so I tend now to embarrass the snot right out of those snotty-nosed “youngsters” who comment like that 20-something (and the people who laugh when they do) — making “fun” right back at them with the sarcastic wit that can only be developed through age and experience. lol 🙂

      As for many employers, you are SO right. Myopic and misguided. There are *very* few jobs where youth is an advantage what-so-ever. And by the time you could get them up to speed, they’ve long gone on seeking greener pastures.

      But then, many of the first level human resource employees you have to get past to get hired are kids themselves. Ambitious, eager to prove themselves, but not always the brightest bulbs in the package. Even when they are, they lack the depth of experience to think for themselves and/or “out of the box.”

      Things ARE changing, albeit far too slowly. A late 50’s friend was recently scouted by a couple of “kids” heading up a start-up in a brand new field, actively seeking older employees for exactly the reasons you cite – depth of experience, a proven track record, and an excellent work ethic. ALSO unlikely to job-hop, given the state of the current market. They were willing to compensate appropriately as well, btw.

      I’d purchase stock in that forward thinking company in a heartbeat! They’ll most likely experience wild success, with better than average returns for their investors.

      Thanks again for ringing in.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    If you are maturing at a faster rate than you would like and worse still accepting as a fundamental result of aging.. then do read Madelyn Griffith-Haynie’s post.

    I have interviewed people in their 90s who are healthy, not on any medication and have all their marbles.. they have eaten well all their lives, still go out and engage in activity and meeting people, still have goals and dreams and look and feel twenty years younger. A great deal of this is in our own hands.

    Find out more about the work of Aubrey de Grey. It is not only for our own benefit that we need to take more responsibility for our health as we get older. The cost of taking care of us as we accumulate illnesses associated with old age is going to cripple the health services for the generations coming along behind us.

    We need to get a grip. #recommended
    mgh added white space for readability for those who struggle with longer strings of text; words unchanged

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are a DOLL to reblog this post, Sally, particularly with the front-end encouragement to take good care of ourselves to avoid becoming another of the old age statistics.

      I have two excellent personal examples of “extreme seniors” who remained vital until mere weeks before their deaths.
      1 – Despite a life-long healthy diet, my own father developed Type-II Diabetes in his 80’s and experienced some hearing loss (especially in particular ranges, as the result of continued exposure to cockpit noise during his early test-pilot years).

      And despite years that kept him perpetually sleep-deprived for much of his subsequent career as what is often called a “rocket scientist,” (many 24 hour shifts as launches grew closer), he was of sound mind and body otherwise for almost 10 additional years, easily keeping his glucose levels stable through frequent testing throughout the day.

      In addition to the popular books he enjoyed, he reread ALL the classics and the writings of Churchill in his last ten years of life and did advanced math problems in his head (on an imaginary blackboard!) for “relaxation,” which kept his genius brain as sharp as a tack.

      2 – A good friend and former roommate’s grandmother was spunky, energetic & always up for a new experience into her 90s – even hosted Saturday Night Live in her 80’s. Cooked, cleaned and took care of two mentally disabled children (my friend’s mother and uncle) right up until her death.

      So it IS possible – and, in the absence of a genetic propensity for certain diseases, there is a lot we can do to prevent or forestall the worst ravages of age.

      Hopefully, by the time most of us get there, science will have advanced to the place where many of the degenerative diseases can be prevented or reversed. They can already do it in mice – all it will take is FUNDING for human trials – and there’s no shortage of eager volunteers who have expressed interest in being study participants.

      It’s also up to us to make SURE our politicians know we want them to appropriate that funding!


  10. reocochran says:

    I definitely think all the problems of aging and diseases affiliated with aging need to be funded and addressed in the government funding priorities.
    I think my AARP magazine is helpful to my hearing and reading about current status on Aging Bills. Thanks, Madelyn! hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. I love the thoroughness and positivity in your posts! They give me so much hope 😊😊. Executive function is something I get concerned about sometimes, as I’m not getting any younger 😉💜💞👍🏼👍🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to read that you are thinking further than today, but EFDs are no respecter of age. Even children can be affected – and many are (misdiagnosed, quite often).

      Many EFDs come as a result of other health problems. Those DO come more frequently with age – but they don’t have to, according to the scientists I have been reading. Once considered “the maverick fringe,” recent developments are beginning to prove them right, and more are jumping on the bandwagon with new research with equally positive indications.

      NOW they need funding to take it to the next level – human trials (and there is no shortage of volunteers).

      Thanks for reading – and for your glowing comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. dgkaye says:

    Girl, you need to run for president! Fantastic education here on aging, disease and government. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Some powerful facts here. What an industry that has built around aging.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Reblogged this on Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit and commented:
    Please read this important blog post on Health and spread the word. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. -Eugenia says:

    This is a very worthy discussion and a very important one as well. Aging is going to happen and measures to handle health care, facilities, care givers, etc. should have been put into place many moons ago. Quality of life, while we are in existence, is key.

    Our mindset about aging needs adjusting. Being unhealthy, frail, forgetful, etc. does not have to be expected as part of aging. Concentration on a healthy lifestyle is a must.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does my heart good to read your comment, Eugenia. You’d be surprised how many people simply don’t GET IT – and their opposition is holding back scientific advances that have already proved successful in mice and need to prove funding to be allowed to move on to human trials (for which they have volunteers lining up in droves, btw).

      Politicians don’t seem to care about what’s RIGHT – only about what gets them elected and re-elected, so until more of us insist than object, we’re STUCK. Thanks for commenting — and spread the word.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Such an important topic, Madelyn. I am frustrated every day when I see geriatric patients treated in the same cookie cutter fashion as someone in their youth. How do we know that statins still make sense to someone in their 90’s? How do we anticipate the effects of chemo on someone in their 80’s when studies were only performed on younger, healthier subjects?

    How does one cope with a complex medical treatment plan comprised of over 20 medications? (Sometimes over 30) Is it really possible to take all those meds properly and what about the interactions? I believe the baby boomers will have a louder voice in demanding more research on healthy aging.

    Liked by 2 people

    • These are all great points, adding to the discussion substantially – thank you!

      I am astounded to read that you see 20-30 medications prescribed to the same elder!
      How could there NOT be medication interactions that quickly become part of the problem? I have seen problems in clients taking only 3 or 4. And YET, no studies!

      Politicians don’t seem to care about what’s RIGHT – only about what gets them elected and re-elected, so until more of us insist on more research than object about the cost of studies, every single one of us faces a daunting future.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment — and spread the word! We need NUMBERS.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Unfortunately health care is more political than research driven, Madelyn. For example, there have been studies for years that disproved the merit of the annual physical exam, but lawmakers made an annual ‘wellness visit’ part of Medicare benefit so seniors wouldn’t feel deprived of a semblance of a physical exam. What a waste of money! This visit is based on discussion of screening tests for diseases that probably the majority of seniors already have. Don’t get me started! I could go on an never ending rant!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rants always welcome here – *especially* about the woeful state of “health” care in the used-to-be-good ole’ USA. And if we can’t rally enough support to change the figureheads, it’s likely to get a whole lot worse.

          Did anyone currently in power EVER remain awake during a science class? It certainly would not seem so.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Looking at the list was kinda scary but with knowledge in hand one can work on and achieve healthy aging. Two of my Dad’s sisters and my Maternal Great Aunt suffered with Alzheimers. Type 2 diabetes runs on my Mom’s side plus my Mother had osteoporosis. Both my parents died of cancer.

    After having a minor stroke November 2008 and seeing my life pass before my eyes in Roosevelt Hospital E.R. I had to tackle my high blood pressure head on. I thought that my parents had diseases because they smoked and drank and I would escape. Well that was not true my DNA/Genetics caught up to me at age 49. As I have come to find out for some reason African-Americans have a high rate of hypertension and diabetes. Why I’m not sure?

    I survived the stroke but with significant damage to the vision in my left eye. I had Retina surgery Jan. 2010 which restored some vision but not all. I cannot read anything on that lovely eye chart that eye doctors insist that I read. However being a woman of prayer I told God that I did not want to be like Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles. I want to be able to read the Bible, keep my job and take care of my brother Stephen who has Autism. I’m doing those things.

    You may wonder how I was able to get around my large museum workplace but when you have eye problems you tend to memorize things, locations, landmarks. I put the good right eye to work. I could go from one end of the building to the other with no problems. And as I stated on your post regarding memory I had pretty much memorized the location, artist, genre of nearly every painting and sculpture in the place.

    Plus I later learned that if you’ve had good vision for 48 years and suffer some vision loss the human brain has stored pictures/memories of what things should look like. Your brain fills in the blanks.

    I Do have problems judging distance therefore stairs/steps are my enemy especially going down stairs. Ugh! I am also glad that on the night shift I no longer must read or in my case try to read the museum map as I can’t see a darn thing on the map and mostly went by the colors to answer visitor questions. This is another way memorizing as much of the artworks as possible came in handy. When I worked days I was even getting pretty good at answering Spanish speaking visitors in Spanish.

    I realized that if I am to live longer than my parents who both died in their 60s that I needed to step up my Healthy Living Lifestyle. That meant I had to change my diet and incorporate more exercise. I’ve been battling osteoarthritis for years but it began to get better end of last year when I switched from the day shift which has lots of standing to the night shift where I only stand 50% of the time. (Museum floors are hard) Plus even though I work for the same museum this is a different location and a smaller building. I was able to map it out in my head and commit it to memory much faster. Now if I could only stop forgetting my co-workers names!!

    All in all I believe that if I keep challenging my brain with God’s will my cognitive function should be on point for a long time.
    mgh added a bit more white space for readability for those who struggle with longer strings of text; words unchanged

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am sorry to read the details of what happened to you, yet so proud of you for tackling these problems head on! As you’ve learned, there is much that we ourselves are doing we need to STOP to age as healthily as possible. Unfortunately, that is not nearly enough for the great majority of us. We need more research funding to figure out what WILL be enough.

      The scientists working on vision and causes of blindness are desperately underfunded – but then that is true of MOST bio-medical research. And now the American administration’s projected budget proposes even LESS funding – millions less.

      We ALL must rally and sing out to oppose those cuts before we ALL begin to deal with truly drastic consequences in the not too distant future.

      20 years – looking at the comparative aging demographics, we have ONLY 20 years to stand a prayer of turning the economic consequences around in time.

      Spread the word – the number of those of us who GET IT simply must increase to counter the many voices who do not. Our short-sighted politicians only listen to NUMBERS – and the uber-wealthy simply do not understand how this will affect them, health and wealth included.

      Philanthropists are dying with millions of dollars they can no longer spend, which they COULD have donated to research on healthy aging *before* it was too late for them. Most simply had their heads in the sand until they themselves needed help that was not available – for ANY amount of money.

      Almost ALL of us are ignoring the elephant in the room, and we can no longer afford to do so.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Lucy Brazier says:

    This is really interesting and, I admit, something I had thought a great deal about before now. I try to keep myself fit and healthy (the occasional cigarette and glass of wine might be my downfall!) in the hope that old age will be relatively bearable.

    However, my grandfather (a former professional sportsman and paragon of virtue where healthy eating is concerned) is in the early stages of dementia and it seems that there is little he could have done to prevent this.

    I suppose we do bury our heads in the sand and hope that when the time comes, someone else will have figured out what to do. A very enlightening post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Lucy. The time is truly past where we can AFFORD to quibble about the cost of research. Unless “someone” figures it out very soon now, we are ALL in trouble — and not just when we ourselves reach that point.

      BUT until enough people understand and DO think about it – and advocate for INCREASED funding, opposing cutbacks to health related concerns and biomedical research – the politicians will do what they always do. They will pander to the populace to protect their voter base.

      And the populace is already being taxed more than they can afford — so increased taxation of the uber-wealthy and the removal of loopholes and protections that leave Corporations paying fewer taxes than many, many middle-class (and below) individuals looks to be unavoidable.

      Unless, of course, we ALL choose to be “suddenly” overwhelmed by a situation we COULD have prevented.

      Alternatively, billionaires and multi-millionaires could decide to step up and fund the research philanthropically, but most of them make like Midas where their pocketbooks are involved, so that’s highly unlikely.

      I put this together to do my part spreading the word. The time to prevent this catastrophe is NOW. And we need NUMBERS to convince our respective politicians to get it DONE.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. that was interesting… and it was alarming somehow to read how much peeps over 65 we will have in 2020…that is in 3 years…

    Liked by 3 people

    • YEP! And in 20 years, if enough of us do not INSIST on increased funding for bio-medical research on the aging, we are ALL in big trouble, no matter how young we are.

      We don’t have to worry about global warming or much of anything else if we can no longer afford to run our countries – beginning in just TWENTY years. Then what? I shudder to think of what will be done to the elderly otherwise – in the name of “the common good.”

      Thanks for reading – and talk it up to spread the word. We need to increase the number of people who are aware of the problem – dramatically and practically immediately, to avoid what WILL happen if we do not.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Another excellent and very much needed article!

    Liked by 2 people

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: