Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Pain and the Senior Citizen

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Nov 1, 2013 9:08 PM

Do you know any folks over 60 who haven't had any health problems at all? It's so rare. I'm at an art opening today with my knee injury talking to a few other 60-somethings. There's a shoulder injury, a broken leg and a post-hand surgery patient among the four of us. So, young people have injuries, too, but ours are probably due to years of overuse. My run, during which my knee injury appeared, just happened to be the culmination of years of pounding to my knee, most likely. The artist with the shoulder injury probably succumbed to years of pulling and stretching. The professor with the hand injury used to write and then type and has used a keyboard extensively for decades. However, the women who broke her leg, fell--an accident. Anyone can have an accident but older people have poorer balance.

The mental health part of this blog is about not thinking we can do more than we can. It's hard to admit that I'm not as athletic as I'd like or as I was for awhile. It's about coming to terms with reality, accepting aging and taking care of ourselves. Sometimes, it's OK to rest, to walk instead of run, to lift lighter weights more rather than ones which are too heavy and to afford quick, jerky movements.To stay on the go, we have to learn when to take it easy, too.

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