Australia, Motivational

When Will I Die?

No one lives forever, so as we get older, we inevitably think about our own mortality. Especially when we lose a family member or a close friend. I had imagined the leading cause of death for Australians to be either heart disease, vascular issues or cancer and I was wrong. It was a reality check which was both reassuring and scary.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Life Expectancy

The leading cause of death for women in Australia is in fact, Dementia!

As the following image indicates:

Credit: http://www.aihw.gov.au

..for people aged 85 and over, it was dementia including Alzheimer disease, followed by coronary heart disease.

www.aihw.gov.au

Given this information, I feel it’s important to prevent, or at least delay, the onset of dementia if I can.

The Role of Mental Health in Preventing Dementia

Until the final years of my Grandmother’s life, she travelled widely and drove a car. Having outlived every one of her friends, she relied on family for social contact. The end of her driving days triggered further social isolation and she developed dementia until she could no longer live alone and moved to a nursing facility, where she died.

I have no desire to live until I am 106 years old or even 96. For one thing, I do not want to be a burden on my kids or on society. Nor do I want to spend years in a nursing facility, slumped in a wheelchair, semi-comatose, attending indoor bowls sessions or listening, if I can still hear, to sing-alongs from amateur vaudeville acts with performers that average 85 years or more. For many of us, that might be the reality of our declining years. I have seen it and it isn’t a great quality of life – merely existing rather than living.

An accomplished cardiologist stated that although heart disease may be the leading cause of death for men, it is vital that women care not just for their hearts, but also their mental well-being in their later years.

However, she claims women have one big thing in their favour.

Girlfriends!

Friends are vital to good mental health and may lower our stress and therefore, our subsequent risk for dementia. I know I can turn to my female friends for advice, reassurance and help. I plan to stave off the mental decline, as best I can, by being physically and mentally active, eating and sleeping sensibly.

Whilst men might need management of physical health to avoid strokes and heart attacks, women need their girlfriends!

As the risk factors for dementia and heart disease include mental stress and social isolation, how can I achieve this and avoid outliving my much-loved friends, as my Grandmother did?

Should I focus on building friendships with younger folk?

I discussed this with a younger friend, who happened to work in the medical field, and she told me:

“Sorry, Amanda, but I won’t be looking after you when you are old.”

My first reaction was that I was chuffed she didn‘t consider me old, already. Then I clarified:

“No, No. I don’t want you to look after me, I just want you to chat with me, or perhaps visit occasionally, if you can?”

Her broad smile accompanied a verbal agreement to do exactly that! Perfect!

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, stimulates the growth of brain cells and the connections between them. Mental exercise helps to build new brain cells and strengthen connections between them. This helps to give the brain more ‘reserve’ or ‘back up’ so that it can cope better and keep working properly if any brain cells are damaged or die.

Depression is often associated with an increased risk of dementia. Scientific research suggests that changing certain health and lifestyle habits may make a big difference to reducing or delaying your risk.

[https://www.dementia.org.au]

There are many ways to look after your mind and it’s never too early or too late to start.

  • Connect with friends and stay social
  • Play games like puzzles, crosswords and cards
  • Learn a new language
  • Take up a new sport
  • Learn a new hobby like painting, sewing, woodwork and cooking
  • Vary your daily activities
  • Read

Being brain healthy is important at any age but is crucial once you reach middle age, for this is when degenerative changes might begin to manifest.

Risk Factors for Dementia

The risk factors for dementia are different for each person and may include:

  • Age, genetics and family history
  • High blood pressure & High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Social Isolation
  • Stress

Many risk factors are modifiable and the risk of dementia can be reduced by:

  • Regular GP check-ups for blood pressure, blood glucose levels and cholesterol
  • Eating a healthy diet 
  • Not smoking
  • Exercising or physical activity
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Looking after your hearing
  • Caring for your mental health

When Might I Expect to Die?

Australia enjoys one of the highest life expectancies in the world, at 82.8 years in 2018 for males and females at birth combined—ranked seventh among 37 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The country with the highest life expectancy at birth for males was Switzerland (81.9 years), and for females was Japan (87.3 years).

[www.aihw.gov.au]

If I am average, I hope to be fortunate enough to see another two decades or so, in a reasonable condition. That means many more coffee mornings with girlfriends, to enjoy.

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Blogger friends connect in New Zealand

93 thoughts on “When Will I Die?”

  1. if there’s no dementia in your family you’re looking pretty good.
    No cancer, you’re unlikely to submit to the crab.
    Probably stroke for me. As to when – nessun idea. Main worry Boodie, if I kark early.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. All the better reasons to stick with the current diet regime, M-R. Never too late to start – and to continue! You are doing so well, from what you have said. Are you finding the more you eat healthy food, the more you WANT to eat healthy food?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! That is a surprising statistic for Australian women. If anything, though, it may highlight the importance of dementia and various related ailments (as well as overall mental health) in human existence. My mother may have succumbed to the effects of a stroke last year, but I still believe her relentless dementia only aggravated it.

    I’m concerned for my own mental health – more so now than I ever have been. I’ve always suffered from depression and anxiety. I’ve only been able to deal with it by simply…well, dealing with it. I’ve come to understand that demon will hover over my mind forever, but I’ve learned even more how to control it. Or rather, how NOT to let it control me!

    As for dieing, it does not scare me. Death is not to be feared. It is merely a pathway to another life. I believe where we are now is just the first phase of our existence. After this, we go onto something else. It may explain why our loved ones don’t often respond when we call their names in moments of distress and anguish. They’re too occupied with the activities of their new lives.

    I’ve expressed in my own blog how intriguing I think it must be on that higher level and how people navigate in that environment and what they do with themselves. I’ve also imparted how I’m not eager to learn what that’s like anytime soon! I have a lot I want to do now – mainly writing.

    But I don’t fear the arrival of “The End” for me. None of us should. It will happen when it happens.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I like that your comments discuss so many interesting aspects and add to the discussion, Alejandro, although I am sorry to hear of your battles with anxiety and depression. It touches so many families, and mine is no exception to that. But you have discovered the secret, I believe, to dealing with mental illness and that is as you said – to deal with it. Certain mental illnesses seem to paralyse that part of the brain that allows and promotes action and motivation. From my perspective, the people I know that are affected have always fared so much better when they process things and come to an understanding that whilst they have a physiological issue, it is what it is and they have to deal with it or work around it to find the quality of life that functions for them. Medication definitely has its role in getting some folks to that point, but over-reliance on someone else to solve the problem be that medical personnel, family, lovers, friends, or society doesn’t appear to be successful in finding a functional way through. Does that make sense?
      Love your thoughts on death and the after-life. Thought-provoking.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s a scary thought actually- what will we die of when we’re older? In your grandmother’s case, it would have been incredibly difficult, having lost nearly everyone in her generation. Diseases may be cured but loneliness can never be. I reckon you’ll have a long, healthy, happy life, considering your grandmother lived to that age, and the fact that life expectancy in general is increasing will leave you with more girlfriends in later life than your grandmother. 🙂 Wishing you good health and happiness!
    PS: People in their 40s, 50s or 60s aren’t too old, atleast according to my definition of old. So I am of the belief that you are still young enough to enjoy things you want to, to travel and to learn. ☺️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks ever so much Sam. What a beautiful sentiment! I so agree with you that loneliness is sometimes incurable. I experienced that when I first lived alone and changed my values and life to combat those awful emotions. Thankfully, I have not ever felt that again but it does make me aware of how painful it can be for older people. Loneliness is widespread amongst the elderly, but there are ways around it, if you are open to it. I feel that extroverted people have more difficulties than introverted and those who are self-contained keeping themselves busy with their own company. The internet can help with many socially isolated folks but the pandemic have stymed some efforts in this regard.
      Nice that you thought that 40 + are not too old. In your region, is there loneliness amongst the elderly population, or is there more incidence of extended family arrangements which prevent a lot of loneliness?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with the notion that extroverted people have it harder. Oh, here, there are some family arrangements. I live with my grandmother, for instance, (always have), some older people do not want to move to big cities from their villages, so they stay there with their little circles and relatives. Yet, these days, with emigration to other countries, children leave behind their parents and sometimes put them in old age homes. (A place worse than prison, actually). Children abandoning parents is on the rise and popular media often spreads messages against that. Despite all this, you can have people around and still feel lonely. That’s the case with older people who are too sick and can’t keep themselves engaged. Their mental health is too fragile. 🙁

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Excellent point, Sam. You can have people around and still feel lonely. We need to be on our guard and get along with others, even if they are difficult to live with.
          A friend is an only child from Malaysia and she has been trying to get her parents here on family immigration visas for years without success. They have no other family in Malaysia, so it makes sense for them to move here so that she can care for them and her job would allow for this, so I see the issue with children immigrating for economic issues – elderly parents miles away, on their own would be harder to problem solve, and I wonder if there are less options for welfare in your region – in terms of old age pensions. We are fortunate to be able to access that option here once you are nearer to 70 years.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Fortunately, old age pensions aren’t entirely necessary for a good number of us due to family support. In gated communities, most homes have upto 3 generations living together. But when the need for pension does come, it is quite sad. A bunch of depressed seniors living together, all missing their children and wishing to be closer to them. It’s more cultural I guess. We technically never move out of our parents’ houses, we’re always together. So for the few who do get left in old age homes, it is quite surreal. They feel neglected and unnecessary. There are happy pensions too, with many activities for the elderly. The difference is the willingness, whether they were “pushed” there or went there on their own accord. Very interesting case regarding your friend from Malaysia. Family visas can be hard.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. There is a lot to be said for having an extended family living arrangements, although I suspect western families would find it more difficult as they are not used to it. My adult children returned to live home with me during the pandemic so I guess it is similar. I could not have lived with my parents or parents in law, though. I need my independence!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yeah, I totally know what you mean! Family feuds can be annoying and there would be almost no idea of personal space, unless the house is really large.
                In any case, it can be quite a hassle with frequent feuds, yet definitely fun during festivals. 😉

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Most likely not. But loneliness can strike without reason too. 🙂 These days, technology has distanced families, even large ones. Family Is Together yet apart. The older folks without access to social media or smart phones feel most left out.

                Liked by 1 person

  4. My mental health is good. Our lockdown eased on Friday so we had friends over for dinner on Saturday. Tuesday, a girlfriend and I are going to preserve lemons. And every day, I do a cryptic crossword and a sudoku.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Both my mother and her older sister died with Alzheimers so my two sisters and I are keen to do whatever. I’ve already taken the precaution of having lots of younger friends, eat healthily, am very active physically and mentally etc etc

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are doing all the right things, Sheree and I can see why. We are fortunate to have the knowledge of how best to delay or prevent the onset. Do you worry on the days when you are merely forgetful that it is more serious?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. On the topic of exercising your brain:

    […]
    Play games like puzzles, crosswords and cards
    Learn a new language
    […]

    Good advice. If you have a dumbphone, I can thoroughly recommend the following apps:
    Elevate
    Duolingo (I’m using that to learn Klingon!)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m missing my contact with dear friends. The lockdown made me afraid of going out and visit them. Lucky for me I still go for walks every day and chat with people passing by. Still it is important to have contact in person with friends. Interesting information. My mother had dimentia and my older sister is slowly deteriorating.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It isn’t good that you are missing contact, Ineke. I miss our wonderful conversation over coffee all those years ago, and treasure the memory of our meet up. (Hence why I added that photo to this post). I do wish you lived near to me so we could catch up person to person on a regular basis! Blogging helps!

      The lockdown has made many of us fearful, but if the vast majority of us are vaccinated fully, it can give us confidence that we have done what we can to protect ourselves. There is so much misinformation around it is confusing, but I do believe that Covid will arrive in our areas, eventually, and we will be exposed to it, in the same way we are exposed to the annual flu virus. As long as we do all we can, hand hygience vaccinations, boosters, I do believe, we will be okay. ( I am in a high risk category).
      Once we are vaccinated, we are unlikely to become seriously ill with Covid, and much less likely to transmit it to others. Especially good if the rest of our circle of friends are vaccinated too. The anti-vaxers are the only ones who are likely to have major issues and I hope they are only the minority.
      I was fearful of going out in the community too much, but now I feel more confident we can resume our lives again, and Covid will lose its power somewhat. How are the vaccination rates in the North Island? Our state is nearing 60% – the outbreak down south spurred efforts there and they have reached 70%

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had my second injection on Thursday and it is as if a heavy load has lifted a bit. I’m also in the high risk group. We had a vaccination marathon on Saturday. WE are standing on 61% and South Island I think on 64% Auckland did well they are at 90%. Today there were again 94 positive cases in Auckland. It just keeps on going up again. I went to see my one friend today. She had a bad fall in February and still not recovered. Three week ago they detected cancer in her breast and ar busy testing and what ever to see what to do next. Life is not easy. I also wish we could just once in a while have a catch up. Stay save. Lots of love.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It is interesting that where there is Covid, people will be keen to vaccinate. Auckland is going the same way as Melbourne. Delta moves too quick for the contract tracers. I think mask wearing is very compliant here so we have been lucky on numerous occasions.
          So sorry to hear of your friend’s difficulties. It must not be easy facing cancer and its treatments. Getting older brings serious challenges.

          Like

    1. Exactly, Laurie. Friends and Social connections enrich our lives in so many ways. Some folks struggle with social connections, and they are often also feel lonely. It is a good life skill to continually nurture friendships and connections throughout each of life stages. Making new friends is fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Amanda, well done. Excellent piece. A doctor who focuses on senior citizens noted there are two inflection points we need to push back as far as we can. The first on is no longer being able to drive a car. The second is no longer being able to walk without help or at all. Both impact us physically, mentally and socially. Driving when we should not is a burden on the children or a surviving spouse. We had that issue with both our mothers. Not being able to walk is vital to delay or avoid.

    On this latter point, I encourage folks well before that exposure to walk more, stretch more with yoga, pilates, etc. and strengthen your arms enough to be able to stand back up. Also, please try to avoid carrying extra weight. All of this will help with the mental and physical. Better yet, do it with your friends. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. PS – Both of our mothers died from complications due to Alzheimer’s. The decision to take their car keys was painful, but necessary. Alzheimer’s takes away one’s awareness of personal care taking. My mother caught a flu bug making the rounds at her LTC facility and died from cardiac arrest, likely due to dehydration.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sometimes, one needs IV fluids! Dehydration from the flu is a terrible experience, Keith. I have been hospitalized several times for this reason despite my very best efforts at keeping hydrated. I can only imagine how more difficult this would be for those who have reduced awareness of their own care.
        Totally agree re the Alzheimers. It is a cruel disease.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Amanda, I first became aware when my brother brought her up to my daughter’s graduation. When I held my wife’s hand, she was angry thinking I was her husband not her son. Keith

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    2. Thanks for liking my post, Keith and may I say that I equally like your comment just as much, if not more, because you raise such a great point:
      “Strengthening your arms so that you are able to stand up.”
      This is vital, especally when our knees and back start to degrade! We have to learn how to push up on the arms of the chair! We will do better if we can delay the onset of those common problems of aging. Once we can no longer stand, there are so many further problems with hygiene, dignity and therefore, independence.
      I just realized that I have inadvertantly began to address my upper body strength and social connections, by practising Qi Gong on the beach daily (with a lovely group of people)! So I will definitely continue with that!
      The upper body work has so many benefits for the body and also for the mind. I never liked sport or exercise overly much, but I have always been into yoga and am now thankful for that, too.
      I face an uphill battle to get the M.o.t.h interested though…. and his knees and back are starting to pay a heavy price. As you also point out, he is missing out on those opportunities for social connections. I will keep trying to get him interested. Maybe he will come around!
      We have recently moved to a location where we hope we can still get about to everything we might need, if we cannot drive – however, we envisage and hope that day will be at least 1-2 decades away yet. Seeing what happened to my Grandmother was a useful life lesson, but we do have to know our limits. The last day she drove was the day she told us she incurred a ‘slight’ scratch, or two, when parking at the shops in her old Morris Minor and she thought we should take a look at it. In fact, the fender was quite badly damaged so she gave up driving for good. We do need to know our limit.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. As my mother died of dementia (combined Alzheimers and vascular) I am only too well aware of the risks. I have younger friends and try to keep my mind active with various pastimes, including puzzles, and my body active with walks and aqua aerobics. Let’s hope it’s enough!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like you are very pro-active, Sarah and well done! You know the risks and do something about it. Blogging is not a bad pastime either 😉 as long as we have a stand up desk to use some of the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My great- grandmother died from dementia, and it was my grandmother’s (her daughter’s) greatest fear. As she got older she wrote everything down. Lists upon lists, daily logs. My grandfather retired early and had a brain stem stroke 2 years later. She spent the next 10 years as his primary care giver. He was conscious, but unable to move or communicate. It broke all of our hearts to imagine the pain he was in and couldn’t communicate, to imagine living 10 years without being able to have a conversation or change the TV channel. But he and my grandmother were a love story for the ages, and she made sure that he had the next existence possible. She taped all the football games and made sure he could watch them. She sang to him, cared for him, refused to make a decision without him, even if it took him 2 hours to blink once for yes or twice for no. When he passed, her health declined quickly. She had stopped communicating with the outside world – he had been her world – and she no longer seemed to have the ability to step back into it. She was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and lives now in a nursing home. She no longer recognizes us. The doctors say caring for my doctor delayed her symptoms – the routine she created masking her illness. I’m not sure if I agree. She no longer knew how to socialize, how to communicate with someone who could communicate back, and I think this may have been her demise. I also wonder if it’s possible to fear something into being. She put so much energy into not forgetting anything that she forgot everything except for how to make her lists. I am the next generation of women in my family line, and I am trying very hard to try not to worry so much about it, just in case..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Lisarae and thanks ever so much for sharing your story. A cautionary tale indeed. So inspiring that your grandmother was super active in trying to delay the onset of dementia symptoms, which it sounds like she did for many years. I have heard it said that those who have a responsibility for caring for others, appear to have a purpose in living well and maintaining cognizance, despite brain deterioration. When that responsibility goes, the sufferes deteriorate quickly and I wonder if this played a role for your Grandmother? Whatever the reason it must have be very hard to watch as her Granddaughter. Such dedication, patience and persistance to her husband is so very admirable but also might serve as a caution to the rest of us. Women are often so busy caring for others, they can neglect their own care. It is equally important. A bit like the analogy of the oxygen mask on an airplane. If we can’t breathe adequately, how can we help anyone else?
      Even so, if we worry too much about what might happen in our elderly years, it becomes a stressor, so I like that you are trying not to worry about it. Stress is something we all want to avoid at any life stage.

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  11. I believe that reading really made a difference for my grandmother. She died at 96 still very sharp.She worked part time in an office and doing bookkeeping until she was 85. As she got deafer it was hard for her to stay connected but she read voraciously, and she used the computer. Facebook is getting a well deserved reality check right now, but it did help Grandma to stay in touch with family and old friends. I could post pictures of her at family events and her friends would get in touch through comments and messages. It helped with the isolation when she was in the nursing home.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I so love that the internet has provided a venue for social connection for the elderly, Xingfu. Especially for those in the nursing home. I would love to see more opportunities for residents to get connected with family. Especially in pandemic times when nursing homes are locked down for lengthy periods. I suppose smart phones will assist this?

      Like

      1. In my experience older people get to where they have trouble with cell phones, between difficulty with dexterity, trouble seeing the small screens and difficulty hearing. But my sample is small so maybe others will have better experiences.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. From the articles I’ve read about dementia, the cause of death is rarely the dementia itself – it is the underlying conditions or illnesses that are more common with dementia patients, like UTI’s, aspiration pneumonia and/or other coexisting medical conditions. In that respect, it is very similar to many deaths attributed to Covid or seasonal flu!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you are right, Margy. Secondary conditions could be the primary cause, but for dementia to be listed as a cause of death it might be also related to brain atrophy. The person forgets how to swallow food and water, and although malnutrition and dehydration or UTI’s may manifest, the dementia was the trigger. Regardless of how one intreprets the statistics, the prevention is the same. Keep the mind, heart and body healthy is the best medicine!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Gotta love hanging with ya mates. My friends & I often joke about the havoc we are going to cause if we are all in the same nursing home. Our demise does not scare us as that mischief will carry on in Heaven I’m sure.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A beautiful attititude, Linda. Booking into the same retirement facility as mates that has an interconnected nursing home, that you can transition into when and if the time comes, sounds like a wise move!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Amanda / such important stuff here to ponder and discuss
    – and we recently thought about how long we might love when our camping food (freeze dried meal) had the “best by “date as November 2050!
    And similar to you – we hope to not be in that plopped in a wheel chair mode you mentioned !
    Anyhow – two things to add to dementia prevention
    – some folks might benefit from a “heavy metal” detox – and not talking music 🎵- lol
    But the metals accumulate in our body over the years and we pick them up from water – food – and just living life
    In fact – I recently did a quick metals cleanse for a few days by taking EDTA (Arizona Naturals) – and many years ago I did a longer EDTA cleanse and Amanda, oh my goodness was if something I really needed for my terrain – and I guess soldiers from the gulf war in 90s were given EDTA IV therapy to pull out toxins from the gulf battle

    Just wanted to add that because I think older age dementia has some connections with an accumulation of dangerous metals like arsenic and lead –
    And the dangerous low fat diets of the 80s left many folks vulnerable (and a good book to skim is called Bread Head- where Max wrote it about his mother’s dementia which he believed was related to sugar and carb food)
    Anyhow
    The second thing to add to your tips for dementia is brain health with standing balances – god daily breathing exercises to keep the flow of oxygen steady – and sleep!
    Check out Jeff Iliff’s Ted talk on sleep!
    The connector between good sleep and less dementia is amazing

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The connection between good sleep and dementia is interesting and I will read up about that, Yvette. Thanks for that suggestion. I have heard of the connection with aluminium pots and utensils in presentations of Alzheimers. I try to keep away from aluminium for that reason.
      Low fat foods aren’t so good if they are loaded with sugar and that definitely comes into eating more of the good fats and managing cholesterol and eating a sensible rounded diet. All things that help.
      Remember when eggs were a no-no? Thank goodness they debunked that theory. (I love eggs). I suppose this indicates that food and nutritional knowledge is a dynamic thing. As our bodily makeup, diet and physiological knowledge changes as the decades pass, the recommendations need to be updated too. Thanks so much for the input! It is appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh and yes – so glad eggs are not bad anymore-
        Haha

        And here is the link to the Jeff Iliff Ted talk
        –https://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_iliff_one_more_reason_to_get_a_good_night_s_sleep/up-next

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks for the nice reply (as usual- ha)
        And I forgot to mention that when we say good oils and fats it can help to chelate heavy metals if we invest them – and so that is why the fat free propaganda left so many folks vulnerable –
        And I forgot about Aluminum – but we also get exposed to mercury, nickel, and cadmium- and it can come from Dental work – dental shots, soil – and the food chain
        For example – in the news recently they mentioned arsenic in the chicken feed and that could have led to arsenic in chicken meat for human consumption.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. And one more tidbit / I hope I did not come across like a “know it all” with my comment on dementia – cos still
            Just learning with everyone else

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  15. Great post, Amanda. Dementia does not run in our family though my Aunt in Toowoomba at 90 is showing signs of it. The other 3 siblings didn’t make it past mid 70’s. Aunt Helga always saw the joy of life even though it was a very hard one. She was the happiest of the siblings and laughed more. Making good friends is not as easy as it once was. We are a very mobile society and the constant moving makes it harder and harder to connect with people. I think that’s why so many have pets which also helps keep us healthy and mentally active. Our blogging and connecting with people all over the world is also a plus. Never being a puzzle or game person, I get my challenges in my quilting and sewing. Even painting as you know stretches another part of the brain. I have a feeling my life will end mid step. I’ll just go and go until one day the other foot stops following. 🙂 I’m still bargaining for more time and seem to be getting it. 😉 Thanks for sharing all this good information.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that you have been granted more time to do more things, Marlene. You are right about connections being harder as we are more mobile. The internet gives us connections that were formerly not possible, but it can not be the be all and end all. We need that contact with loved ones or friends. Quilting and sewing as well as painting stretches that creativity part of the brain, which brings much pleasure in being productive.
      As I get older, I have more friends yet derive so much more pleasure from having pets!
      The way you describe your demise is probably the choicest way to go. Busy and productive til the end! How is the move going?

      Like

  16. It seems to be some sort of game in how long people are expected to live with little regard given to quality versus quantity.
    I’m perfectly comfortable with kicking the bucket, as life without quality is just existing. Like most people you want to go out quickly and not have that lingering decline for whatever reason.
    Perhaps having confronted my mortality on more than one occassion makes me different but living a life that has meaning is more important than counting the years. If/when that is no longer a factor in my existence then I really don’t want to be around.
    I say the above as I live with multiple health problems that have dramatically refashioned my life which forced me into different paths in order for my life to have meaning. The only question remaining is which health problem will be the one to knock me off my perch.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The unknown nature of our ultimate demise troubles many of us, Mick. The mystery of what comes afterwards, if anything at all, gives rise to religion, war, philosophy and much rumination. Death is more often than not, a distant ethereal concept and it is only when death feel nearer do many of us realize how many hours/years we have wasted and we value meaningful minutes more. I am sorry to hear that you have multiple health issues that are challenging. You have really been on a journey!
      I wonder if extreme adventure sport enthusiasts and high risk-takers are all about finding value and meaning in those minutes of life and cheating death again and again?

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  17. Dementia is most definitely my biggest fear in life Amanda. I don’t fear any of the physical terminal illnesses, but I want to keep my marbles till the end. I don’t think I could handle a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alzheimers would not be fun at all, although for me I fear more the pain of physical terminal illnesses because I assume that dementia may prevent me from having an awareness, to some measure, that dementia was happening. I think my kids would not hesitate to place me in a facility where others would do the caring, so that I would not be a burden. Having said that, there is nothing fun in suffering, whatever the diagnosis.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Dementia (or Alzheimer) is very general. My mom has Alzheimer and her mom had it and also my dad had it so it’s probable I will get it too but treatments are sure to evolve in the next few years so maybe it wouldn’t be that bad.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Great article ! It is not about when we will die but how we live till we die and not be a burden to others. Thank you so much for sharing all the practical tips about how to keep our mental health and brain active. We tend to be more aware of our physical health and less so our mental since it is not always obvious till it becomes obvious, by which time it may be too late.

    I recently retired and started to write blog as one way to keep my mental health as I find it very therapeutic, started Yoga and painting too. Things I never thought I would ever be able to do… my learning…everything is possible, if you believe in it and work hard for it 🌻😊…

    Liked by 1 person

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