With the inception of Within Crepusculum its meaning has been infused with stories and musings that I have written to help me understand how I feel about entering the next period of my life. At the present time I am at a precipice of my twilight, teetering between the life that I have only known, to a life that I feel will have many chapters of pages that might include life changing stumbling blocks. Even though I do not know the time of my arrival, I do not hasten to experience an interim destination. Presently, I believe that the human twilight will probably begin around the age of retirement and so I should not waste time in exploring the obstacles that I am sure are there.
In my writings, held in the spirit of musing or in the true stories of others, I try to discover the equations that may provide a peaceful existence in the dusk of life. Because of this quest, there is little time for me to be free from thought on the aging process; it is always with me and if I am successful in my exploration then at the end of this particular journey I should be ready for any perplexity.
Over the past months, I often surf the web for blogs that are like mine. Any likeness in thought is a welcomed event, particularly since Within Crepusculum has been placed in the category of death and dying by a major, blog identifier, I am now interested in comparing other blogs to see how they may be categorized or what categories are used within the blog. I understand how that error could have innocently occurred; yet, I feel my thoughts are not that ambiguous. Since I have begun looking for another blog, I have yet to find one that questions how a person can try to prearrange solutions to the pitfalls of being elderly or explore how any individual needs to accept the later years in life. Instead, there are many informational blogs from government institutions, blogs from nurses addressing care for elderly patients in hospitals, hospice and nursing homes, as well as, a plethora of blogs and articles on elder abuse and elder suicide.
The informational sites are helpful with information on mental and physical health issues, however most of them do not address any personal issues. Nonetheless, I continue search for personal accounts, thoughts, the sum total of man’s intellectual worry about the aging process because it is not just enough to know how to invest your money, where you should live, how you should life of, what should you do if you can’t.
During one particular search, one of the sites listed on Google was Eons at http://www.eons.com/. The description of the site is:
We’re the online community for BOOMers!
· Stay in touch with your friends and make new ones
· Join or start Groups to fuel your passions and interests
· Play games, build your brain, and have fun!
During the first couple of months I visited Eons for a few times each month I filled out a profile, I made the pages look pretty, I clicked on any of the tabs and then I signed out. One time, without thinking much about what I was doing, signed in and clicked on groups, which I had never done before. The next screen caused a little thought to decide which group to visit. I chose Groups, and then browse by groups and on to categories of general groups. Finally I curiously clicked on Caregivers for Elderly Parents, then on to another group: ” Looking to the Future” or Last Love Standing–Guardianship.
Each time I read the individual group’s vision and purpose I realized this site provides much discussion about the concerns I explore in Within Crepusculum. Then, sheepishly, I realized this site has features that might interest some of my readers. There are groups that provide support for many areas life encounters. There are groups that are humorous, entertaining and some are very informative.
The following is a short overview of Eons, in which I intend not to endorse, but rather simply to introduce readers to so that they may visit it and decide for themselves. There is also a Blog for members, which also was an area to find information for many platforms.
Eons: The online community for BOOMers!
explore the areas on Eons
Eons Group Categories
Fun (1112 groups)
Love (642 groups)
Travel (124 groups)
From a blog on Eons:
Is Aging a State of Mind?
posted 3 days ago
Does a person’s attitudes about aging affect how they age? The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) is trying to find the answer and welcomes input from the Eons community. Please take our survey at view link
Your answers will help us determine how attitudes toward aging influence health behaviors.
Results will be part of AFAR’s Campaign for Successful Aging, a public education initiative designed to address societal misconceptions about aging and promote healthier aging and will be shared with the public this summer.
For more information about healthy aging based on the latest scientific research, please visit http://www.Infoaging.org.
We also welcome your comments about your successful aging strategies.
SAMPLES OF POSTING ON BLOG
Testosterone and aging posted about 1 month ago
Men also experience age-related hormonal changes
by S. Mitchell Harman, Eons contributor
Is there a male menopause? Not precisely, but there are certainly significant hormonal changes as men age. A decrease in the level of testosterone in the body begins in the thirties and continues at a relatively constant rate into old age. This is accompanied by other hormonal changes, including a tendency to secrete more adrenal steroids in response to stress.
Although there is no proven relationship between low testosterone and diminished sexual response during aging, it has become clear that a substantial percentage of men over the age of 65 would be diagnosed as testosterone deficient if they were younger.
In addition, a number of research studies have documented that aging brings a decline in sexual activity and quality and quantity of erections, as well as a loss of desire for sexual activity and an increase in the length of time men report being comfortable without sex.
In one study, fewer than 20 percent of men 70 years and older reported consistently adequate erectile function, and nearly 40 percent rated their erectile function as “little or none.” In the same study, approximately 15 percent of men age 70 and over reported desire for sex more than once weekly, and 35 percent had no sexual desire. In yet another study, approximately 50 percent of men ages 70-79 reported moderate or complete loss of erectile function, compared with only 25 percent of men 40-49 years of age.
Is a decline in testosterone responsible for these changes? It appears from experiments in a number of animal species that testosterone affects sexual behavior and the ability to have erections, but this has not been proven in humans. Based on animal experiments, low testosterone levels also seem to contributes to age-related changes in fat and muscle. However, only a thorough battery of studies that determine whether or not testosterone replacement slows or reverses these changes will confirm the role the hormone plays in the male aging process.
Testosterone replacement therapy?
In studies so far, the results have been promising. In one study, 80 percent of older men said their libido improved after treatment with testosterone, compared with about 8 percent receiving a placebo. In another trial, of 150 men ages 50-70 treated with another male hormone – dihydrotestosterone – the results indicated that hormone replacement improves early morning erections and the ability to maintain an erection. A few studies suggest that giving testosterone to older men who have low testosterone levels may increase muscle mass, decrease body fat, and improve bone density, but significant effects on strength and endurance with testosterone alone have not been documented.
The adage that “Nothing in life is free” certainly holds true for male hormone therapies. The benefits they promise are accompanied by risks, including:
Loss of libido and decrease in erections.
Decreases in lean body mass, muscle strength, and endurance.
Decreases in bone density.
Increases in body fat and insulin resistance.
Possible prostate enlargement, with obstruction of urine flow or even an increase in cancers.
Blood cholesterol levels leading to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and greater risk of heart attacks, strokes, etc.
Studies have not shown whether testosterone actually produces either of the above adverse effects when given to healthy older men with low testosterone levels. A recent study showed that men with adult onset (type 2) diabetes are at greater risk for heart disease if they also have low testosterone levels; so it may be that higher levels of testosterone actually protect men from atherosclerosis. Again, we cannot really assess the risk-benefit ratio for male hormone replacement until we complete more well-controlled studies. Currently, California researchers are treating 300 older men with a testosterone gel to examine the effects on atherosclerosis as well as muscle strength and endurance, fitness, body fat, glucose tolerance, and psychological and sexual function.
And, despite the uncertainties, it is still considered good clinical practice for knowledgeable geriatricians and endocrinologists to treat men, regardless of age, with male hormone replacement when they are clearly testosterone deficient. However, as we noted, many older men with this condition are never diagnosed or treated. If you are experiencing one or more symptoms of low testosterone, you should discuss them with your physician.
Aging alone brings changes
However, you should also keep in mind that aging itself is associated with changes in body composition similar to those observed in younger men with testosterone deficiency. These include:
Non-hormonal factors such as nutrition, exercise, oxidative damage, and so on, can also play important roles in the biology of aging. Therefore, testosterone, or even multiple hormone replacement, is not a magic solution that will reverse the effects of aging. Further studies of the risks and benefits of male hormone replacement are needed to clarify the issues we have discussed.
S. Mitchell Harman, MD, PhD, is director and president of the Kronos Longevity Research Institute, a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that conducts state-of-the-art clinical translational research on the prevention of age-related diseases and the extension of healthier human life. If you would like more about KLRI or its research, please visit their website at www.kronosinstitute.org or call 866-840-1117.
The Aging Self posted about 1 year ago
My eldest grandson called the other evening. He had just finished a book I’d suggested and he wanted to discuss certain aspects of what he’d read. We spent two hours chatting away. Toward the end of the talk, some how the conversation turned to me, eventually facing death, and there was in his voice a sadness, when he said something about how he really wants me to live a very, very long time…My boy, my boy.
I told him that we have to endeavor to put aside emotional feelings, a bit, when we think about death, especially the death of someone who has had the opportunity to live, for awhile, to grow into adulthood, live through the most vital years, and now is on the path of biological deterioration. Because, really, as I told him, we are all faced with death, eventually.
I told him it is something I am working on accepting, and hope to set an example to him, to his mom, to everyone, of how to reach the end of life, with grace, and a sense of coming ‘full circle’. I told him we modern human beings try so hard to separate ourselves from the fact of death, that we do younger generations, and ourselves a vast disservice.
We all need to be raised to understand, and have it reinforced often, that death is a natural end to the biological entity, and one best faced, and realized early, so that the life we live is as full of learning and self development as possible. This fact should stand arm in arm with whatever religious or spiritual beliefs we are taught. Developing fully, as a human being is the reason for this thing we call physical life, not making money, or accumulating material things, or satisfying and gratifying physical urges and desires.
In doing some research, I recently came across the fall 2005 report from the President’s Council on Bioethics. I was really impressed by one section that is one of the most honest, human things I’ve ever read, as far as government reports go. I feel it is something everyone should read, why it should be required reading!
The Aging Self-A selection from Taking Care, a report
from the President’s Council on Bioethics
In Touch With Jeannine
Being Old posted about 4 hours ago
The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.
Old Age, I decided, is a gift.
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don’t agonize over those things for long.
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I’ve aged, I’ve become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love … I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.
They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)