Dealing with disability and aging: I am finally getting used to my walker. I rejected it for a long time, feeling that it symbolizes steady decline to total incapacity. I have always been sensitive to stereotypes about seniors, anything that would tend to set them apart from the human race as a whole. I think this is a cultural problem. I think that many other cultures do not treat their elderly this way. I think the basis of it lies in the fear of aging itself, shared by all… age groups, and, ultimately, the fear of death. I think that we must all remember is that the brain and different parts of the body age very differently. For example, I continue to write cogently, but have a lot of trouble with directions and sometimes memory. And having a serious knee problem does not mean that I have total physical incapacity.
Sometimes, seniors set themselves for up stereotyping, by refusing to take on computer technology and social networking and utilize it to create and communicate with others.
,I used the walker today, I realized that I do not have to shuffle along in accord with the stereotype. I can move pretty darn fast and pick the walker up briefly when I encounter rough ground or obstacles. I think I actually got more exercise while we were out and about today than I normally do when struggling along without a walker. Now, people were very polite and helpful when I needed it, and I would anticipitate that, in the South, at least But I don’t want folks to go overboard.
There is so much more to a person than the quality of his ambulation