The Pitfalls of Aging (Don’t Do It!)

Published October 17, 2017 by Nan Mykel

For some, going around the last bend can be quite disconcerting.  It’s natural (and easier) to want to take care of the feelings of the elderly, and so sometimes they are “protected” from the truth. Not telling someone they’e dying has been dealt with definitively, I hope. What I’m talking about is weakening the individual’s hold on reality  by ushering them into a world of make-believe.  I’m trying to figure out why it is so bothersome. Well, first off it puts the younger person in a one-up position, making decisions for the elderly instead of respecting their ability to withstand the truth. More important, I think, it tends to make the older person into a legitimate paranoid.  What is a legitimate paranoid? In my book it’s one who knows some statements are true, but having trouble deciding which are true and which  are the “protection.”  It kinda turns life into a rotten game, and especially towards the end that is an undesirable state to be in.  I guess what it lacks is respect.  If you disagree, tell me about it.

13 comments on “The Pitfalls of Aging (Don’t Do It!)

  • If you’re talking about dementia, the advice has been to roll with the patient’s words and their sense of reality, because truth often causes more harm than good. If you’re talking about something else, I have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Springing from and producing a somewhat dysfunctional family, a lie was the easy way out. Still is. I know when I’m lied to it’s because “they” don’t want to own up to their own truth and/or they don’t want to face up to the imagined negative response from me. I must have a sharp tongue of which I am ignorant. But a history is difficult to cancel, like the toothpaste that’s gone from the tube. Thanks for commenting and helping me clarify for myself. Unfortunately, I have a sense of humor that sometimes hurts. Like oh, if I still had that tube of toothpaste it would still be in my medicine cabinet and I wouldn’t have any teeth (which I don’t). See, that one hurt myself. : >) Apparently the only reason I set my gripe in the realm of aging is because that’s where I am now. It could have been “middle-aging,” or any time I’ve lived through. With lying goes manipulation, but that;s another blog you might want to avoid.


        Liked by 1 person

      • I understand now. SO much of childhood was spent with me “waiting til I get older, so I could understand” as they told me I would. Now I ask the questions about what I’ve never understood and no one answers. Better off talking to the cats about it.


      • What a great Mom are you! …And I totally forgot my father was an alcoholic and we must never say anything that might hurt his feelings or upset him or he “might start drinking again” (which he would and did.) Funny I don’t hear much about Adult Children of Alcoholics these days. They were a supportive group. Thanks for taking your time with me, Joey.


        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, they were. Al Anon had some great workshops. I don’t know that they’re gone, I just haven’t used them in so long.
        Trying to find that perfect time when drinking parent has had just enough drink to be nice, before enough drinks to be tearful or angry…
        Thanks for writing, Nan.


  • Your mention of using lies to protect – either the liar or the one being lied to – leaving one to guess at the truth, turning life into a rotten game. I’ve had a lot of that lately and just today told someone in their face to be forthright at which they stuttered and stammered and lied some more, because they didn’t know what else to do. It’s cowardly. And difficult to rise above.


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