Getting older, sometimes means asking for help

Lucille

I wanted to move my platform rocker back to the living room. So I did. Now, next day, I have back and neck pain. The electric heating pad and Tylenol are helping a little, but in retrospect I should have moved some other furniture so I could drag and not have to lift the rocker, or waited for help. I don't think aging people should give up projects like rearranging furniture, but I think a little planning and maybe a little help sometimes might be a wise choice.

SaveComment58Like9
Comments (58)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
eld6161

I totally agree. We can no longer spring back quickly from an injury.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Michele

Yes. Hard to admit but I see I am not as physically strong as I used to be. Cast iron is getting heavier and heavier.


2 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
satine100

I agree and I have been noticing I can do less and less. I know a good part of it is because Im sedentary but my knees are so painful that just getting out of a chair is sometimes all I can do. As they say its not for sissys.

3 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elizabeth

Ice is better for a sore back. At this stage it is inflamed...heating pads inflame it more.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Also have things that help you do tasks. Like those pads you slip under the furniture to make them slide easily. And a dolly which allows you to lift heavy weights and not hurt your self. Those straps you can slip under furniture and appliances and strap them on your arms it distributes the weight more safely. My husband has to use these kind of helpful tools now days.

3 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ravencajun Zone 8b TX


5 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
crazybrunette64

I swear by those slider-things that go under furniture. I even used them under my artificial Christmas tree this year to make it easier to decorate and then slide into place.

4 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
desertsteph

"I am not as physically strong as I used to be. Cast iron is getting heavier and heavier. "

I'm certainly not and each year that passes I can do less and less. I'm still amazed at how little I can do now compared to a few decades back.

I gave up cast iron decades ago.


2 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elizabeth

I lift my cast iron pans with two hands now. Not whipping them around one-handed like I used to. Weight-lifting, right? :-)

4 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

I agree completely with your premise, getting older does mean help can be needed and useful, for things we previously could do easily but can no longer do or do to the same extent now. But rearranging furniture? Maybe my wife and I have missed out on something, we've never done that.

Strength? Anyone of any age can build strength through weight training. It doesn't take a gym membership or special equipment. Everyone has small heavy things to exercise arms and hands with - including cast iron cookware. Legs? Stairs, bends, etc., Do it for as little as 10 minutes at a time, 4 days a week and watch how your strength increases.


1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jane__ny

Elmer, doesn't help your back. My arms are still strong, but I notice lifting things I have always lifted in the past suddenly bother my lower back. Never had problems before but now its happened a few times. I have to remind myself to take it slow when lifting something heavy.

I recently lifted a large, cement pot with a plant. I didn't even think about it and I wound up on my back on the cement walkway. I just grabbed the pot to move it and next thing I knew, I was thrown backward on my back. Scared the hell out of me. I was nervous about moving in case I broke my back. I didn't but suffered for a few weeks with back pain.


I have always been active and tend to just do what I've always done. But now at 71, I realize I have to think before I act. I tend to be impulsive when doing things and I need to think about it first.

Jane

3 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

I've had lower back issues, of the typical causes, since my 40s. The name of the game for me is proper posture and proper movement. I keep my back straight at all times and never twist at the waist. If I can't lift something with my arms while standing upright, or with my legs from a squat, I don't even try. I never bend at the waist for any reason. A large concrete planter? Nope, not me.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lily316

I'm surprised how a little activity can make me hurt. I consider myself very active walking every day for three miles and then going to the gym every day but one, so today I was cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen and was sitting on the floor sorting out stuff. When it was time to get up, I felt like I was 110. I literally had to pull myself up holding on to the island.

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
socks

I use a cheap little collapsible dolly to move things which are on the heavy side, even taking my yoga equipment” into class. I use a bigger dolly to move bags of mulch. Keep abs strong, lift with knees, not back, but you can still hurt yourself. I hurt my back sneezing. We are easily broken. Be careful. Err on the side of caution.

2 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
graywings123

Elizabeth, my go-to response for injury is a cold pack as well. But read this from Men's Health:
Icing doesn't help sore muscles

“... no piece of published, peer-reviewed research has shown
definitively that ice is beneficial to the healing process. In fact,
recent studies have shown the opposite. Ice can delay healing, increase
swelling, and possibly cause additional damage to injured tissues.”

More specifically, ice can interfere with the body’s natural inflammatory response critical for healing.

This is the equivalent of learning that stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria, not spicy food.



Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lars

I've always asked people for help all my life, and I've often relied on the kindness of strangers, such as when I would have car trouble as a teenager in Texas. I have always found that people like helping others, and I think it makes people feel good about themselves.

Here's a tool that I've been using for the past few years, but it's mainly to help me access items from higher shelves. I also use special casters for sliding furniture into place.

4 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lucille

Lars I have two of those, one for the kitchen and one for the closet. They are very helpful.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kathyg_in_mi

Use my grabber all the time.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
norar_il

I think my grocery store should furnish grabbers since they put things like tomato juice bottles on the top shelf. I have to hunt for a taller than me person (not too hard to find) and ask them for help. People are very kind, I find.

6 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nycefarm

Fell flat on my arse today at work and lamented that back in the day I could always catch myself. Today, gravity won...

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

It could just be me but I also find my balance is not the same. I'm very careful now when using ladders or reaching for something slightly off center. Getting old sucks but the alternative is worse :-)

3 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lucille

Rest and heat are helping but I think it will be a couple days before I'm back to normal.
I have always been active and tend to just do what I've always done

Exactly. I think that at a certain point, even those who are active have to be more careful and perhaps ask for help because of age related changes, less muscle elasticity, loss of bone strength. The next time I decide to move around the platform rocker I'll either get help or those furniture slider thingies.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nickel_kg

I always hold onto the stair railings now ... never used to.

I visit my dad in the assisted living home and attend 'chair exercise class' with him. It sure makes me aware of ankles! Meaning, to walk safely requires a good measure of ankle flexibility, which a lot of 90-plus-year-olds simply don't have anymore.

Not for sissies, for sure!

2 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

Stair railings, me too.

What's a "ladder"? I think I may have a small one, never have used it.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Debby

I started working out again. I have a very physical job but still want to do more. I see so many seniors in our store on oxygen and using walkers and canes and a lot of them are much younger than my parents (85 & 87 and extremely healthy) and just a few years older than I am (60). I started working out (15 minutes on the treadmill then about 1/2 an hour on weights). I have aches and pains and decided not strengthening my muscles will only make it worse.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

Elmer, I've used a ladder for washing outside windows, trimming shrubs, changing light bulbs, etc. Am I missing something in the way I phrased that?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

Not at all, I was making fun of myself and not you. What I said is true. I have terrible balance and keep my feet on terra firma as much as possible. No standing on ladders, step-stools, or chairs for me except very short ones (like less than a foot or two off the ground) and for only short durations.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

Thanks Elmer, I have to be less sensitive.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Michele

In yoga practice, the hardest poses for me are the one legged balance poses. I can do a head or forearm stand and hold it comfortably. I notice that the other older people also tend to want to place their mats along the wall.

My mother had valve surgery in 2005. Her cardiologist made it very clear that she needed to be active if she wanted to keep her heart in shape. He recommended she walk. She always feels better when she does.

I walk and practice yoga. I want to add light weights. I just forget to do it or run out of time.


Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lucille

I want to add light weights.

I have an indoor cycle as well as my outdoor ones, and within reach while I am on it is a basket with a set of resistance bands and three pairs of small weights. For me, it makes a big difference as to whether they get used to have them out and accessible rather than on a closet shelf.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

For those who want a stronger back/core, you might find this helpful. When I plank, I am able to stand more erect and my back doesn't hurt. Holding a plank is an easy but tough way to strengthen front and back, shoulders to feet. And it's hard to say you can't find 2 min a day to do this. Of course, you need to be able to get down to the floor and up off the floor to do it...which for some, in and of itself, can be an exercise.

Here's a chart of how to get to 2 min in 30 days.

And if you don't know what a plank is, it's this:

After planking, the best thing to do is to rest in a child's pose as it relaxes all the muscles you were just working.


5 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

Debby, I was at a party awhile back talking to some fellows about aching and aging. And one guy asked me how I felt when I don't work out or move...I replied stiff and achy. And then he asked how I felt after I worked out and I replied stiff and achy. And he said which would you rather be, stiff and achy and fit and capable, or just stiff and achy.

Michele, IKWYM about balance poses. They are tough, especially when they want you to move while on one leg, but I'm amazed at both how many muscles get worked when you balance and at how quickly you can get better at it ...embracing all the wobbles.

I'm going to barre classes now and it gives me a whole new appreciation for what ballet dancers go through.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Michele

Don’t forget kegel exercise. Good for everyone.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nickel_kg

Annie, or any plank expert, do you need to wear shoes as you plank?

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

nickel...shoes or barefoot. I find socks are not good as my feet slip. Barefoot works and stretches the toes more...it's a matter of comfort for you. I usually do it at night before I get into bed so I'm barefoot. It warms me up before I hit the cold sheets!

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

My body has changed dramatically since I started with yoga and Pilates. My balance, reaction time, posture, and core strength, and joint strength have all hugely improved. I wear yoga shoes which are mostly straps, toes are fully exposed.

I perform best with a class, so I go to a fitness center several times a week those exercis classes plus swimming and water aerobics.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ritaweeda

I use to scamper up and down a ladder with no problem. I use to be able to paint inside and outside, actually liked doing it. I can't do that anymore. If I don't have something to hold onto at each step forget it. I also can't bend even slightly due to lower back issues. So today I was trying to put new plants into two hanging baskets. Such a non-issue years ago. Not now. When I had to slightly bend to get the potting soil out of the bag and into the pot I could feel my back trying to go out. The thing is - I don't want to have to ask someone else to do this for me, not even if I paid them. This is the type of thing that I used to take pride in being able to do and enjoyed doing it and now I just can't or it's a big deal to do. I have a son and grandchildren but I don't want to bother them with this kind of stuff, they have very busy lives and I remember how hard it is to be young with a family, job and all that. That's why I HOPE that if I need to sell this place and go to a senior community where there is less to take care of I will do so with no protests. I'm not talking nursing home, I'm talking senior community, with little to take care of. Not something that I ever looked forward to but of course back in the day I thought I was going to be strong and young and invincible for ever and ever. Hah! I've pretty much outlived that theory.

4 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nickel_kg

Thanks Annie, I'd like a stronger core, so will try this. Once a day is enough?

Ritaweeda, start visiting retirement/senior communities now, is my advice. My dad has had such a good experience with them, it's now my and DH's goal to move into a retirement apartment by the time we're 75, whether we "need" to or not.

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

We do have to change and it is hard. The first time I ended up in the hospital with broken bones in my back was from picking up a box of things. I sure didn't think about the box being heavy, just picked it up, and immediately knew I had done the wrong thing. My granddaughters ended up calling an ambulance. I was in terrible pain. Was in the hospital for about 3 weeks, then in a rehab hospital for another month. What a harsh lesson for learning I had to think before doing, and ask for help if I though it would end up being dangerous for me. And you know. waiting is so hard. No one can come when I want it done, because they are at work. Have had to learn to be more patient and not be in a turmoil because of waiting for the thing I want done to be done.

2 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
schoolhouse_gwagain

And you know. waiting is so hard. No one can come when I want it done,
because they are at work. Have had to learn to be more patient and not
be in a turmoil because of waiting for the thing I want done to be done.

Boy, isn't that the truth?

3 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

nickel, once a day is enough....

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nickel_kg

thanks Annie

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

I've started doing balance moves while I'm waiting for something...water to boil, microwave to finish...getting that extra practice in seems to help.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marilyn_c

Ditto on the kegels.

We were in the truck yesterday for 350 miles. However, when I got home and did chores...including over an hour trying to get my %#÷$@£ donkeys in the barn, I checked and found out I had walked 3 miles for the day.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Kegel exercise absolutely work; they are absolutely wonderful. Highly recommend them for anyone with bladder issues.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Michele

Or to avoid bladder issues in the future. You want to keep those muscles in working order if nothing else!

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Very true, Michele. 👍

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
OutsidePlaying

Annie’s chart for working on planks is excellent. I will just remind folks who have never done it to have someone spot you and don’t put your rear in the air or drop it low. You really want your core engaged and to be as straight as possible with your body. Forearm and hand position doesn’t matter so much, just where it is comfortable, but generally the upper arms under the shoulders as shown with shoulders as relaxed as you can try to be.

Child’s Pose can also be done with the arms down at the sides if it more comfortable.

And don’t forget to breathe!

Balance is great to do anytime too. Don’t be surprised if you have better balance on one side than the other. Engage your core, stand tall and do it while brushing your teeth, putting in makeup, etc. I find it easier to do barefoot.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
phoggie

Oh boy, you are singing my song! I really get aggravated thinking about all I used to do and now can’t. I have three joint replacements and those suckers just do not bend like the originals...especially since I had a blotched one leaving me with dead nerves, resulting with a terrible limp. I have been banned from and ladders, step stools, etc because of balance. I have had two back surgeries that weren’t very successful, but what the heck, I manage to live alone and take care of the inside of the house...so thankful for that! Everything outside requires my finding help...mowing, landscaping, snow removal, trim painting, etc...everything I “used” to be able to do. I just do what I can...then the old back has to get laid down with ice. I so miss the former me, but it is what it is!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
summersrhythm_z6a

Next time use a hand truck. There are all kinds of hand trucks you can buy, very easy to use.

We use these hand trucks for moving my potted rose trees ( have just over 100, move them in the garages for winter storage before the winter and move them out in the spring every year):

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-800-lb-Capacity-2-in-1-Convertible-Hand-Truck-CHT800P/100071520?MERCH=REC--pipsem--303542734--100071520--N

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Harper-300-lb-Capacity-Hand-Truck-55HA22/202259412?MERCH=REC--pipsem--303542734--202259412--N

And you could have this for moving heavy stuff in the house:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-800-lb-Capacity-Furniture-Dolly-33815/202721481?MERCH=REC--pipsem--203485668--202721481--N

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lucille

Summersrhythm, I have a hand truck in a back closet. Or by taking some time and moving furniture, I could have dragged the chair. The problem is (was) that as far as moving chairs goes, my mind thinks I'm still 20. Hence the title of the thread, publicizing my reality check.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

Speaking of getting up off the floor, I found this video very interesting...ways to macgyver yourself off the floor after you've fallen. Beats lying there waiting for help, esp if you are alone and injured.



Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aok27502

Bridge pose is another good one for core strength.


Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nickel_kg

(I look at those poses and think, "I could have done that ... 50 years ago!!!")

3 Likes Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chisue

Interesting video, but I think some of those motions could injure your spine. I wonder if you could also ROLL yourself across the floor to a door or place where you could use your arms. (The 'head down, bottom up' needs a name. I suggest calling it 'The Cow'.)

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

There was also a video I saw once for people with bad knees...it's far easier on the knees, if you are sitting, to bend forward first and then get up and then stand up straight rather than go directly from sit to stand. Has something to do with how the weight is balanced and levered with the knees.

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Last year, my husband had very successful physio for his serious case of Menier's disease. The location was a treatment center that specializes in balance issues of all kinds.....it stayed busy every time we were there.

Most of the clients were seniors, some very senior, all were determined to improve their balance so that they could feel secure and be more safe in their day to day activities.

Robert's Menier's treatment was something entirely different but I was able to observe the others in their "balance school" (my words) and it appeared to be quite successful.

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yeonassky

dr. Joe also offers a way of getting up.

https://youtu.be/lwVhl04v0E4

This fellow is doing exercises to help you be able to get up off the floor yourself. Provided you don't have injury I'm pretty sure.

https://youtu.be/69qqyngcgoE

Annie I believe that is called the feldenkrais method.

Being able to sit and stand comfortably feldenkrais style

https://youtu.be/cDURAYq15CI

Getting up off the floor using the spiral method.

https://youtu.be/Z8USihQ0YYs

https://youtu.be/oOrrq4nkwEA

https://youtu.be/Q9VsxiE_iQU

Save     Thanked by Lucille
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Decluttering Decluttering — How to Get the Help You Need
Don't worry if you can't shed stuff and organize alone; help is at your disposal
Full Story
Great Home Projects Get the Organizing Help You Need (Finally!)
Imagine having your closet whipped into shape by someone else. That’s the power of working with a pro
Full Story
Life Three More Magic Words to Help the Housekeeping Get Done
As a follow-up to "How about now?" these three words can help you check more chores off your list
Full Story