are you worried about getting old?

I was just reading an article in the FT about a woman who has started a new career at 60 and is feeling positive about everything, even dating (despite the fact that men her age all want to date 45 yr olds)

I am scared of it frankly

scared because life is already so so hard and it will only be worse then

(although my mum says it's much more peaceful when you have fewer hormones so I suppose there's that)

anyway I am going to do something sensible now apologies for this

No because the damage to my body and brain means I’m unlikely to make it past 60.  Hence my decadence, live every day like it’s your last Clergs, you might get hit by a bus tomorrow!

I have been hit by a bus once so it would be statistically unfortunate

also I find the whole live every day like it's your ast thing veh stressful

I mean would I sit filing emails on my last day? no!


Me too!  I kind of bounced off it, it was slowing down to stop anyway but still, in claiming it.

Imagine all the cool stuff there'll be in 20 years though.

Twelve will be jetpacking to work while I lie in my cold grave.  

Idk I feel as though there could be massive deterioration between now and then

like we'll all be telling the youngsters about what it was like before The Incident, when there were mobile phones and sunlight

Have you read Atul Gawande's Being Mortal? It paints a pretty grim picture of being old.

I have been putting it off, pp

I tend to prefer my medical memoirs gutsy and humourous

Hold on a minute Clergs.  I thought you were desperate to shuffle off this mortal coil.  Get to 60, you're three quarters of the way there!  

I know, sorry, and I think about offing myself a lot but evidently I am really cowardly about that. Sure I might die of something gross and sore before then anyway.

but getting old is POSSIBLE anyway

sometimes I am reminded that almost nobody thinks this way in a long term way and my mind is blown and then I get angry

anyway yuk joints and stuff

I sort of admire those who say you’re only old if you admit it and don’t carry on doing what you do, but then I note I need my shoulder replacing due to an old injury, I’ve a long term chronic health condition and I’m knackered all the time and think “fvck you”’to those people and go and have a boost from the machine and dwell. 

I’m pretty cool about the concept of ageing. 

There’s nothing that can be done about it so one might as well accept it gracefully and enjoy the ride.  There are even certain advantages.

I was at a gig this week and a group of teens were in front chugging bottles of wine (max alcohol with min queuing - I used to do this at gigs). They did not have a care in the world and I envied the fvck out of them. 

"Getting"?  I fucking well AM old.  It ain't all that bad.

Always embraced aging as long as I led a meaningful life. However, since hitting my forties I find I am fitter than ever before but still developing health issues and also extremely drawn towards the dark sensual pleasures (perhaps because my 20s and 30s were very vanilla). 

Can you take your dark sensual pleasures elsewhere please?

sorry I was out in mind for a moment of warm bath oils. 

Each to their own I guess. 

Dark sensual pleasures does a have a ring of murdering niche prostitutes about it though

"(I assume you are a guy dont know why"

maybe you just know your Latin declensions, Clergs.

What badders said.  ps lol at strutter self defining as "pretty cool" - two words that literally would not occur to any1 else when asked to describe him...

dark sensual pleasures

do they still sell Ribena in cans?

Yes, I am a male. 

As for dark sensual pleasures - over the last year, I have discovered bdsm. Why have I not tried this before? Brain explosion!!!

I'm going to say 60+

Like it's not impossible you'll be gammy before then but 60+ and you're probably on several meds to keep several systems going


I'm almost 60 and on no serious meds. I can play the blues guitar with the best of them.

Running a mararathon, probably not.


I can play the blues guitar with the best of them.

Definitely not old then 

I am not worried about getting old per se 


am more worried about being being alone and this being my life forever

I think it’s true that you are as old as you feel.

the worst bit about ageing is taking so long to heal from anything as your body is starting to knacker 

Getting old per se doesn’t bother me too much, partially because it’s too inevitable to waste time worrying about and partially because there are some things that should be positively enjoyable about it, like revisiting old familiar places, reminiscing with friends, having lots of stories to tell, having grandchildren perhaps.

What does worry me and give me great angst is the idea that I may never achieve anything of note before becoming too old.

Wang: “ps lol at strutter self defining as "pretty cool" - two words that literally would not occur to any1 else when asked to describe him.”

Are they having a self awareness sale in suburbia Wango? Last time I checked you were light years away from anything resembling “kewl” yourself. Or maybe I confused you with Captain Swing. You always looked remarkably alike. 

Would be had I attempted to self define as "cool" but I didn't and to do so would be pathetic (which was rather my point in the first place).  

should i choose to take further advice on the subject, my first point of call will not be a lady who has slept with an actual baleen.

Today I am going to drink free cocktails all day and all night and forget I’m (nearly) 49. Fuck late middle age.

I quite like the idea of being in an OAP home with all my mates. A bit like university halls of residence with gradually increasing decrepitude.


I am 46 today and plan to spend the day in a drunken haze of denial 

I look forward to days on end spent playing Football Manager 2046.

The six months or so I’ve decided friends / their photos are starting to look old

We’ve thought that about you for a few years now clubbers, just didn’t want to spell it out yaknow?

This weekend I spoke to a friend in Australia who was telling me about how they have finally had to put her grandmother into a care facility.

Grandmother's alzheimers is now so severe she forgot what a bathroom was and just started going to the toilet all around the house and hiding it under things, and she no longer recognizes anyone, or anywhere and is in a constant state of panic and anxiety about what is going on.

If that's getting old... give me death instead.

Word for word what Scylla said, except insert "my mother-in-law"

She and my father-in-law are living in God's waiting room. It is unutterably fucking awful, notwithstanding that the level of care is the best you can get in an Australian nursing home, and they have family to break the boredom. It's a life of nappies and medication.

Switzerland at 72 for me.

(((Hugs MG)))

My friend and I have a pact that if either of us ever looks like getting that bad the other will take us out for a final scuba dive and look the other way as the other swims off into the abyss.





I can't criticise that Scylla. My backup plan if I can't get to Switzerland is to take one last very long swim in the ocean.

Girkl.. I honestly think that the end of life care and options are going to HAVE to change in the next 10-15 years.

Euthanasia will become an option for those of sound mind and I suspect that life prolonging treatments for those with illnesses like Alzheimers will be withdrawn with palliative care only being given.





I doubt the voluntary euthanasia laws will change much in my lifetime. Victoria has recently legalised VE but only the strictest form of it, so only available to the terminally ill with legal capacity with another 60+ point checklist/hurdles to overcome. 

Clergs, I came across this article and immediately thought of you:

MG! I have never heard of that before but that article is exactly my life.

I can't say I relate to that article in total.

However, there were some occasions throughout the last three years when things got really rough that the thought did come up.

And on at least two occasions where I was in such extreme pain I would have gladly welcomed death.

To be fair I was in fact dying at the time.  I just didn't know it. Without the emergency surgery which was performed I would have had  3 or 4 hours to live. In any event I would not have made it through the night and even with surgery it was touch and go for weeks afterwards.  If there was no chance of survival in that situation then I would have quite happily ended my life earlier than what was actually killing me could do it.   

But for me that experience  has resulted in a realization that life is hard and sometimes really sucks and for some people it will never get any better... and in those circumstances death may genuinely be the kindest option rather than extending that pain and suffering. 




Too late to worry about it and a near fatal accident I had a couple of years back gives one some perspective.

Just glad to be still going and, some might say, still a pain in the ar5e.

I wish it were possible to buy euthanasia kits in boots. It blows my mind that the state is so committed to forcing people to continue existing. As that article shows it's not necessarily madness to want to die. I hate that I will probably end up having to inconvenience someone else rather than just zipping myself (metaphorically) into a binbag.

Phoebs and Tecco - it is an excellent article - I had never heard of passive suicidal ideation either. 

Scylla, that feeling of just wishing death would come quickly when chronically ill is quite common, and I agree with you. 

Clergs I don't think the kits should be available at the pharmacist (open to abuse) but should be available from a GP, but I agree with the balance of your last post.


Yup.  And that is at a relatively "young" age.

I feel like I have (a) wasted the best years of my life with a complete c0ck so when I should have been having fun, I was in a mentally abusive relationship, (b)  don't feel as if I have made enough of my career and therefore feel as if I am a failure, (c) I had certain goals in terms of competing horses, which I now feel my body couldn't take and riding horses for the sake of riding horses doesn't do it for me any more, and (d) when combined, I feel as if I am too old to make changes that would make up for either of those and it makes me question whether or not it is really "worth it".

I then look at my parents, one of whom has a degenerative mental illness pending diagnosis, and the other has arthritis, both of which can be hereditary - and that is before you take into account any other life threatening illnesses or degenerative diseases.  Couple that with a scenario whereby state funded care may be my only option in old age as I do not earn enough to fund private care (and no children/relatives to rely on), I am fairly certain that not long after I retire, I will be off to Switzerland.  Happy days. 

cheer the f*ck up you miserable gittoons

I don’t fear getting old but am not thrilled about all the stuff that comes with ageing 

and I don’t really think 60 is old these days is it? My parents are in their early 70s and perfectly hale and hearty. There’s a woman in my son’s playgroup who had a baby at 64 fgs (not sure how it was made but she’s a lovely little girl and the mum had a big creative job)

agree tho that with Alzheimer’s I’ll be off to Switzerland if I’m able. That scene in the julianne Moore film Still Alice where she leaves instructions to take an overdose when she loses it, and then diligently follows them but drops the pill bottle at the last minute is heart breaking. 

For most people my age (38) being “old” isn’t really going to start until about 85. There’s this widely held perception that increased life expectancies are just resulting in people being old and ill for more years. Total bollocks. By 70 people used to be knackered. My parents have hit 70 and still going strong; though wearing a bit. By the time I get there, 90 will be the new 70. I’m chill tbh

Fortunately I have access to sufficient medication that suicide, were I to take that route, would be a simple and painless matter. No need for Switzerland for me!

I’m gonna grind it out til the bitter end. That’s my style.

My old man has recently hit 80 and is looking very frail. Heart “episode”, couple of falls, weird unexplained condition that has had every test under the sun twice but still don’t know what it is. He only retired (as a builder) at 72 and has been fit, trim and healthy all his life but all of a sudden is looking less so. 

As an aside I’m slightly surprised I’m older than a perfectly normal human being.

Re me, in hindsight, I’d have had kids younger. But only with hindsight, so I can’t really complain. 

I’m never retiring. It seems to accelerate mental decline.

For most of my life my attitude was that I was young, well and that old happened to old people. I had a heavy level of non-engagement with the inevitability of time, largely motivated by the teenage brain inside saying enjoy yourself. This resulted in my having energy, adrenalin sports habits and a general "get out there and do it" habit. 

Even my father's illness and death, my mother's illnesses and my friend's death did not make me focus on the inevitability of old age and infirmity on my own part. Just. Not. Getting. Into. That.

I used to be a mildly observant (i.e. quiet, moderately behaved, non evangelical) Christian and that faith gave me a "yeah but" glib response  to what happens when we die.  But that is quite obviously total horsecrap and I have no faith to speak of now.

As I have got older I have had health issues which have meant I have had to confront my demons and now I am really horrified by old age and death. I think I need to discuss this with a trick cyclist.  It is clearly a big lump in my psychology.  I cannot deny it any more and I do not have a strategy nor am I at peace with it.  The thought of being unable to do the things I enjoy or being a weight on others etc and the facts staring me in the face as to my own level of health and my genetic prospects - the live experiment of my mother's deterioration - holy fucking shit.


Sometimes I wonder if being so badly injured at quite a young life prepares me better for this than people who are fit as the proverbial fiddle and then suddenly lose their health and mind like mutters.

Sometimes I wonder if being so badly injured at quite a young life prepares me better for this than people who are fit as the proverbial fiddle - agree with this bit

and then suddenly lose their health and mind like mutters - this bit requires me to hunt you down and cut you violently

My parents are late 70's and early 80's and definitely old now.  No major problems but it's the little things like mum's arthritis meaning she has to hold a glass with both hands and the like that you notice. 

Father is infuriating as he just won't do anything and having been told to sit with his foot up when his broken ankle was in a boot he's now just sitting with his foot up even though the break has healed.  He wiped out at the opera the other night and said he needs to do something to strengthen his leg but is ignoring the exercises from the physio in favour of sitting with his foot up and the defeatism irritates me.

What I have learned from rof is that you can spot mental decline commencing when the humour ebbs away...


Joking apart, based on my maternal and paternal decline, this could actually be a sign of something. Clergs previously lashed out and criticised my behaviours on the basis of having had a ‘TIA’ - a condition which can impact recall and inhibition causing people to think you’re being inappropriately blunt, lacking in EQ, rude etc. As far as I am aware I have not but my mum has had three strokes and four TIAs so it’s a real possibility. 

As I’ve said before, the glue will not pass H&S/consumer protection tests

"Sometimes I wonder if being so badly injured at quite a young life prepares me better for this than people who are fit as the proverbial fiddle - agree with this bit"

i had a very serious accident in my early 20s from which I was fortunate enough to apparently so far emerge unscathed.  I must start being kinder to my body before it catches up with me 

It’s weird how things do catch up with you.  I obv suffer mental health issues but it was discovered after a brain scan that the root cause of it was brain damage.  The scar is so old and has been grown over to an extent that it was most likely caused in my early to mid teens.  There is another, fresher scar across it which could have been caused by anything, falling over when drunk or even just bumping my head going through a low doorway.

Thats why I was fine for years then one little knock caused me to suddenly change (happened during my period of gardening leave).  Take care of your body as you never know what the heck could trigger something devastatingly life changing like I am experiencing.

I got run over in my 20's but was lucky enough to limp out of hospital bruised and scraped so never stopped to think about it.  Slightly worried by Tecco's tale having recently jumped out of a hole and rammed my head into the under side of a digger bucket so hard that I ended up bleeding...

One advantage of never having engaged in any sporting activity of note is that I am arriving in middle age pleasantly free of nagging physical injuries. All my haw haw sporty mates who thought themselves king are hobbling around moaning about their knees or clutching their hips or backs.

Whereas you’re just fat.  Obesity is more likely to kill than anything else in your life.

Oh, did you not actually become an Olympic cyclist then?


He’s concentrating all his time on his journalistic work at the guardian....