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Old People and Drugs
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74 / Unreachable Dream...
Posted 11/21/07 , edited 7/8/08
I volunteered in a Nursing Home once and met a lot of old people. They were, err... like little children waiting to be fed, led, helped, and bathed. Some of them were in the military, probably CEOs of big companies, but now, they are nothing but old people who can't do anything.

There are many causes of their invalidity and being too dependent. One of them is drugs. Most Americans, with very little pain, directly take pain pills and etc. and do not tolerate a simple ache or whatsoever. Some assumed that the overuse of drugs during their younger era affected their brains and caused this awful side-effect.

Now that you know this, will you continue hastily using drugs (medicine and etc.) if just a simple injury or pain occurs?
What are your opinions?

(Note: This is not a duplicate, this was not in the extended discussion for this thread was created before the existence of the Extended Discussion section.)
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21 / F / the square
Posted 11/21/07
they're not pitiful
some old people just cant do stuff like that, it's not b/c they live in the us
i know b/c i have a grandma that is losing her memory (there's a disease or something for that but i forgot what it was, it's not amnesia) and would be able to be really active and stuff but cant
and it's also not b/c she takes drugs
Posted 11/21/07
It depends on the person and what they've done in their lives. Sometimes it's senility other times it's something more sinister.
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33 / F
Posted 11/21/07
Unless their downing pain pills like candy(narcotics not tylenol) I would understand if their confused. But it sounds like your talking about the elderly that have been admitted into a long term care facility which is for those who need extensive assistance. Plus there are many diagnosis that can contribute to the confusion you are describing alzheimers, senile dementia, end stages of parkinson's disease, poor life style such as drug use, strokes, and there is just to many to list. It has nothing to do with living in the US. You should be happy your grandma had such a independent life not everyone is as fortunate.
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23 / F / for the love of g...
Posted 11/21/07
Edit: ah, besides people who have diseases and can't help to be that way, I'm sorry, don't mean to sound rude :x

I think that western old people are generally more narrow-minded with a simple mentality. I think that some of them think that because they're old, they're privileged to do whatever they want (in some cases, they should be.. but). It's not a question of drugs and painkillers, but just their generation in general. My grandad is 89, goes out everyday and works in our fields (no, really) and runs a pharmacy. He takes loads of medicine as well, but it didn't affect his attitude.. Elderly in the middle-east and asia are just different.

And I'm not trying to say that every old person in north america is a hag. I know that alot of eldery there are fully capable of doing shit and whatnot.
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26 / M
Posted 11/21/07

monkey-of-evil720 wrote:

old people just have problems working there body because of there habbits. like smoking and eating etc...if they want to change they could just get a work out and enter a program to stop drugs off of it.

lol improvement that late in life is useless, it is important to be in shape well before 25 and continue to do so to avoid having ur mind and body fall apart before u turn 60 XD

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22 / F / netherand/holland...
Posted 12/2/07
drugs like mideson ore just drugs like drugs destroy your life... on oldies owe god thats bad.. but i got to see that.. an old grandma with drugs...
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33 / M / 中国
Posted 12/2/07
I've spent a lot of time in nursing homes and they're frightening places in my opinion.

To your original question, it's a lifestyle difference and there are a lot of different areas that contribute.

I read an interesting book about okinawa's elderly - they have the longest lived people on earth. The book was written by a couple of american doctors who visited there to uncover their "fountain of youth," or perhaps fountain of longevity would be a better term.

Basically, it came down to three major areas - diet, exercise, and maintaining a positive attitude.

Traditional asian diets tend to be very healthy. Interestingly, as western foods have become more popular over there, people are developing the same problems we here in the west have.

While they don't necessarily spend endless hours in the gym, the doctors found that they were far more physically active - even if it was just walking or gardening.

And they had positive attitudes. Low stress and optimistic, they didn't sweat the small stuff and took time to enjoy life one day at a time.

I think another issue is how hard we are on the elderly. Instead of taking care of them, we shove them out of the way. In asia, as I understand it, it's not uncommon for them to come live with their children if they ever need care. While both asia and the west are youth obsessed, I've noticed that asia has more respect for old age. Here in the west it's always mocked.
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28 / F / Houston, TX
Posted 12/2/07
It's a cultural thing.
The elderly in the US is probably the most neglected and abused minority in the whole country.

Ungrateful kids send their parents to nursing homes when they're older because they don't want to deal with them anymore.
The tight family bond that is stereotypical in a Filipino household does not apply here.

Another factor is also bad nutrition.
They feed us crap food here, everything is genetically engineered. The elderly aren't getting the sufficient amounts of nutrition that they require and therefore they suffer. The elderly have weaker immune systems, overused liver/kidney. Simply, their organs start to fail them. Add to that a sedentary lifestyle and bad nutrition and you will see accelerated degeneration.

Polypharmacy also plays an integral role.
They are taking medications because they are immunocompromised. They get sick much easier that even normal flora (residential bacteria in/on our bodies) start to infect them. Then they take medications to suppress the side effects from those drugs, and other medications for other chronic illnesses, etc.

Lastly, it is also psychological.
When you are old, you lose your independence. You become lonely. You don't look forward to the future because the only thing left is death. You don't work.
People fail to see this because we are all too caught up in our own youth.
We are still young and believe that this is only the beginning, there is still something to strive towards and we are constantly planning for our future.

To the elderly, it IS the future, and beyond that is their death.
Now put a depressed, malnourished elderly and stick them in a nursing home to be alone with fellow depressed, unhealthy elderly and then ask again why it is like this.

PS: If you are old, your whole body will eventually lose all its functions. Dopamine may degenerate and cause Parkinson's disease (loss of muscle function/control), or they may get dementia, Alzheimer's, etc.

Posted 12/2/07
I've volunteered in a nursing home before. Most people who are in nursing homes are there because they have serious mental and/or physical problems, otherwise they'd be in something else less intensive like "assisted living" where people just bring them meals and do some basic things for them.

It's been shown that it's important for elderly people to stay mentally active. For example, if they play something like go (weiqi, 圍棋) or something similar like chess every day then that tends to help keep people from developing mental problems. My grandmother did crossword puzzles every single day and didn't develop any mental problems. Still, some people will develop problems even if they do keep their brains active.

In the west it's sad that people don't have more respect for the elderly. Even though I created the Senior Citizens group here on CR to make fun of how old I am compared to most people here, I didn't create it to make fun of old people like some people might think.

Young people should spend more time talking to elderly people. One woman I talked to at the nursing home that I volunteered at had a number of odd things happen to her in her life like an airplane crashing into her house when she was younger, and it was interesting to hear about them. Many people just have no idea what things were like many years ago (especially during times like WWII) and could stand to learn a lot from it. Just because your grandmother doesn't know how to use a computer doesn't mean she's stupid and doesn't know anything interesting. Just knowing how afraid people were during times like WWII, and that everything hasn't been just like it is now, is useful to know.

Chinese word: 老人家 lǎorénjiā (polite term for old person in Mandrin, sort of like "Senior Citizen")
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21 / M
Posted 7/8/08
Well its not there fault that he really addicted to drugs.They just can't help it at all XD
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24 / F / Candy Mountain
Posted 7/8/08
I can see what you are saying, but not all people can't handle pain. Though my dad isn't one of those people, since he has bad knees and a bad back because of working too hard in the past and doing stupid things as a teenager like pulling off a car door to show off to my mom's brother. He pretty much can't live without really strong pain medicines, like morphine.

But then my grandpa is like 80 and he doesn't take any pain relievers and doesn't like medicine even though he has diabetes and heart problems. But he's actually pretty healthy and cool, he lives independently in a apartment place for elderly and handicapped people so that he can still have freedom. He's talked about nursing homes before, but I wouldn't want to put him in one. Those places are usually really gross and horrible, I wouldn't want to ever live in one. So I wouldn't want him to have to deal with it either.

Most of the time older people who go in nursing homes tend to have health problems, often times from smoking, drinking, bad genes or having low immune systems and getting ill. It often times depends on it they just sit all the time or if they try to take better care of themselves and keep their bodies in shape. Sometimes they have accidents and can no longer walk, or they have trouble walking and either the family doesn't want to deal with it or they can't be there all the time and work to provide money to keep the elderly family member safe.

Though nursing homes are scary places, you often hear about people getting mistreated in there and the smell is just horrible. I pity those who live in nursing homes, it's a really sad/lonely place, not to mention sometimes family members don't visit often. In a way you could say it's kind of like a jail.
Ghost Moderator
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25 / Norway
Posted 7/8/08
To OP's question:

I won't change, because there is nothing to change. I don't use medicine unless it's necessary - aka being hospitalized.
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Posted 7/8/08
I havent used any medicines in 2 years now O.o

Wow....to think again Iam pretty healthy......
Posted 7/8/08
i've spent time at the old folks' home too.
it's depressing to see how all of them are suffereing :/
but i guess the reliance of medication sometimes is needed, although not all the time. yupps.
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