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The aging homesteader

 
pollinator
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I'm a natural hermit, but I'm thinking when I move to my next property (assuming hubby won't be with me by then) a priority will be to build a small self-contained secondary dwelling. I can move into the smaller place and let someone who couldn't otherwise afford property live in the main house. That's where the SKIP and Otis/Otisette idea makes a lot of sense.
 
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Calhoun County, West Virginia
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Brilliant!
 
pollinator
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Jay Angler: I agree 100%; those with pets DO have a greater will and fight for life, and yes, a reason to "get out of bed". For those worried about what will happen when they die if they still have pets, one option is to become a foster home for rescues.  There are rescues for everything from lizards to farm stock to cats and dogs.  You can continue to reap the benefits of companionship with your favorite animal(s), without the long-term commitment.

Generally, the rescue covers all expenses (food, vet care, toys, leashes, etc.), and simply need you to provide space, time and possibly training or socializing. Incredibly rewarding, without the financial burden or denying yourself the companionship of your favorite animals.

Michael Littlejohn: again, I agree 100%; creating a situation where you stay in place, perhaps in a smaller, purpose built building or by providing space for the tenant/successor to place something temporary (camper/Yurt) if there is no secondary dwelling.

Assuming over a few years you decide these "adopted children" are the correct stewards for the land you could the look at a secondary structure designed for them, assuming one does not exist.

This can then be financed by the successors, yourself or by a mortgage the successors take out; once the property is legally (and likely mortgage free) transferred to them. It can all be done very legally, at least in Canada, with the owner "selling", but retaining the "right to reside" until death.  

I have two acquaintances who have done this. One has been on "their" 40 acres for over thirty years, the other, also 40 acres, for 15 yrs. They do not technically OWN the land, but have the right to reside on, build on, and keep animals, as they see fit, until they die.

Basically all the "owner" does is pay the taxes. Both the folks I know sold to long term land speculators who accumulate vast swaths of land cheap, gambling that 50 yrs from now the urban sprawl will encompass the area and/or that it will be removed by the agricultural land reserve. But someone could just as easily sell to a Permie minded person/family, and add covenants to the sale detailing what can and cannot be done with the property.
 
master gardener
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The cats and dogs represent a significant problem.  They are family.  

We have left the door open for a move to a an apartment in a much larger community.  I really don’t see it happening for me.  My wife has significant disabilities.  We have discussed exit planning.  ....especially for her if I should die before her.   I do have a few people who We trust to work with her through the transition.
 
John F Dean
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I grabbed on to a so called part-time job a couple of months ago.  I am a RN, so that was easy. I have squirreled away enough money to put in a walk in tub.  That should improve the safety factor.  I expect the tub to go in the first quarter of 22.  My next major purchase will be a chair lift for the basement.  Neither is needed at this moment, but it is reasonable to expect that they both will be needed in the future.  Those purchases help to assure that we will stay here without having to move.
 
pollinator
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John, what type of tub did you decide on? I've looked into them for the same reasons - we plan to stay in our house as long as possible and tubs will become more difficult to use as we age. Our bathroom is small so we need something with the same footprint as our existing tub.
 
John F Dean
master gardener
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Hi Robin,

No firm decision yet as to brand.
 
Lorinne Anderson
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When I priced the walk in tubs they ranged from $4,5000 - $10,000 in Canada, depending on included bells and whistles!

A walk in shower with a bench or bath lift for an existing tub may be more cost-effective, and versatile.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Robin,

Unless your present tub is extremely small, the footprint should not be a concern.

 
John F Dean
master gardener
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Hi Lorinne,

My wife has multiple disabilities.  A shower, even with a seat, would be very risky for her.
 
Robin Katz
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Thanks John. Good to know about the tub footprint. The cost now, that's another issue but not one we can do much about. I've always loved the Japanese tubs that are tall so that you're up to your shoulders in water. A hot tub is probably the closest version we have in this country.
 
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Location: Pennsylvania
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Raised beds and long handled hoes.
 
abbi testament
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72 now but I've lived 'out' most of my life. I learned the smell of worms early. Was a farmer, herdsman and been running a chainsaw since I was in my 20's.
Buying my last home I realized I no longer wanted to dig snow on a half mile driveway so I opted for a small village.
Grand to be independent.  My place is 300 years old and dug into a slope that had its grass cut to the nub by zero turn radius mowers before I got here. No worm sign. Nearly sterile. So I let the grass grow much to the local elders complaining, I then could see the original terracing, so I mowed those paths.
I started an orchard five years ago; grapes, blueberries, peach, raspberries', apricots, hazelnuts,  and apples.
I heat with wood mostly and combine loads I buy that are harvested managed forest dead wood and cut wood from my land. Old dead locusts and cherry that have fallen.
Raised bed gardens along with alternative planting of pumpkins, squash placed on my slopes that add to the nutrition of soil.
I intend to live to 100 but I must be smart about lifting, mowing/on a slope, tools and not being hasty in movement.
I love reading these posts.
 
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After getting a Lyme tick bite, doing the amoxicillin (Doxy was not logical as it was May and too much to do outdoors) a month and then Stephen Buhner herbal protocol, I still managed to get very sick in August after demo-ing a building to salvage some lumber and overdoing it in general.  Forgot I was 63.  After a long slow recovery using many modalities, my wife Jaye signed us up for a yoga teacher training in Miramar, FL (Yogi Hari's ashram).  It was the best thing I did all year.  I have gained strength and peace of mind.  I prefer it to working out, or just stretching, as it both strengthens and relaxes, energizes and recharges.  Whether your joint and muscle issues are Lyme disease or something else, yoga helps.  Part of it also is eating mostly vegetarian.  I am not a purist and occasionally have meat, as my ancestors did after a successful hunt, eating plants the rest of the time.  But when I have a lot of meat, the joint pain increases.  So in addition to the great suggestions, this shift can improve the workings of the body and mind at any age.  
 
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Howdy folks,  I'm 73, and been blessed with two hernias and a nagging right hip, and six weeks ago, before the first snow in Southern Utah/near Nevada, I hoisted by new BIG chainsaw and cautiously and slowly cut down a twenty-four inch diameter, twenty foot tall dead pinion pine, and cut it into rounds, and loaded them onto my 1990 Ford 4x4, drove five hundred yards and unloaded beneath my 12x40 foot porch.  

It may be mindlessness over matter, or just a "Damn right I can do it," attitude, but even at 73+ I've got more energy than some of my sons, and some nineteen year olds I know.  Maybe it's the coffee.  Yeah, it's definitely the coffee, well....or the rum and coke in evening as I relax in my recliner in a 12x12 shack, lined from floor to ceiling, and wall to wall with 2x6s, which heat nicely from the wood burner.  And there I am, just relaxing, watching the candle play off the mirror behind it enjoying the mellow light cascading of the wood.

For they who can, staying active is the key, real active, and splitting wood is just as much fun with a big maul now as it has been for the last thirty years.  Of course, I think it's my smoking Indian Cigarettes that help the most.

I can't wait to wake up each morning, start the fire, heat the coffee, sit and smoke, and then when I'm as fired up as the woodburner, slide that glass door open look out at the Pinions and Junipers and with great energy, turn around and have another cup of coffee, and THEN melt into the day doing whatever the hell I please.

SO WHAT'S THE POINT:  joy, fun, bliss, ecstasy living in the outback, eighty miles from uncivilization, with nature, knowing that at the end of an active day I can pull them thar smoked ribs of the smoker and lean back and suckle those ribs bare.

And of course my other point is, if yeah don't stay a doin' it ain't long before you ain't doin.  I got a good twenty years, and I AIN'T NOT spendin' 'em sittin in no rockin' chair starin' at CNN and watchin' cities implode and crime runnin' rampant.  That's my take.  And best regards to everyone. Tom

 
gardener
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71, been single since age 40.  Farmed most of those years in one form or another.

Tools, yes, learning to ask for help , yes.  Taking more frequent breaks, yes.  Job hazard analysis BEFORE doing the risky thing, yes

I have a monthly appointment with a physical therapist who does dry needling, (I prefer acupuncture but it’s hard to find a talented practitioner, and the PT is very talented)

Two important things:  I do range of motion activities using a gyrotonic pulley tower.  This is an arcane system that is designed to increase circulation in all the joints, stimulate fluid exchange in all the joints, and allow - stimulate the minor muscles to work with the major muscles.

How I look at it, often the physical afflictions we experience are “bad habits”.  They started out as protective adaptations after an injury that the body never quit.  Like a dog who limps, holding his paw up because he has a sticker in his foot, but continues to favor the foot though the sticker has been removed.

The pulley tower and physical therapist prevent my body from developing “bad habits” (for example poor alignment and poor posture), and help me rectify old ones.  Doing good so far!

I can’t remember the second one 😂
 
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It was really interesting to read what others are doing to find ways to "age in place".  I have been on my land for 14 yrs. now and have done many of the things others have mentioned.  I'm 82 now and am still learning ways to make things work.  I had never lived anywhere more than 5 yrs. before - so - although I planted fruit trees and berries and grapes everywhere we lived - I often didn't get to harvest the fruit and more than anything - I didn't get to experience the challenges you run into with gardening in the same place for many years.  I am continually learning.

But the reason I decided to add something to this forum - is that I had an experience that feels worth sharing - just as food for thought. When I first moved here the forest had recently been selectively logged - and ALL the debris left behind - scattered throughout my five acres of woodland.  The first winter (I'm in Oregon) I started burning that slash.   I had a back I had messed up working as the head gardener of a 16 acre garden in Ojai, CA. and when I began the project I would last about two hours and would be in so much pain I would have to quit.  I was determined to clean up that mess and so nearly every day I got out there and hauled and sawed and burned... By the time spring hit I could put in 7 hr. days and my back had quit hurting me and it hasn't in the same way since then.  

That experience has changed my way of looking at hard work and pain, made me realize that some of the pain we suffer from is caused by not using our muscles enough.  

I'm not saying this is true of everything.  I spent from the time I was 30 until I was 50 with a messed up hip - no cartilage between the hip bone and socket and the hip bone worn down from rubbing... That was pain that definitely got worse the more I did.   A new hip at 50 changed my life!   So I know there are things working harder won't fix. I just want to suggest that maybe sometimes we give up moving because it hurts -  when that's the very thing that will help us.  
 
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I'll be 80 on my next birthday and was diagnosed with diabetes 20 years ago. I don't diet and I don't do formal exercise. The energy of my youth is certainly gone so I, like others here, find it takes me 3 or 4 times longer to do tasks that were a breeze years ago. One thing I've also noticed is that the daily pain load has gone way up. Arthritis and injuries I got doing stupid things as a younger person account for much of the pain. Working in spite of pain requires real mental commitment, but I don't think I can stop and sit in the rocker all day though. I'm convinced that would result in an earlier death. I feel that daily physical labor (in my thinking = exercise) helps to keep me alive and kicking (knock on wood here). I live on a small 15 acre farm. The stock had to go a few years ago - too much work and too high a chance of injury. I've been working for several years now to convert this place to a mixed native forest and meadows that are intermixed with a food forest. I have planted - in a somewhat scattered pattern, dozens upon dozens of apple, plum, cherry, persimmon, fig, blueberry, and other fruiting trees and shrubs. Also many native trees and shrubs. This all takes a lot of time, but I am still planting (I know, someone else at a later date will benefit from the fruits, but I am now benefiting from the labor.)
So, bottom line, have a dream/goal that you are passionate about,  keep working towards your dream/goal, don't spend your days sitting on your behind watching TV or with your nose on the computer screen, and you're likely to stay healthier and never be bored.

 
pollinator
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:

Two important things:  I do range of motion activities using a gyrotonic pulley tower.  -and-

I can’t remember the second one 😂



Take Ginko biloba supplements???  LOL.....kidding!        My rotator cuff ailment probably could use that gyronic pulley tower....
 
John Weiland
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Barb Allen wrote:
That experience has changed my way of looking at hard work and pain, made me realize that some of the pain we suffer from is caused by not using our muscles enough.  

I'm not saying this is true of everything.  I spent from the time I was 30 until I was 50 with a messed up hip - no cartilage between the hip bone and socket and the hip bone worn down from rubbing... That was pain that definitely got worse the more I did.   A new hip at 50 changed my life!   So I know there are things working harder won't fix. I just want to suggest that maybe sometimes we give up moving because it hurts -  when that's the very thing that will help us.  



I've had many family members undergo hip replacements and report the same relief as you have.  Interestingly, I share back problems with other family members, but whereas they had surgical correction, my own experience was like yours......severe sciatica for many years at "the desk job" and then with having gone part time and then early retirement with increasing strenuous manual work on the property, the back pain largely disappeared altogether.  The sporadic back issues that remained I can generally trace to dehydration and kidney issues with not drinking enough water when needed.  Knocking on wood that my hip joints hold out and i can still wow "the kids" with a break-dance or two at the local mall courtyard when I hit 80....... :-)
 
Barb Allen
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Paul Young wrote:
So, bottom line, have a dream/goal that you are passionate about,  keep working towards your dream/goal, don't spend your days sitting on your behind watching TV or with your nose on the computer screen, and you're likely to stay healthier and never be bored.



I so agree Paul.  I feel very fortunate that I am now living my dream - of creating a permaculture homestead and living surrounded by forest.... I am also incredibly fortunate to have two sons in their mid and late 50's who now share the land and dream with me... It's the dream of all the interesting things we can and are doing here on the land - and all the things we/I have done that are now showing results - "fruiting" in a sense. There is always something interesting that drags me outside to do something physical - winter and summer.  I notice if I sit at my computer involved in some project - I start to stiffen up... So pain actually pushes me out the door and gets me moving - because it's the thing that makes me feel better.  My son's are discovering the same thing.  

In some ways the main thing I am harvesting from my land and all the wonderful things I have planted for food and medicine - is the BEING in it and working with it every day. I have come to feel the forest trees are my friends! I never feel alone here even when there are no other humans around.      

The experience of working on something this big with my two grown sons is also something I am very grateful for. It took us some real effort and hard work to get to a place where we could all work together.  These two years of covid gave us that opportunity! And it's probably one of the best things I've done here!  
 
John Weiland
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Paul Young wrote:
So, bottom line, have a dream/goal that you are passionate about,  keep working towards your dream/goal, don't spend your days sitting on your behind watching TV or with your nose on the computer screen, and you're likely to stay healthier and never be bored.



I can safely say this is true for both my wife and I, but probably even more for her as she is now in her 70s.  She has a pile of animals she takes care of.....minimum 4 hours each night with feeding and care, 365 days a year.  For most of her life, she was an urbanite and accumulated many of the ailments inherent with a sedentary lifestyle one minute, punctuated by high impact sports the next minute.  Thus, the bad knees, elbows, jawbone (all skiing accidents) that *should* plague her today.  They do indeed, but not the the extent most would expect and not even in the spirit of "caring til it hurts".  She really has come to feel that the routine of the physical attention and interaction with the animals, many of them in the autumn of their lives, creates a sort of "Zen" situation whereby the pain takes a back seat relative to the immediacy of their care.  She is exhausted at the end of the day.....almost catatonic on some nights..... but has never been so satisfied with the life she is involved with as now.  Hence, your "working towards your dream..." which is as close to her childhood dream as she can imagine.
 
Barb Allen
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I missed many of the pages of this thread, but just came across the ones talking about working toward being surrounded by community as you age.  One of the things I started doing years ago was looking for property that had the possibility of supporting a small community. I have spent the last 14 yrs. on 5 acres in Oregon planting gardens and orchards and creating water catchment.  Then - just before covid hit - I began creating a tiny RV park on a section of land...  My youngest son (53) had his business wiped out by covid and moved up here to work on the project with my older son and I. I managed to talk the electric company into bringing in electric to that part of the land and routed water over there and put in greywater gardens and compost bins and an "outhouse" for compost bucket toilets.  

Our first "tenant" turned out to be a close friend - an 82 yr. old who lost her husband a few months into covid.    

Then - after a short break we started work on creating a rental cottage next to my home last spring... We are nearly finished.    One of the goals, of course, is to earn enough to cover most of the expenses here, but a really huge part of the vision is to create "community" - to attract like minded people to our permaculture homestead who love and appreciate nature as we do - who want to learn and grow together. Not just be tenants.  
 
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When I was a grammar school kiddo, (I'm now 60,) I remember hoeing the corn with my grandfather.  Grandpa appeared to move slowly and deliberately, so I thought I could keep up with him.  He gave me one of his hoes and a wooden scraper to keep it clean.  His tools were all clean and shiny, unlike mine today which are muddy and only a little bit shiny, bit I digress.  We hoed all morning and I remember falling farther and farther behind at a dizzying pace while trying to keep up and do a good job, (which means standing up the corn stalks I had cut with dirt clods so he wouldn't notice.)  Anyway, next thing I know he is coming at me on another row while I'm still less than half way on my first row.  Wow, did I learn a lesson that day, and that was to not think higher of myself than I should.  So, guess what?  At 60 I am finding that I have adapted a lot of his mannerisms, one of which is being slow and deliberate.  Now I understand what that was all about.  He was born in 1898, fought in WWI, fathered 12 children, and died at 96.  Hmm...what does that tell me?  Slow and deliberate must be really, really, good; so here I am without even thinking about it.  Careful planning, careful execution, careful patience, careful thoughtfulness, etc...for me this all adds up to slow and deliberate.
 
pollinator
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Hear here, Phil on asking for help. For a couple of reasons:
1/ we will need that help if we don't already! [I'm a 72 year old female, so of course, there are a few things I won't try anymore; but that doesn't need that the work will not get done.
2/ We have knowledge that can be shared passed on in this manner. All our lives, we have looked for 'experts' to help us learn and grow, to give us "tips".. Parents, knowledgeable neighbors, family & friends. Well, now, WE ARE these free experts who can help along. It is a wonderful symbiosis.
The secret to staying active and productive in the garden is taking the time to "smell the roses". When I was younger, I worked like a brute, running from one task to another without taking the time to reflect and enjoy. I got a lot accomplished, and many are the days that I was exhausted, sore, hurt, [and not particularly happy]. That is the best change I made in my life as I grow older: make time to enjoy.
But there is work to be done, still. So...
Think specifically about the work you want done, and put it in one of 2 lists;
The stuff you can do yourself versus the stuff that requires either more expert help or strong muscles. Sub divide into the work that can be done in a building, like fixing the blasted mower! [keep that for when it is rainy/ cold] and the work you need warmth and sunshine to do: Planting, weeding, grafting.
For the stuff I can do myself, I enjoy doing it and I get a great deal of satisfaction from achieving it. I'm not about to give that up!
For the stuff where I require help, make it easy for your helper[s]. Get it clearly defined, have the tools ready and in good working order. [Few things are more annoying that wanting to help someone who can't express exactly what they want, keep looking for lost tools, need to fix the tools before getting to work. [Trust me, I've been there!]
My local University has students every year in the forestry department looking for special "hands on credits". A couple of years ago, they planted about 25 trees on my front lawn which are now doing quite well. This year, if my electric auger gets a bit too heavy or rambunctious to use safely, I plan on calling them again to help me transplants beach plums and other small trees. It cost me a dozen soft drinks and a pizza. [The University was specific about that: they were not supposed to be paid, but hey, what student would refuse soft drinks and a pizza if those are the rules.]
I may be able to move the door to my chicken yard. I think I can still do it, although the door is heavy. My hubby doesn't care for this kind of work, but for a short amount of time, after I prep the work to be done, he will lend a hand.
Carrying stuff isn't as easy as it once was. They make trailers and wheelbarrows for that. Look critically at your tools and resolve to keep them in good repair: It is a delight to work with sharp tools, a mower that gets cleaned up after use, is dry [under a roof] and kept gassed up, a wheelbarrow with a plump tire...
Few things are more frustrating than deciding on a big day of work and find out that something has fallen in disrepair and you have to let the beautiful sunshine go unused while you tend to fixing the @#$%#$%^%!!! mower!
When you get old, everything takes longer, so you must take more time on the prepping work. This way, when the sun finally shines on you, you are ready.
Other things: Among my raised beds, I need to sit more often than I used to. I plan to build a bench this year, so I can admire and enjoy looking at the work accomplished in the garden at the end of the day. Also, a board resting on the edges of 2 raised beds, plus a thick cushion will allow me to weed in peace, at my own rhythm. Knee pads are helpful too, for a short while, although my knees don't like that.
I built 2 really large planters,  [4'X4'X30'] a few years back. Closer to the house, I can grow my herbs in them, and because they are high enough, I can tend to them more easily.
I've tried to get certain tasks done automatically, like watering. Hmmm... That is still a work in progress.
Instead of lamenting at what you didn't get accomplished, rejoice in what your DID accomplish. [I'm learning to make running lists and checking the work done at the end of the day. It is satisfying.]
That is the real secret of staying working and productive.
Finally, dream! That is what I do all winter long: I have 3 seed catalogs already. I have sorted the seeds I reaped by the treatment they need to sprout, the month to plant them in and I dream of adding new trees, making new beds etc.
Those are the things that give me joy. It is joy that keeps us going, not work, not even accomplishments, [at least not for very long].
 
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I used to say I was 40 going on 80. Now I'm 64 and feel it.(so guess I've gotten younger) illness and injury have taught me to keep pushing and keep moving. Sitting too much will age you faster. Doing different activities for shorter stints feels better than hours at one. Being outside is crucial. I remember one bout of recuperation.laying in bed or sitting on my ass felt horrible. I needed my garden to feel alive. A bad break I was told may lead to loss of use of that arm, was an unacceptable idea. Soaking in the lake and pushing myself to swim just 5' more everyday. I often thought of an elderly relative ,told she would never use her arm again , spent her days lifting trays of bread, then went back and threatened that doc with a punch in the nose with that arm. Don't ever steal hope, it becomes a self fulfilling professy. A 2 wheel cart I can drag, easier than a wheelbarrow. Tried some very tall raised beds they turned into vole hotels.all my root crops devoured. I use 6" high raised ridges and a stool to sit to weed instead of bending. For the first time I want to start raising animals. Little ones I can handle like rabbits and quail. My son and daughter-in-law made me a beautiful walking stick. 3 legs is awesome on ice or uneven ground. And a long stout stickhelps to keep neighborhood dogs at bay. Also great people like my new friends at permies who keep exercising my mind with new ideas and projects to try. Thanks all
 
Paul Young
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Diane Woiak) "Illness and injury have taught me to keep pushing and keep moving. Sitting too much will age you faster. Doing different activities for shorter stints feels better than hours at one. Being outside is crucial. ... A bad break I was told may lead to loss of use of that arm, was an unacceptable idea. Soaking in the lake and pushing myself to swim just 5' more everyday. I often thought of an elderly relative , told she would never use her arm again , spent her days lifting trays of bread, then went back and threatened that doc with a punch in the nose with that arm. Don't ever steal hope, it becomes a self fulfilling professy. ... (quote wrote:


At nearly 80, I too have noticed the need to spend one or two hours on a project and then move onto other projects throughout the day. So, for example, I do about two hours of weeding each morning (weather permitting; difficult with a layer of snow) and then move on to something else. I used to think I was developing ADD until I read Diane's post. Sitting too much WILL age you faster, but an occasional 5-10 minute sit throughout the day helps to revitalize me. I don't sit to weed (yet) as the grub hoe, hand hoe, and long-handled hoe are my favorite weeding tools - don't do much weed pulling as it is hard on the back (acute spondylolysthesis). Both of my shoulders have torn rotator cuffs and one has a severed major muscle that has atrophied, but, though severely weakened, I have regained almost full motion because, I believe, I kept pushing the limit (as Diane stated) to regain it. You have to accept some pain to do this while also being careful not to overdo it and cause further injury. Growing old is a challenge that requires dogged determination, stubborness, good problem solving skills, a bit of luck, and more.

 
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I am 80 years old. I bought a Kohler  soaking tub on Craig’s list for $150. It was 6 feet long. I worried about getting out of it. I had a 2x2 piece of lumber installed along the outside left edge. I sit up grasp the 2x2 with my right hand and spin around backwards. Then stand up backwards. And step out. Works great.
I can get out of a regular tub by spinning around backwards and standing up also - try it.
I looked into the tubs with a door, you have to sit there until the water drains out. Figured I would get cold. And the expense.
Love to soak  my Arthritic bones in a hot tub.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Laura Johnson wrote:
I am 80 years old. I bought a Kohler  soaking tub on Craig’s list for $150. It was 6 feet long. I worried about getting out of it. I had a 2x2 piece of lumber installed along the outside left edge. I sit up grasp the 2x2 with my right hand and spin around backwards. Then stand up backwards. And step out. Works great.
I can get out of a regular tub by spinning around backwards and standing up also - try it.
I looked into the tubs with a door, you have to sit there until the water drains out. Figured I would get cold. And the expense.
Love to soak  my Arthritic bones in a hot tub.



"I looked into the tubs with a door, you have to sit there until the water drains out." LOL. They don't mention that in the commercials!
I don't know how well this would work for me: I'm considering building a bench like structure along the tub, so I could sit on it, then swing my legs over and onto the floor. The tougher part is actually standing up in the tub, so I figured getting something so I can sit on the edge might work better for me. The alternative would be a cable so I can hoist myself up, but things ae not quite that bad yet. Right now, I have to, while the water still affords me some buoyancy, roll on my knees, then grip the [slippery edge], sit myself on the [freaking cold] edge and swing my legs on the floor. Then I drain the tub.
I think we are describing pretty much the same movement, the idea being to get our legs/ knees beneath us so it is easier to stand up. Right?
 
Laura Johnson
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That is why I installed the 2x2 lumber along the edge of the tub. It helps - no slippery edge.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I too, have a long deep soaking tub.  Not only do I enjoy soaking my muscles after exertion, but, I have the thing insulated.  It stays hot for a long time.  It’s between an hour and a half and two hours before I feel it cool enough I want to get out.

I sometimes have to wait for the water to cool down , because I use the bath for hyperthermic therapy.  As what is achieved through sauna.  Search heat shock proteins for more information.

If I am still really hot when I get out, there’s the chance of getting dizzy, (orthostatic hypotension).  I think that’s the only time I am at risk for falls, but I must say I am very aware of slips and falls when climbing in and out.  I will keep the suggestions of prior posts in mind.

I have an optional grey water option in the basement below my tub, so that I can drain the tub into the garden.

I believe that the size of the area I can drain to can easily absorb and utilize the Epsom salts I frequently use

 
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The walk in tub we installed for a client last year had a double drain system that emptied the water insanely fast. No issues with getting cold while waiting for it to drain. Certainly wasn’t cheap though. Curbless shower with seat and plenty of grab bars is what’s going into my house. I can do that a fair bit cheaper and the shower uses less water as well. Not that water is an issue here in north west Canada, but still have to heat it.
 
Paul Young
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I had a walk-in tub some years ago. I would towel dry above the water line and put on a warm robe above the water line and then progress downwards as the tub drained. Stayed warm and relaxed.
 
master pollinator
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Thelka wrote: I too, have a long deep soaking tub.  Not only do I enjoy soaking my muscles after exertion, but, I have the thing insulated.  It stays hot for a long time.  It’s between an hour and a half and two hours before I feel it cool enough I want to get out.


Can you show us how you insulated the tub?

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Unfortunately, no, I can’t say how it was done.  Retrofit insulation for a bath tub might  be a topic for a whole thread!  


I chose that option when I ordered the tub for the old house I was remodeling-recycling.

It’s an acrylic tub from signature hardware, a company I have no reservations recommending, having done business with them several times.

This tub was on sale, or I probably wouldn’t have bought it, because it’s a little too long for me.  Something I never even thought would be possible!

The tub is double walled, and for an extra charge, they added the insulation into the cavity between the two walls before shipping.  

I do feel ambivalent about what material they might have used, but it can’t off gas into the air I breathe, and I tell myself the extended use of the hot water offsets the environmental costs of the (most likely toxic gick) insulation.  And then there’s the health and well-being benefit to my body, and I leave the water in the tub until it’s cold, so I have kept the bathroom warm as well.

Maybe it’s “rationalization”, but I figure I have stacked functions of both the water and the energy used to heat it.

 
Lorinne Anderson
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I have a discarded, plastic/fiberglass (?) tub, currently re-used as a raised strawberry bed, insulation looks Iike some sort of Styrofoam.

I have to assume any insulation would need to be unaffected by moisture...to eliminate rot/mold issues.  Is "spray foam" inappropriate due to the "toxic gick factor "?

I would think it would be an appropriate utilization of the product...but unsure what environmental consequences would/could be.  

Would the environmental cost of the product be offset by the environmental and financial bonus of retained heat eliminating constantly removing cooled water and replacing with more heated water?  That is a question for someone more knowledgeable than I.
 
John F Dean
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We dodged a bullet of sorts.   My wife was discharged from the hospital after a stroke.   I am looking at the situation both as a homesteader and a rehabilitation professional.   We had already taken positive steps to make the property more accessible.   I wish I had done more and done it faster.  The good news is that she is functioning well. The bad news is that we are not ready for the next medical challenge.   So, I am surveying my home and property to see what can be done  now to address the next challenge.

Prioritizing is always an issue.  So, I need to invest now in appropriate changes that were already on my short list ....the walk in tub, chair lift to the basement, ramps and sidewalks.  
 
Robin Katz
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John, I'm so sorry to hear about your wife. Sounds like you caught it quickly. Let us know how it goes if you're up for it.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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John, heartfelt friendship and hugs to you and your wife.

A friend a little younger than me had a “massive” stroke 6 years ago.  So much depends on what region of the brain!  Her losses were mostly half her visual field, and sort of mental and spatial mapping.  These losses are not apparent to most people.  She can talk and walk and lives alone, but over the years I have seen repeatedly her losses.

Luckily you are a rehab professional.  I assume you know there’s evidence and research on regeneration of neurological tissue, and reassignment of circuits.  I went with my friend to her doctor… the doctor didn’t say anything about rehab, so I asked about it.  The doctor thought that would be going to psychotherapy.  That was after I mentioned cardiac rehab and pulmonary rehab.

I offered brain exercises from lumosity to my friend as a starting place, but my friend said she didn’t want to push herself.  I respected her autonomy, but had it been my mother I would have been a real pain!

The walk in bathtub has drawbacks noted above, there’s also the option of a shower chair that rolls into the shower, and sauna cabinets…

I wish you both all the best in this new adventure!
 
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