Aging Parents: Women 60-90 Share Feelings in Survey–How This Impacts Us

On Thursday MORE magazine’s computer Weekly Update featured an article with results from MORE’s survey* asking women 60+ to share feelings about:

  • Current Marriage/Romantic Relationship
  • Parenting
  • Religious/Spiritual Satisfaction
  • Work

There were 1002 respondents–the oldest was 90+. We can assume these women–although on the older, old, and old, old side of life–read MORE magazine and therefore, are connected to what’s going on and are mentally capable. I think it’s safe to say we can also assume the results are applicable to some or many of our aging mothers and may be applicable to some or many of us– depending on our current age.

“The older the respondent, the higher her grades for both life after 60 and entire life so far, and the likelier she was to say she’d found her true path in life,” according the article.

We know too well that the 60’s can include some sobering (to various degrees) physical changes and challenges; and may include losing friends much too soon. All this plus attending to the needs of aging parents. While the respondents provide reasons to be optimistic, we need to keep in mind they are self-selected. (How many people who feel miserable or depressed are going to answer survey questions?)

That said, as we try to help parents age well, there are informative as well as heartening findings here. I think the entire article is worth a read. For those who are discretionary-time-challenged, here’s the link to a nonagenarian’s response plus a summary finding below. Don’t you wonder how your mother–if she’s aging relatively independently– would answer this survey?

The Fear(less) Factor

“They may not have to worry as much about Medicare’s solvency as their grandchildren perhaps will, but 63 percent admitted to having new fears after age 60. Concerns about appearance didn’t even make the top 10 (OK, they came in 11th). More pressing are worries about (1) health, (2) money, (3) mortality, (4) losing their independence, (5) time running out. Still, as one woman observed, by this stage of life “any fear I may have has proved to be far less likely to happen or far less likely to be really, really bad if it does happen.”

*First appeared in MORE’s  November 2012 issue.

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