If you’ve got aging parents or grandparents at home, then I’m sure you’ve noticed some common habits and quirks. However, let me tell you that these habits are actually shared by most elderly. So, let’s take a look at these habits.
Eating Dinner at 4–5 P.M.
My uncle is a retired police officer and many years ago when I visited him in Florida, I was surprised when ten o’clock in the morning, he said, “Helen, it’s time for lunch.” When I looked puzzled, he continued, “Then, dinner at four o’clock.”
This is the way of life for a good percentage of seniors. For the last five years, I’ve been having dinner at 6 p.m. and I used to think that this was the earliest one could have dinner. Apparently, I was wrong.
I’ve known a few individuals who’ve had dinners around 5 p.m. only because of their work schedules. However, when it comes to old people, there are a few reasons why they like to eat dinner so early. Let’s find them out:
- Many older adults live on an “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise” kind of lifestyle. And, so they like to dine early.
- As the body ages, it takes longer to digest food than it did when it was younger. So older people try to avoid stomach upsets by eating earlier.
- Again, on the general health basis, eating late at night can induce gastric reflux in old people. So, the earlier they eat, the less chance this condition will get to keep them awake at night.
- And, finally, old and retired people are no longer restricted by work hours and commute time, so they can eat whenever they want to. As they are no longer tied to a work schedule, they can get up at dawn and get to sleep when the sun sets. So, eating dinner at 4–5 p.m. then sounds like a very reasonable dinner time.
Wearing a Jacket All the Time
When I was a kid, I was fascinated by my grandma who was always wearing heavy clothes – long sleeves, jeans, hoodies and turtlenecks – in warm weather. One day I asked her why she was wearing all those heavy layers of clothes in hot summer and she said she was cold.
She was not sick, but that’s a completely normal condition you can experience as you get older.
When you are around 25 years old, the systematic bodily efficiency reaches its peak and then begins to atrophy. Further along this decline, especially in senior-aged individuals, all systems suffer from wear and tear, including the circulatory system which is mainly responsible for regulating the body’s internal temperature.
So, when you are 70-80 years old, your heart is going to be weaker and more erratic than a 25-year-old, making blood circulation less efficient. Additionally, several of an elderly person’s veins and arteries may be clogged with saturated fats, further impeding blood flow. Therefore, an elderly person’s temperature regulation will definitely be less adept at counteracting extreme temperature changes. In conclusion, we humans slowly become colder blooded as we age and as our bodily functions wind down.
Always Taking Pictures of Everything and Everyone Surrounding Them
This is something that has always stayed with me and I’ve never shared it before. Now, I’ll share it with you. When I was around 18 years old and working as a part-time bookkeeper, I met an old woman who always had a camera with her. I noticed how she was always taking pictures of common things and I heard that she even used to take pictures of her own neighborhood every day.
Out of curiosity, I asked her the reason behind taking those pictures and that was her reply:
“I am really old dear, and I know death is imminent. Most of my friends have passed away. Knowing my time is near, I want to cherish the last moments I spent on this world and that’s why I like to take pictures of everything I do and place I go. I want to remember my last days.”