This is going to be a strange missive. Or should I say a stinky one? It will either make you laugh, or ponder your own personal habits.
I have noticed over the years that many things seem to change with age. Most are just natural occurrences that happen so gradually, we barely notice anything different. Unfortunately, there may be some things that others might notice, even if we don’t. Yes, I am talking about body odor.
When I was a young mother of three little girls, I had a strict daily routine for them that included a daily shower or bath every night. No matter what was going on, a perfectly bathed child would be put to bed at night. No exceptions. I chose this nightly ritual because I believed a child slept better having washed off their day and climbed into their bed sparkling clean. It was the routine my mother had started with me and I still had for myself. I remember looking forward, all afternoon, to the time of evening that I would have my children tucked into their beds and smelling of No Tear baby shampoo. It would then be my turn to unwind from the day and soak in a relaxing tub. It was something that I really looked forward to!
I will be the first to tell you that now, at my age, I no longer look forward to bath time. Gone is the desire to step into a tub and get wet. The thought of getting wet all over is almost appalling to me at times. And sometimes, I will put this now dreaded chore off for as long as I possibly can. I am telling you all this personal information as I try to understand what is happening to me. I am not being “lazy”. And the chronic pain I deal with daily is not an excuse every time either.
So what is it then? I have come to the conclusion that it is simply another stage of aging. Having watched my parents be “Seniors” for many years, I noticed both of them having the same feelings about bath time. My dad seemed to not really care if he had one or not. He usually did only to appease my mom. My mother would only take a shower when it was absolutely necessary. She had arthritis in every joint in her body, and I always knew it was a painful ordeal for her, not to mention a dangerous one.
Having been a home health care worker, I also witnessed other seniors who had no interest at all in bath time. It seems the older a person gets, the less of an interest they have in all types of personal hygiene, not just bathing.
Now I do not want to offend anyone reading this! That is the last thing I would ever want to do. But this subject has been on my mind for some time and I just wanted to express how it makes me feel. It has become a definite problem with me personally. I have witnessed it being a problem with many others my own age as well. It appears it is just a natural part of aging, but it saddens me. I know when I do take the time to bathe, and am feeling squeaky clean, and moisturized from my head to my toes, I feel like a new person. Then why on earth do I not want to feel that way daily? I certainly don’t want to smell bad. I don’t believe anyone does really. Yet there does seem to be a real problem among many older individuals.
Maybe it’s just my peaked interest in seniors that has me pondering this subject for so long. My parents didn’t have me until they were in their 40s. They were always “older” than the norm and I have always had an interest in geriatrics. I’m sure that’s why I took my job as a home health worker so seriously. I was truly interested in my clients and found myself studying them. But even those experiences haven’t helped me with my own plight of dreading a bath!
I guess the answer is to just keep on living life like I always have, and that is to take one day at a time and do the very best that I can. Hopefully I will smell good doing so, but in the event that I don’t, I apologize now.
Here’s to a squeaky clean day!
The Vacancy… by JoAnn
January 25, 2023
Guest WoW, JoAnn
Driving home this evening, I went my normal way through a scenic back road. As usual, I noticed several vacant houses. Houses that used to be homes. In the 30 years I have been in and out of this small town, I have seen many homes become empty houses. It always saddens me.
This being a farming community, new homes are not built very often. Most are older, humble homes built anywhere from the early 1900s to the 70s. It’s rare to find a home newer than that in this town. Much to my dislike, many of the older homes seem to die when their elderly owners pass on. Nothing makes me sadder than seeing an empty house slowly caving in because no life is left inside. The family that built it and lived there was the heartbeat that kept it going. Today I passed three houses on one road that are quickly becoming unlivable because they are vacant and not being cared for.
I remember a time when it would have been a dream come true to have my own home. A house that I could love and care for. I know hundreds of people in my town alone have the same dream. What a shame they cannot save one of these houses instead of it slowly rotting away from neglect. Call me crazy, but if I had an empty house and no one to live there, I would rather give it away for FREE than hang on to it as it dies. If I had no use for the property, it would be given to a young couple that needed a break. Or an older retired couple that had never owned their own home before. I would freely give it in good faith and love every minute of doing so!
SO many people in the United States are homeless or home insecure. They worry from month to month if they will have a roof over their heads. I know of at least three parents with young children who cannot find reasonably priced rentals. What a shame the houses I saw today could not have been offered to those families. Instead, they remain vacant and slowly rot.
I have known the blessing of having a home of my own. I am blessed in my senior years with a place where I enjoy and feel safe. Almost everyone deserves that. Other than standing on my soap box for a few minutes online, I don’t know what else to do to make a difference. I don’t have the money to buy up these vacant houses and give them away. But what a vision that would be. Maybe if more people notice it the way I have, something will get done about it. I’ll keep hoping. Until then, I’ll continue to count the vacancy signs.