Mea Culpa

I apologize. I'm mortified. I espouse elder design and this blog is a good example of how NOT to design for elders. What was I thinking? Mushed up green peas? And the font size--I can't even read it myself.

I will not take on shame or blame, I will count it a lesson and find some time to make it easier to read muy pronto.

There are some scintillating writers in elderblogland. You already know of Ronni Bennett and Rosemary Daniell. I was recently introduced to the Joy of Six and Freydblog. Both writers craft exquisitely poignant gems that connect past, present, and future. Wise women all. You know that flash you get when a raw emotion zaps you out of the blue? Wrap that in a technicolor silk scarf of words, and that's kinda how they write.

Elder design. Ran into a new manifestation of the need to be mindful of a few limitations: eyeglasses. Specifically, frames that are so trendy the screws are extra tiny. Really. And the tiny screwdrivers in the eyeglass repair kit are too large. Even the facile young woman who tried to find one that would fit became frustrated.

I fixed them myself. With dental floss. Good thing I had my vision appointment this morning, the string has frayed to a mere wisp. We won't get into the two kinds of eyedrops business.

Nowadays I have three pairs of glasses to lose: everyday progressive lenses, computer with $10 discount store frames, and sunnies--UVA/UVB protection PLUS current ones are so over four prescriptions ago.

Which brings me to the second experience with elder design. Cellular phones. I need one with bigger buttons. Everyone will need one with bigger buttons sooner or later. The occasion was calling in two prescription refills. Do you know how many numerals there are in a prescription number? This pharmacy assigns twelve...with a dash thrown in. What are the odds a 60+ will successfully complete this transaction? Twice. With different numbers. Then comes the pickup time scheduler. "Is that a.m. or p.m.?" My fingers are so clumsy I have no idea whether I'm supposed to collect my prescriptions at 7:00 a.m. or p.m.

I'm being silly, but the point is that both of these experiences have little to do with cognition, and much to do with physical changes. Just because we are 5% down on our fine motor skills doesn't mean we're stupid. As a matter of fact, in a recent article about aging and the brain (I'll have to find the url) the author pointed out that some cognitive areas improve with age. Duh. How do you think the human race evolved? Somebody was smart enough to survive long enough to teach the youngsters how to evade a saber-toothed tiger, tell the chanterelles from the amanita phalloides, or build the latrine downstream. It's crucial to pass along collective wisdom. Like, what happens to you when you eat an amanita muscaria. I know, strictly from observation. The muscariats don't know, because they turn white, pass out, and wake up with nasty headaches and only remember snatches of weird dreams. That bit of wisdom is known by very few, but could possibly deter anyone else from attempting the same experiment. It turns you into a zombie--don't do it. There were only plain old mushrooms in my salad today.

The good news is that there is research leading to the development of brain exercise software and techniques to help the gray matter keep cranking it out.
I like being smart. I don't plan to stop, because as I get older, I always want someone intelligent to talk to, even when I'm alone.

Flashback: Stockholm, 1996. A friend shared a Swedish homecooked meal of chanterelles and reindeer in a savory sauce over mashed potatoes, with other veggies. It was divine. I do love the edible ones, especially the ones in my salad today.


Kay Dennison said...

It's all about adjusting, isn't it? Has been all my life anyway. I don't expect that to change. I've had to re-invent myself more than once and am having to do so again. C'est la vie! lol

joared said...

Why am I only just now finding your blog? 'Cause I just read your guest post at "Time Goes By." Like what you have to say and the words with which you say it. I'll have to come back and spend more time reading here.

kokopelliwoman said...

That would be wonderful! At first I was blogging simply as a sandbox to learn the tech. Then I discovered Ronni's blog, and got totally excited about sharing with other elder bloggers. Please do come back, and if I have your permission, I'll link to your site.

kokopelliwoman said...

Hi, Kay, yep, and if we don't re-invent ourselves, someone will try to do it for us! Thanks for visiting.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Thank you so much for the kind mention Claudia...how thoughtful of you. Now look what I've missed not being aware of your blog until now. It will be nice to add you to my daily visits. Thanks again...