Mobility can get harder as we get older

Mobility can get harder as we get older

I enjoy playing squash in my local league; I have been doing so for about the last 30 years.  This month, I was doing really well and had won three out of my four matches, 3 games to 0, which is pretty reasonable.  Anyway, I came to play my final match on Friday evening.  All was going well and I was about to win my first game. Then OUCH!  My back went, very badly.  The game and the match were lost.  Worse, was the fact that I had a busy weekend ahead and really needed my mobility.
I found myself very grateful to a caring younger son who was home for the weekend and a caring wife, who both showed sympathy and patience with my predicament.  I was grateful too for my father's old walking stick which has been in our hall stand since he died many years ago.
I spent the weekend taking far too long to do the simplest of tasks or to get from A to B.  It took ages to put on socks and shoes; turning in bed was painful and getting out of it seemed to take forever.  My usual impatient self had to be content with, or perhaps resigned to, getting far less done over the weekend than I wanted to.
I did manage to preach on Sunday, but not without the occasional wince, which was obvious to the congregation.  But after the service whilst chatting to people, I was met with sympathy and the offer of prayer and support.
All this made me think a lot about MHA and all that we do for many older people, day in, day out.  Being patient when things take longer to do than they used to; offering a helping hand when shoes and socks are no longer within reach; being there to offer care and prayer in a sensitive and appropriate way when people want it.  And doing all this for people whose aches and pains won’t get better after they have rested for a couple of days and learnt to do even more warming up and stretching than they already do.
For me, the biggest frustration of my weekend was that the energy and desire I had on the inside to do things was not matched by my body's ability to perform them.  Ice packs, painkillers and freeze-cream subdued the physical pain, but there was no medication for the annoyance that I felt about not being able to do what, for me, was normal activity.
As I complete my first three months at MHA I do not think for one moment that I have learnt what it means to be old over this weekend.  But, through losing a simple squash match, I have thought and understood a little more about the frustration of willing minds and unwilling bodies and the value of great care and support when you most need it.  If that can help me do a little better in helping MHA to do the best it can for the people we work with, then maybe it was a good weekend after all.

Adrian Bagg

Chief Executive

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