Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: Aches and pains of household jobs

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Tom Charls changes batteries in Gert Bourne’s smoke detector so she won’t have to climb the ladder.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Tom Charls changes batteries in Gert Bourne’s smoke detector so she won’t have to climb the ladder.

As we move through our senior years we come to realize that there are some activities that we cannot perform with the same success as we could when we were younger.

We must come to accept these limitations. During the years over 65 we know that there are some activities that we just can’t do without consequences. And some of us have to learn this the hard way.

I recently realized that my upstairs hallway needed to be painted. I have always been a do-it-yourself-guy in the paint department. The only jobs I have shied away from have been those outdoor ones that require ladders going high into the sky. I have always left those jobs to the professionals.

But I figured that I could tackle the hallway with doors, molding, walls and floor without too much fuss. Most of the challenge involved being super neat with roller and brush. Using good quality material and a thick drop cloth also make for trouble-free painting.

I made use of a small stepladder to reach the wall-ceiling joints as I cut in with the paint brush. I also added an extension to the roller handle.

The project is now complete and I am pleased with the results — what I am not pleased with are the results of my bending, kneeling and stretching. These movements, which are vital to proper painting, have resulted in muscle and joint pain that have never bothered me before.

The pains are going away, but I have to accept the fact that I just can’t do what I could do when I was younger without consequences. I have to be more careful when undertaking home improvement projects. And in many instances know that the hiring of younger professionals is in order.

I have also learned that pains stay around longer. Muscles take more time to get back to normal.

I did some research on the internet about limitations for those of us of a “certain age” and discovered that common sense and good judgement are vital. Don’t overdo any activity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, some 40 percent of people over 65 claim that they feel healthy and generally pain-free, and can look forward to almost another 20 years of life.

This results from exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking and losing weight. Many experts agree that obesity is a big negative factor in the aging process.

So maintain a positive outlook, don’t exert yourself, get outside and breathe our wonderful Island air. Take walks on our beaches and be discriminating in planning your menus — eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

On another note, there’s still room in the AARP Driver Safety Course being offered at the Senior Center on Tuesday, May 1. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $20 for AARP members and $25 for non-members. Successful completion of the class usually results in a reduction in auto insurance. I took the class last year and have saved a few bucks.

Call the Senior Center at (631) 749-1059 to register.