Aging is inevitable, always full of surprises and often not what we expect. NEW MOBILITY reached out to a sample of aging wheelers, most retired after long careers and active lives, to see how they were faring and gather their impressions. What were their biggest challenges, surprises, coping strategies and fears?

What we heard was somewhat predictable, but also surprising: Many were surprised they were still around and doing as well as they are. Coping strategies ranged from faith in God to staying organized, relying on experience and hard-earned knowledge, being inherently optimistic and positive, and having strong marriages or relationships. More than a few cited support groups or having a strong support system as being particularly helpful.

Each faced a crisis or turning point in their 50s or 60s — a blown out shoulder, serious weight gain, cancer, a stroke, long-term confinement due to skin problems, etc. Each could have given up and faded away. Instead, they relied on inner strength and resilience to face the challenge and soldier on.

Fears and concerns ran the gamut, from further deterioration of skin to increasing money problems. Predictably, several spoke of worrying about nursing homes in their future.

Laura Kelly, 59
T1-2 Incomplete Para
44 Years Post-Injury