As we grow older, we really can’t imagine what it will be like. Okay, maybe we can: working in the garden or the shop at our own home; traveling across the country visiting grandkids; or just relaxing with not a cloud in the sky or a worry to fret about. But the older we get the better we know that may not be exactly how it turns out. There will be plenty of good times and great experiences, but there will be potholes and detours along the way. As my 97 year old relative who is recovering from his second broken hip said, “This is not what I expected”.
To prepare for the unexpected, Robert Mauterstock posted on the Forbes website “Three Important Questions You Must Ask Your Aging Parents”. But considering that many of you are the aging parents, I suggest asking yourself these questions or initiating the discussion with your adult children. I know they may want to avoid thinking about your future. But let’s face it, denial is not a good strategy.
The first question is: “If one of you becomes disabled or requires long term care, where do you plan to live?” If the answer is your home, how accessible is it? Are there stairs? Are the doors wide enough for a wheelchair or walker if needed?
The second question is: “If one of you needs continuing care, who will provide it?
Who is going to take care of the one in need of care? The other spouse, one of the adult children? Does everyone understand what it means to be a caregiver particularly 24/7? And if outside help is needed what are the costs?
Which leads to the third and last question. “If one of you needs long term care, how do you expect to pay for that care? Long term care insurance? But there are conditions and limitations, and most people don’t carry that kind of insurance. Medicare? Contrary to what many people believe, Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care. So, most likely long term care will have to be paid by personal resources until those resources are spent down to when the person qualifies for Medicaid.
We don’t know what to expect but the unexpected. And discussing these questions with your spouse, adult children, or loved ones now instead of later will give you a clearer understanding of what your options are so you will be better prepared to meet your future long term care needs.
Now time for a pop quiz from last week’s lesson. This is a self-graded test, but If you pass, you can be confident that you haven’t totally lost it! #1. Here are the answers from last week, but what were the three questions? Snowing, sowing, owing, wing, win, in, I. The numbers are ordered alphabetically based on their English spelling. 40 dollars. #2 When will Nicole Pashek be speaking at the Center on “Normal Memory Loss and Aging”? #3 What were the three words I wanted to remember during my health assessment?
Last week’s question was a tough one, but the name of the fortified diet drink introduced in the early 1960’s that I was thinking of was not Tang (which Julie Carter and Mike Carrico answered and I remember my family drinking because it was what the astronauts drank), but Metracal. I only received two correct answers (if I didn’t miss anyone) from Lana Tepfer and Elaine Lee this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Carol Earl.
During the 50’s and 60’s there were fewer airlines and flying was twice as expensive. But in 1978 the Airline Deregulation Act passed which changed the commercial flying landscape and not all airlines were able to survive. For this week’s “Remember When” question what airline was founded in 1930 and in its heyday carried the most transatlantic passengers of any airline, but in 2001 ceased operations ten years after its rival Pan American World Airways filed for bankruptcy? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a picture of Howard Hughes who acquired control in 1939 after which the airline became known as the “airline of the stars”.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to steer my way through the rapids to clear water. Until we meet again, don’t let feeling tired always keep you from doing what you want to do.
“Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.” Kitty O’Neill Collins