The Golden Years
A talk about elderly care.
Today’s rant is elderly care. I don’t think we do enough. We don’t plan for taking care of our elderly. We are currently staying with our 89 year old aunt until she can be on her own. She fell and broke her ribs. It takes time to heal no matter what your age and ribs involve everything, walking, sitting, talking, breathing – everything. It hurts to laugh or cry, it hurts to breathe. She is actually doing really well, getting in and out of the chair on her own, getting in and out of bed and walking. She’s improving every day. Home health care is coming three times a week to help her bathe and make sure she’s taking her medications. It’s better for her to be here in her own home where she knows where everything is, it’s all familiar and she’s more comfortable. But I don’t think enough people think about their elderly, their parents, their grandparents or even aunts and uncles or siblings, and how they might need care late in their lives. Nor do people realize how expensive a nursing home or rehabilitation might be and perhaps a person doesn’t have insurance coverage for something like that. I’m thinking our aunt is getting better faster because she is in her own home. Her children are all working so it’s difficult for them to stay with her. My husband and I are retired so we are free to help out.
But thinking about other elderly family members and the future, I’m not sure what we could offer. My sister lives in another state so I would have to move there, not just visit like we’re doing with our aunt. I could move her here to stay with us but it wouldn’t be her home with the comfort of familiarity. She would be away from her friends who might stop by. It’s a difficult decision, how do we care for someone without disrupting their life or ours? Like I said, I don’t think we plan for this so it hits us hard and our indecision causes more problems. I think we all need to do more what-if scenarios and plan for our elderly family members’ futures as well as our own.