Tuesday, December 12, 2017

And Life Goes On . . .

Where I have been . . . where I was .... where I am

Choices . . . so easy to analyze in the future you cannot see from the present where you are

Chances . . . taking risk, making decisions, believing in myself and . . . 

So easy for others to negate. So easy to walk away. 

Facing life is far more challenging than simply interacting .

Feeling like I'm on a carousel riding round and round, up and down with no stopping or starting just going in continual circles.

Reaching out into thin air with hand extended only to close on .....

Believing in tomorrow while honoring yesterday

Give it up, move on, look away . . . or silence, no support, no suggestions, no concern

Who Am I? Who I've Always Been. Different Now. Forever Changed. 

Stepping into the future. 

Eyes sometimes closed, sometimes squinting, sometimes wide open. 

Listening. Talking. Sharing. Learning others walked a similar path and move down similar roads.

Who Am I? Who I've Always Been. Finding Myself. Again

Friday, December 8, 2017

Grief Wears Many Faces

Google the word "grief" and here's what you find:

GRIEF: Deep sorrow, especially one caused by someone's death. Trouble or annoyance.

Further google "sorrow" and you find:

SORROW: a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others.  feel or display deep distress.

Grief actually wears many faces -- the everyday, the horrific loss, the time past and the  faces presented to the world in each human encounter experienced today, tomorrow, everyday.

Death is one form of Grief. It seems to be the most challenging because there is no hope in the here and now for change. Death, after all, is the final frontier and not reversible.

Last night I met a woman who was working through her grief of a couple of years. Her "friends" keep telling her it's been long enough, she should "do other things" and of course, they tell her what she shouldn't do, too.

She had a very long marriage; they were a "good pair" as we would categorize people who made their lives together and survived decades of challenges.

Not to be minimal, but think of it as having in your life anything, human or an object, when it's "gone", you "miss" having it. The degree to which you miss this object is often associated with the length of time, the value and the part it played in your life. 

Well intentioned friends and acquaintances who have not experienced the loss of a spouse may not truly grasp the level at which the loss is experienced and how every facet of life is affected, every day that passes.

Grief has many "faces" to the world:

Some had less than good experiences in their relationship and so the "passing" may even be a relief but reflected to the world as one of their having "adjusted" so well, so quickly as they moved on. It's different for everyone; don't be quick to judge, to approve or disapprove; it's their life, not yours.

Some find a need to replace or restore their lives through finding another to share the time and reclaim life as they knew it.

Some bear the loss seeking solutions along the way to understand, comprehend and manage a new, yet unwanted, life beginning.

Some have been affected by more than just the death, the illness, the loss -- they are struggling to move forward and most people walk around these individuals, some offer support of one kind of another but most go on living their lives giving their support or encouragement when they have the time or when they come in contact with the "bereaved".

Why do we only see grief as being a "deep" feeling and if someone doesn't "display" this form of grief/sorrow, are they heartless, uncaring and unfeeling?

Some of us hide grief created by the actions taken by someone in their life that aren't associated with death but have the same effect. 

Children who remove the ability to talk with or visit grandchildren, for example, because they cannot resolve differences through active listening and engagement in resolution processes.

Parents often endure times of great sorrow when the children they love and have nurtured turn away and against them.

They've endured behaviours from these children over many years and now the "child" uses the "ultimate weapon" -- denial of the only thing they really control access to believing they are "winning" a "battle".

How very sad to use human beings in this way. 

How very unrealistic the parent is who uses this method.

There are, of course, valid reasons for denying contact including physical abuse but to insert another human being into a situation where you cannot face the challenges in the relationship you've created does not resolve the situation and only adds "fuel to the fire".

Sadly, these grown "children" who "pick up their marbles and go home" when they cannot get the other person to follow their lead, to do what they want and to give up whatever the other wants, are planting the seeds of a tomorrow when their children will be adults, when they will have the ability to question and when they will possibly put into practice what was done to them by these "grown children", their parents.

They have struggled in life facing and owning their negative actions and often hide behind masks they create to hide the reality of what they've done and continue to do. 

To the world at large, these providers of grief may appear to function normally, possibly even exceeding in areas, but in reality they are deeply troubled individuals who need to face the real problems in their lives, not those they "identify" or replace what should be faced, what should be resolved.

The definition of grief that includes "trouble" and "annoyance" I would expand and add "a force that weaves into and around the life experience causing unforseen and unanticipated disruption and potentially unreclaimable losses."

INTERESTING COMPARISON:  I've been writing about the need to redefine or rexamine DEMENTIA and recognize it's not the depth of the disease, it's the impact the disease causes in all its stages.


To believe Grief starts with death and over time subsides or goes away is as false, misleading and deceptive as believing the only kind of Dementia is Alzheimers. 

As for me, I've chosen not to accept Grief as others define the process. 

Has Grief affected me? Absolutely. 

Does Grief rule my life and control me? Definitely Not!

It's understanding where you are, where you need to be that becomes important to allowing for grief but not succumbing to it or building the forcefulness of its impact on you.

I've lived believing each day I face choices, make decisions and continue the path with those whom I love and loved, walking together even though we're apart.

Many days, many years that have followed have not been pleasant, enjoyable, welcome; many have been devastating or highly challenging. 

We, you and I, decide each day how we will move through that time, when we have moved forward and to what point without someone with whom we shared and may still have or may choose to place in a different perspective, a life bond.

Grief is personal. Grief is not the feelings of a friend, acquaintance or another family member. Grief can be shared but grief is unique to all it affects.

We, you and I, can find a small speck of joy or simple positive thinking in the deepest of life's challenges.

Grief, in any form, is natural. You have the personal right to adjust, to find relief and to change your focus to provide positive life movement.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Dementia Goes By Many Names

Spreading the word about Lewy Body Dementia I've often explained the difference between LBD and Alzheimers as a line that's drawn like stair steps for Alzheimers and a scribble on a piece of paper with no visible beginning and no recognizable end for Lewy Body Dementia.

It's important we all stand up and speak out to raise awareness for Dementia and understand when we separate into "camps" of "types" we lose the ability to wage the major war necessary to stop its effects or even possibly end some or all of these Thiefs of Life.

Long Term Care Facilities and others need to step up and recognize the majority of their residents have some form of Dementia.

The tools we currently use to recognize Dementia are obsolete and the general population and even some medical professionals still believe the disease has to be overtly obvious.

This means the person has to demonstrate visible and possibly audible affects showing their mind is not capable.

My story, Her Story, is one of waging a battle against the status quo to move society into the brave new world of recognizing and realizing Dementia can be managed, can probably to some degree be detoured and may be handled without severe medical intervention but most importantly, MUST BE SEEN AND MUST BE RECOGNIZED.


Focus on the person, where they are, with communication and compassion. 

Understand the first line of defense is a community of support, a family that works with rather than administers or directs relationships along the way of life.

Those who listen, those who actively learn, make their path and the path of their loved ones less challenging and more rewarding.


We can learn more from networking and collaborating with agencies and organizations who have shown over the years to be "forward thinking" and effective in their ability to work with people with mental and emotional limitations.


Give your loved one and yourself time. In today's push-me-pull-you challenged society it's difficult but it's critical to a balanced life for them and for you.


Dementia isolates. The person from themselves and the person from the family/care giver(s).

Sitting alone. Laying in bed. Staring out a single window.

Rights are important. Decisions should be honored.

Dementia is a medical challenge and with that comes responsibility to interact and assist.


Take cues from what you observe, listen to your tone of voice and move slowly and ensure you're in their line of vision, hearing and/or at their level and remember these "senses" may be affected by the Dementia and may vary. 

The same great methods taught by leaders in the field of child and personal psychology can be applied with Dementia.

It's not an "I win" situation, it's a "we all win" plan.


It's not easy. It takes time. You're busy. You have "a life". It's too far in the future. It may never happen....

We make time in life for what we value.

Qualify of life through the ages and stages is important to living together and living the solitary life.

We share this world and we affect what's been given to us by those who came before us.

Honor those going forward and moving quickly into the last of their time. 

Push Forward in Social Media   Key #7

Facebook, Twitter, whatever you use, wherever you post or speak out, add a line, a phrase, connect with an article.

The need to recognize DEMENTIA in all its forms is critical as is the focus and the collaboration of the organizations already established: Alzheimer's, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinsons, etc.

Reach out and raise your voices to include those among the dozens of other types of dementia. Here's a list from the Alzheimer's Association of a few they recognize: 

Here's a resource I like to pass along

Feel free to copy and paste it when you help raise awareness and provide insight to:

Discover and Defeat Dementia

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Run, Run As Fast As You Can . . .

Funny how many in their "middle ages" today run or bike or physically push themselves in sports chosen not as much for socializing but to try to stand out or show they can and will endure.

Are they running from something or towards something???

You can see personalities more clearly in those who push themselves to achieve . . . not just participate..

Could it be setbacks, disappointments, unplanned or planned life decisions not found to be as positive as expected are often the hidden challenges, the reason behind pushing for running longer, faster?  

Running after a life where personal recognition through pushing just a little harder, just a little longer, just a little more can make the difference in self satisfaction and recognition by others of achievements missed in other ways, in other places, other times?

This passion for running longer and longer distances or faster and faster times or against their own "personal record" gives them a focus, a means to an end, a way they can express their "need" to achieve while life is usually pushing them backwards or sideways.

They live as other generations have, they acquire and find themselves with memories from a lifetime growing in length and depth and believe they're not as "possessive" as their parents and grandparents because they don't "collect" or "assemble". 

It's fascinating how each generation believes they are so special, so different, so unique. 

Realization often comes when they've moved down the road of life into the final years how similar, how much alike, how they've followed in the footsteps of those who came before them even if they walk the same paths, share similar experiences and see the horrors of "war", each generation believes -- it's different.....this time.

The newest two generations, Millennials and those who follow closely behind are  experiencing the horror of unrecognized warfare in their homeland cities and states -- as the Baby Boomers did when three cities burned in the late 1960's.

Baby Boomers watched friends conscripted for a War that was undeclared, friends return without any "Welcome Home" as they were not the Heroes of their fathers' generation. . . IF they returned . . . and too many did not.

Broken apart by the mental and physical losses sustained by their brothers, cousins, friends, never to know or understand "why" and to watch as more challenges broke out, more losses were incurred.

Then there  were the "wars" on the home front. The economic crisis that seemed to come regularly, once a decade, and not just minimize but destroyed savings, plans, the present and the future.

And now, this aging population is being "blamed" for NOT saving enough, NOT planning well enough. Some of their predecessors and a few among them have "Pensions" but this "benefit" became a historical feature only available to certain categories and in fewer numbers.

Every decade from the 60's onward brought another severe financial challenge and many losses of the small amounts of "wealth" many accumulated.

Ask anyone who's had a child or family member with medical challenges how long their "savings" lasts. 

The Greatest Generation struggled through not having food, clothing, places to live and The Great Depression. Society went through times where they supported one another. Sacrifices were commonplace and most did not regret what they "willingly" gave to parents, siblings and others.

Baby Boomers saw, heard and experienced corruption within which was harder to live through than the corruption in a common enemy beyond our borders because we could not see, could not affect and had no voices on cell phones or the internet to raise, to share and to lead in other directions.

They demonstrated and raised voices. Women went out to work to be turned away, turned down for upward mobility and simply told, as I was "I want a man in this position."

Have Times Changed?  Or have they moved forward wearing different identities carrying the same challenges for another generation.

Run, run, as fast as you can but most will not be able to outrun LIFE, the unpredictable, the unplanned, the unwanted. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Come. Sit. Stay. An LTC Resident's Life Part 2

In many facilities the practice is to ensure "resident safety" and that means "get them into a wheelchair as fast as possible". 

What happens when a call light isn't answered from a resident who's semi mobile but really needs assistance and can't wait any longer as it's already been twenty minutes?  

Independent as they want to be, limited as they are, they find a way to stand, usually cannot balance and what happens is what's predicted -- THE FALL.  

Repeat. Generate Report. Repeat.

Family and resident are "encouraged" to use a wheelchair.

Family members who are concerned may follow suggestions to "remove the walker" as "that's the problem".

Family visits occasionally but relies on "professional staff" for direction and "oversight".

After a few months the wheelchair is ordered.
Mission accomplished.

Many Long Term Care residences do not have the time or the staff to "assist" residents and most families do not have the financial ability to augment and hire outside caregiver believing "the facility" is supposed to provide ALL services -- especially when costs are at $6,000+ per month/per resident for the "basic provisions".

In reality, Long Term Care has become the "shelving level" for Seniors who are about to transition or who have transitioned into being stationary or highly limited -- except for those who come in because it's the only level of care Medicaid will cover.

It's the "haves" with the money or the family support who can stay out of the "State Supported" system. 

The rest move in and move on but few ever return to "outside living" because this is not a place to "rehab", this is not a place to "strengthen". 

This is a place to sit, to stay and to come and go when you're told.

Some once highly capable, independent people, become social manipulators and users of people to ensure they maintain a semblance of autonomy until the time when their body and their mind no longer can assert themselves.

Like children and pets who want to "please" they come, they remain seated and they stay where they're told.

It's not a life any of us want for ourselves.

It's a life many are in and deserve better!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Babyboomers Not The Silent Generation

Listen to a forty something when he/she forgets a word or a phrase and  jokingly refers to this "missed memory" as a "Senior Moment".

Ever hear a friend/relative refer to themselves as "just like Mom or Dad" or "Grandma/Grandpa" when they make a mistake or have a forgetful moment?

Characterization. As a society, we tend to assign behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and practices to specific groups across the board. 

When we're "at that age", any age, we don't like being "put together" because we believe we're individuals. 

Society describes what's "typical" and often uses polls, questionairres and medical records to provide information for behaviours and conditions. 

Like any other marketing poll, you get out of it what you put into it and often that's inaccurate and insufficient information.

Dr Benjamin Spock (before Star Trek/Mr Spock -- although the two were highly analytical people, one real and the other fictional) started it. 

He was the first medical professional, a pediatrician, to "characterize" children's ages -- including the "Terrible Two's".

Dr Benjamin Spock, however, taught another lesson to mother's that we need to teach to those of us working with and beside the older generation "You know more than you think you do." 

He championed the concept of continual learning, growing and developing as "care giver" for another generation.

It's anticipated and believed the child will "outgrow" certain actions and reactions with some direction or intervention.

Society in general doesn't believe the aging adult is going to "get" better or "outgrow" actions or behaviours.

We believe the worst. We believe they are all moving into that valley, that depth of life where only memory loss and physical loss of capability exist.

Baby Boomers are not Aging As Expected. 

We are not going quietly into the night as many of our predecessors have. 

We do not "accept the inevitable" -- we set a different path as we march to a different drummer.

We were the first generation to form large groups of protestors to bring to light wrongs to work to bring about change. 

We marched, we picketed and our music reflected the conflicts and the challenges of the times.

BABYBOOMERS ARE NOT "The Silent Generation".

We are aging as we choose to age.

We are rejecting stereotypes and beliefs of what we "should act like" and "how we should dress".

We age as we've grown from children through adolescence and into adults -- OUR WAY!

LOOK OUT WORLD.  Senior Moments are here. They're what's changing and creating the world as we want it to be. 

Millennials may be the turning point; 
Babyboomers are the force to be reckoned with.

Fine wines are aged. We value what was challenging to produce, to find and to acquire. Age is like that.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Hereafter: A Talk About AARP & All Ages

Daughter and I have had several discussions about THE HEREAFTER.  

Not THAT "hereafter", the one that comes day by day, sneaks up on you and suddenly plunges you into  the "Big One" -- Advanced Age & It's Challenges.

And, most importantly, what do we do, what do "I" do, will decisions today be valid ten or more years from now?

How do I decide when to say "when" or "enough is enough" if I'm able and how can I give my daughter the confidence and knowledge while keeping with MY desires, my wants and my needs?

Maybe you've been with a friend or relative and heard "the talk". 

The one about "what are we going to do about Mom, Dad, Aunt Mary who never married and has no children .....

There are old wives tales shared about "the elderly" and whispers and sometimes a comment form a son or daughter announcing they HAVE to take care of MOM, DAD, AUNT, UNCLE or OTHER and just don't know what to do, don't know what to say and most of all don't really want... THE JOB OF CAREGIVER.

Life is interrupted when you have your first child. Ask any new parent. It's changed .... forever.

When you care for a loved one who has a critical illness or who has reached an age/stage where more immediate supervision and oversight are needed or even just checking to ensure "certain things" aren't overlooked -- your life changes according to the amount of time and caregiving you have to/need to do.

Doesn't matter how many "children" there are to "care give" and how the tasks are "split up". 

There is almost always some level of resentment, some level of feeling taken advantage of and some level of wishing "it would all be over" sooner rather than later because life doesn't prepare us and we can't anticipate the unexpected. 

It might not be constant, it may not be consistent but adjusting, negotiating with "your" immediate family members while negotiating with your "previous immediate family members" is another "to do" in a life usually filled with kids, school, activities, appointments, work, responsibilities and trying to carve out a little "life" for YOU.

IF ONLY.  If only we shared with one another more directly what care giving is, how and where EXACTLY to look for help and if it were as easy as finding where you take your driver's license exam.

Yes, there are organizations. Been there. Done that. Did that.

Most are directed to specific areas of support, concern or medical afflictions. 

They try to help with pamphlets and books and even with "counseling" but they aren't the ones "in the trenches" and getting all this information at a critical time when decisions and plans need to be made IS NOT THE BEST PLANNING, NOT THE BEST TIMING AND NOT THE BEST LIFE TO LIVE FOR ANYONE.

MAKE TIME.   TAKE TIME.   LEARN AND TEACH your children and others to look for information and plan for aging as much as they're being directed to plan for Retirement with savings and legal directives.

You're never to young to go out on AARP's website.

It has a wealth of information on aging and MORE --

Remember, we all need to be interested in legislation, research and protecting all ages and stages of life!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It's A Dog's Life At Some LTC Facilities

Visited Mom's old facility.  Calendar showed three days of Seated Activities. 

Sit. Stay. Good resident. 

It's a Dog's Life for many.

All the "activities" in the lower level Activity Room are board games and "sit down" games, visiting the resident cat and now the resident rabbit who takes up a major part of the room in a cage.

You can watch the resident dog as he waddles here and there. He's quite old now. Just like many of the others living here.

Great to have animals around but where are the spaces for Adult Movement Activities? 

Oh, that's right. they have the "dining area". 

Just move aside the chairs and tables. 

They can't? Well, someone will .... when they have time ... or when they "think" to "organize" a "class".

Where's the gym? With equipment to use?

There is none.

This is a Long Term Care Facility. By laws in most states it's a "medical facility" and they have "their own" medical staffs and the residents are actually considered "patients" -- although not referred to in that way (by most staff).

Interesting how we believe movement is the key to continued good health and then we "lock up" parts of our society and take away any and all real physical activity believing they will fall, they will have problems they cannot and will not ..... etc.

Where's the library with books and computers?

There is none.
 A few books are displayed in the "living room" used mostly during holidays when families visit.

The only computer is in a room reserved for "staff meetings", "family" conferences and occassionally reserved for a resident's birthday with family/friends. 

The computer is "out of bounds" not to be used or touched except by staff.

Residents are seen as "too old" to use "technological equipment" by themselves.

Question: If a two year old can use a cell phone to play games and explore why can't an eighty two year old do the same?

At Mom's old facility, anything that involves some or more involvement by staff just isn't  "feasible" and either isn't considered or is negatively presented. 

Depending on the medical conditions and judging from the few people who use the "Main Dining Room", it's a handful who can get into the area since all use walkers or wheelchairs.

Once in a while the local "book mobile" comes by. 

In the "fireplace room" just off the reception area where there's a couch, some chairs and where some residents and many "visitors" spend time especially when the weather isn't good for going outside, the low seating couches and chairs requiring assistance by a second person, are seldom used.

There are two bookcases with donated books. A few are Large Print. I've only seen a handful of residents ask about the books. Most probably don't realize they could ask to read them. They look like decoration, not for reading.

NO.  Newspapers. NO.

It's assumed at Long Term Care Facilities that the residents are beyond the ability to move except with a walker and almost all use wheelchairs or Gerry Chairs (where they sit/lay and have little attention).

We have, after all, three levels of "Senior Living" -- Independent, Assisted and Long Term Care in Missouri but only one, Long Term Care qualifies to have Medicaid beds.

Long Term Care is defined in Missouri as needing certain amounts and levels of "personal assistance in daily life" and there are qualifications regarding ability to move independently that can disqualify a person from LTC. 

Upstairs, on the third floor, a TV is turned on. 

Some sit and watch. Others sit and stare. 

Some staff "chose" what's on and sometimes that choice isn't a good one for those with memory loss, sight problems, hearing problems or who may be experiencing mental processing challenges. But for the Staff, it's a great way to have your afternoon soap opera and work while watching.

How much of this has come about because there is little or no stimulation, activity, exercise that really moves the body and the mind?

Do you go to a Gym? Do you workout? Do you walk or swim? 

We're told every day how important walking and movement are and how challenged our bodies are including the internal organs when we sit all day.

So what do we do in Long Term Care?

We treat movement as dangerous. We slow down the body and cause more challenges as we practice lethargy rather than encourage movement. But....that would mean more staff....more expense...and there are no rewards for lifestyle improvement in Long Term Care Facilities from Insurance companies as there is in the "real world".

We take away "hazardous" walkers. Why not invent safer ones?

THERE!  Yes, you Entreprenuers and Small Business people. The market is out there; the need is growing every day. 

Invent. Create &  above all CARE about those who are where YOU will be .. sooner than you think.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crossing Paths of Widowhood

Last time we were together was at her Retirement Party. Time before that was her husband's funeral; a death totally unexpected and sudden. 

We'd exchanged a few on line messages but it had been two years since we'd actually spent some time together talking

I saw her across the room and thought, "she's changed" ...  and "so have I".

Two widows who'd met serving as Board Members for an organization providing needed services to our growing Seniors population. 

She was appointed, I was elected. 

She represented a major company influential in providing services to the entire community while I was elected to represent primarily Seniors who used specific area Senior Centers funded by the State. 

She's retired; I'm actively working. 

My friend had news. She was moving to Florida. And, the big news, she was getting married again!

We have similar interests but we're also somewhat different.

I've not found a want or a need to consider finding someone to spend the rest of my life with. 

I'm happy for my friend when I hear how her life changed when she lost her husband;

She'd taken her husband's death hard. She went to work, came home, fell in bed to sleep. It was another friend who finally reached through and brought her up and out of her depression.

My trauma of Mom's challenges and everything involved as detailed in this blog with the false accusations of Elder Abuse and the Undue Influence of Julia was my focus; that and financial survival without a job and having gone through almost every asset we had.

A son lived with her, he was in high school. Sons are different from daughters, most of them. Compassion and caregiving along with communication aren't as much a part of their "make up" as daughters. 

I am thankful every day my "end child" was a girl. 

Two sons were great. Companions for one another. Boys seem to "need" that when they're young. Like young creatures everywhere they're more physical, more needing "bouncing off" others.

Not meaning to be "sexist" in my statements, just observation of behavior of the majority within the groups and I know there are variations on the "theme" of sons and daughters.

My friend's son is older, he has a job and he's staying here. Her husband to be also has a son, finishing high school, ready to move out, ready to move on, has a girl friend. 

Geography isn't a friendship breaker the way it could be years ago. 

I recall moving as I grew up and not having the "life long" friends of those I met who'd bonded since "grade school".  

I've been somewhat of a loner although valuing the friendships and relationships established along life's way.

My married life centered around my husband, his family and my family, his work, my work, the businesses we built together and being a multi generational family with my Mom joining us when our first child was two months old, and that included our "entertaining". 

We often move through life changing while staying the same.

My friend is having work done on her home to prepare to sell it and buy a Condo in Florida. She went through a list of positives about moving there and they did sound good, I must admit.

She has someone. I have someone. Hers is building a new family; mine is continuing the multi generational family started decades ago.

Our lives move forward in somewhat different directions but the steps along the way have been challenged with that loss, that deep cutting removal. I understand her choices. She understands mine.

Relatively new friends in the measure of days of life brought together through a common interest and now building on another commonality with our life changes.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Talk: Valuing Aging & The Aged

Aging is mostly hidden from Gen Xers. 

The generation next in line to Care Give for parents and others.

Off on their own, many of them living far away from family and relatives, socializing with "their own kind" they seldom visit or interact with society's "aging population".

A new industry has grown and is booming based on this "abandonment" of a whole segment of our population -- Continuum Care. 

You simply sell your home, move into a "condo" with "all the conveniences" and then advance at an unknown and totally unexpected faster pace into more and more managed care and less and less autonomy and freedom of choice.


Depends on how much we have to "invest" in the cost of living as we grow older.

What costs, you might ask?

Well, what does that contract say you're signing? 

What adjustable rates are there for what services?

Is there a monthly fee? 

As that residency "ages" just as you age, who's responsible for upkeep, maintenance and what kind of control do they have over those costs?

Many now advertise they have "stepped care" meaning you can continue to live with them no matter what your mental or physical care needs may be --- NOT QUITE TRUE.

If you require medical care beyond what the facility has available, cannot provide and you cannot provide at your own expense -- YOU MAY BE ASKED TO MOVE OR BE MOVED.

IMPORTANT:  There are no blanket guarantees. Even with Medicaid, the facility Dr and others can "put together" paperwork that can affect the continuation of someone in a specific facility.

REMEMBER:  One of our most difficult possibilities as we age is OUR MIND and how it determines what we say, how we act, what we do or don't do and what functions vary or fail and at what rate.

All ages need to be more cognizant of reality regarding residences and their actual practices and promises.

Each of these "care giving" centers, no matter how they advertise their services, are HOUSING & PROVIDING SERVICES for human beings who lose a great deal of self determination depending on the practices and legal inclusions in contractual agreements AND SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF ALL OF THESE FACTORS ON A YEARLY BASIS.

We brag about how the average life span is lengthening and how we're living "better lives" than our predecessors. 

On a local TV program today, an "info-mercial", a local Financial Planner said the latest figures show the average life span is 86. 

I think that may be a little high but it's still far higher than the age of 65 which was the determining point for Social Security being established as few lived to that point or longer back in the late 1930's.

We have Heart Disease, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and that most dreaded of all DEMENTIA .... but ...WE'RE LIVING LONGER!

Who prepares us to "care give" for our aging population?

Who educates us in what it means to grow old?

Who teaches us about aging as a process?

Who gives us the foundation to build relationships and responsibilities with and for those who have come before?

Schools teach us about who "WE" are.

We're taught how to navigate and negotiate through stages of OUR lives basically from the point we enter the educational system until we leave. 

Sometimes we get limited education on working and socializing with others. 

Rarely are we taught the importance of each age group in our society and how important it is to learn about and understand each segment.

We need to teach our children how the world is centered on ALL:  Ages, stages, beliefs, concerns, languages, colors and contrasts.

To educate everyone that aging is normal, to be expected and accepted and to understand what may cause changes along with "aging" -- medical life events like a TIA or stroke, what Dementia really is and how to work with and through the challenges experienced, what accommodations can be made that make life easier and how they can be done and supported by everyone.

It took years for the founder of Paraquad in St Louis to get people's attention to the NEEDS of those with physical limitations and laws passed (like the handicap parking signs so common on parking lots and streets).

We need to grow in tolerance, understanding and recognize it's critical to talk, to plan and to start with our very youngest citizens to educate and develop concern beyond themselves, for others of all ages, stages and abilities -- or lack thereof.

Fear of the unknown starts early. Seeing and not understanding, not asking questions and finding answers causes us to look away, turn away and in the end seal the fate of today's generations and our own.