Author Archives: Maryann
Up from the fog to post for you!
Excellent piece in WaPo yesterday about the importance of social connections, especially if you live alone.
What happened to America? Our cohort responds. And we take a break.
In today’s New York Times, a report of an interview with folks in their 70s and 80s about the country, aging, what has changed over their lifetimes. Worth a read.
We are taking a break starting this week for a long-awaited surgical procedure. We expect to come through it just fine, but rehab will take some time, and strong pain relief will be required, which affects the ability to write coherent sentences. We hope to return at the end of May or so.
Enjoy the rest of our wonderful spring!
Where are we supposed to go?
So, in our Google Alerts yesterday, or maybe Tuesday, who remembers, was this. The way I read it, apparently we boomers are irresponsibly aging in our homes and making it hard for younger families to become homeowners.
(We do empathize with younger families. They have no idea what it was like to live in a country where the top marginal tax rate was 90% and public goods and services were adequately funded. It wasn’t uncommon for a family to thrive on the equivalent of one full time income. States funded public education and university tuition was affordable for most.)
Our point here, though, is: where exactly are we supposed to go to age? There’s an implication that because younger people need the space we live in, we ought to go somewhere else for our declining years. Perhaps some of us will want to do that but a senior community – or silo – is not for everyone, besides which not everyone can afford to buy into one. Look, our communities should support us to be where we’re comfortable (albeit not necessarily the comfort of the older couple pictured). And that support must include the practical help that a Village – Cville Village! – will offer.
Last one for this weekend
But importantly, it’s the voice of a lesbian who is wondering what’s ahead for her aging journey. It’s a well-written and very moving read.
Sen. Gillibrand has a 5-point plan
Nice to see she’s aware that seniors are having some issues. However, the most important point about all of this is not the plan but the fact that the source is the website of WENY, Elmira, NY, the birthplace of Your Editor. This will give you, dear Readers, the opportunity to also read about Horseheads Man Stuck in Creek… and Bath Man Arrested… Enjoy!
Heartwarming, and brilliant.
How about this story about an ager-in-place and some homeless moms? We should do some of that here in Cville, right?
Older adults in this country need care.
Seems the issue of care for older adults with health needs is trendy. A piece in tomorrow’s NY Times Magazine features a young woman whose life was knocked seriously off track when she had to provide care for her ill and injured father. This is a problem fairly unique to the US among higher income countries. For instance in Australia, a family we know needed to cope with the consequences of Dad’s lung transplant. They received help from a federal program that partly replaces the salaries of family caregivers, so Millennial Daughter was able to stay home and look after him. Here, our family caregivers like Randi give up practically everything. Home health care is expensive assuming one can even find someone to provide it. Long-term care insurance, which in theory would pay a caregiver, is increasingly unaffordable.
Cville Village volunteers won’t provide the kind of care that Randi does for her dad. But we would be able to help out with non-personal care responsibilities: picking up groceries or a prescription from the pharmacy, or just sitting with the older adult, relieving the caregiver for an hour while she gets some fresh air. Sometimes a small service can make a huge difference.
Special delivery via Cville Village
Saturday’s New York Times Well column was all about seniors who are alone and need an escort home from medical procedures that require sedation. You know what we’re talking about: the colonoscopy is the classic example, but cataracts and just about any outpatient surgery is in this category.
A perfect job for a Village volunteer! No medical expertise needed, because these folks would otherwise be accompanied by a random friend or family member. There certainly should be (IOHO) a plan for telephone follow-up by a nurse on a daily basis for a couple of days at least. But that same Village volunteer who escorted the person home could do a friendly check-in to establish that they are at least okay.