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How Could This Happen?

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

Another story that plays over and over in my world of senior living.  The scenario goes like this: The children have been called to town in an emergency.  Mom and Dad have lived in the same house for 60 years. The children grew up in the same house and now live across the country and visit on special occasions. Their first remark is, “We have just been thrown into this. We never dreamed this would happen!”  The parents have aged well and have continued to keep the property up.  Between the two, they manage their medications and prepare meals.  Each has their own strength, and between the two, they have managed beautifully.  Then the bad news:  Dad has a stroke.  Even after rehabilitation, the prognosis is that he cannot go home, and Mom cannot be the care provider. I can’t tell you how familiar the story is. Everyone is shocked!


Having been in this business for some time, it amazes me that many people have given no thought to what I call “the what-ifs.”  It’s kind of like saying that you’d never thought of the fact that your children might go to college, or get married or have their own children.  Growing old is a part of life.  One needs to prepare just as you would for all of the other events.  You’ve been planning ahead all your life, but then denial sets in about growing old. I am not necessarily talking about 401K’s and long term care insurance; I’m talking about when you are in the midst of the emergency, where are you going to turn?  Are you educated about rehabilitation and skilled care?  Do you know about the continuum of care?  Do you know what Medicare covers?  More importantly, what they don’t cover! And most significantly, where are you going to live when you cannot stay home. For kids and parents both, get your education now.  Talk about all the possibilities and have a plan.  The good news is you may never need it! 


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Such wisdom!


Once again, spot on!! In my business too...folks need to downsize, mnimalize, stop thinking the kids want their stuff...most wait too long to move. I say ten years BEFORE you think you need to the medical, I am so grateful that we (Stan and I) have discussed every aspect and scenario, or we think we have...couples please talk about this (both, a move and medical)....together, and definitely let your kids know what you have envisioned.

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