“Why are there so many old people walking around?” My client asks as we tour a 55+ community.
Now, keep in mind this lady was just shy of sixty and said she wanted to take a look at these “active life”communities.
“Well”, I said, “You have to remember you will be the young whippersnapper of the group.” The average age of folks riding around the neighborhood in their tricked-out golf carts appeared to be around eighty-years-old.
“I don’t want to be around all these old people!” she exclaimed as I turned the car around to head back to the main gate and to an area that more fit her needs.
In Florida, saying “I don’t want to be around all these old people.” Is a bit like saying I don’t want to get wet as you jump into the swimming pool. You can’t ignore the fact that a lot of people come to Florida
A recent report from the US Census Department states that by 2035 the elderly will outnumber the young for the first time in history. I know by 2035 Kathie and I will be 74 years old. That is my freak out for the day.
As I creep closer to sixty, I see more and more of my old high school classmate dealing with becoming a caretaker for their parents. One of the terms they use for my generation, besides baby-boomer, is the Sandwich Generation.
The Sandwich Generation are those that are responsible for their own children and for the care of their aging parents. As you know from my previous article I quickly jumped in and out of that situation.
Kathie, my wife, is wading into that pool. Her Mom is slipping into the fog of dementia and her Dad is requiring assistance going to the various doctors to maintain his health.
What you come to realize is that, just as you care for your children when they are young, you have the same responsibility with your parents. Helping them make decisions, helping them pick the right foods, taking them to the doctor.
I found that once your parents can’t keep up with their personal hygiene, you are faced with that tough conversation of “Is it time for an assisted living facility?”. (ALF)
My parents told me at one point, “I know I wiped your butt and I know you are NOT going to wipe mine.” Crude but to the point.
It really comes down to personal dignity and that most parents don’t want to be a burden to their children. I know I don’t want to be a burden to mine.
As I stated in my article yesterday, take your time, relax, and have those tough conversations before you face making a spur of the moment decision. You will be glad you did when the time comes to act.
Have you had that conversation with your parents? With your kids? Tell me your story.
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