Written by Meg Pemberton Photo by Paul Cripps on Flickr Lately I’ve been spending more time than I care to, running from one medical appointment to another; perhaps a part of my own aging. However, I prefer to see it as taking care of myself. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Either way, I’ve been reminded of how impactful ageism can be, particularly as a result of elderspeak. When someone you’ve never met …
The call I usually get is right after a major holiday. It will be from an adult daughter or son sounding bewildered. It will start with, “I don’t know what’s going on with my dad, but it appears he’s not taking his medication or eating properly.” Or, “My father died, and suddenly mom is a total wreck; apparently, dad had been hiding her decline.”
There are moments in our lives, milestones that remind us of our mortality. Birthdays, first jobs, new careers, marriages, starting a family, and sadly the death of our parents. Some milestones our uniquely our own. Others are the milestones we share with those we love. Each milestone tells us to get ready in one way or another. As we traverse the miles getting ready for our old age is important.
A good geriatric care manager can help seniors through every aspect of the aging process: finding the right primary care physician, making plans for retirement, understanding how Medicare fits into the picture, assisting in plans to downsize their living environment, helping caregivers create a plan for their loved ones, and helping the family find the right long-term care facility when needed.
As an advocate for those 60 and older, I encourage people to embrace their aging process. That doesn’t mean to retire and cement yourself to the rocking chair. It means to live life fully, to the extent that your limitations will allow.
Whether it happens suddenly or over a period of time, as many of us prepare for our retirement years, we will find ourselves in this predicament.