Not For The Faint Of Heart

If only we could stop the aging process. Growing old is not for the faint of heart.

Faint of heart defined

It’s the lack of courage to face something difficult. And growing old certainly fits the definition.

In this article published by A Place For Mom are 18 signs that help is needed.

As families gather together for holiday celebrations it’s a time to observe how aging parents and other older relatives are carrying out their activities.

I start my nightly phone calls to my soon-to-be 99-year-old father with, “How are you?” His standard reply is, “Just fine and dandy.”

Then we get down to the nitty gritty — the most important practical details — daily exercise, doctors’ appointments, church volunteer work, errands, etc. Meals — what did he have for breakfast, lunch, dinner?

Often we’re together on the computer through a software program that allows me to view his PC to figure out why his printer won’t print or how to change a formula in his Excel spreadsheet that he uses to track mileage and cost per mile in his new car.

Yes, he still drives and just got his driver’s license renewed for two years. We do have rules – no night driving, no freeway driving and no phone calls while driving even though he is hands-free.

Yes, we are blessed. He is healthy, active, productive and enjoying every day. He also has two long-term care insurance policies. We hope he’ll never need long-term care but we have a plan.

A plan for care

The holidays are always a busy time for us and our colleagues. As families gather together during year-end holidays, changes in health, diet, hobbies and lucidity may be apparent. But changes can be masked and subtle.

Check out our blog Ignorance is Bliss for the two factors to consider when planning for long-term care expense along with the three questions that will help you form your long-term care plan.

Don’t put it off. It’s an easier conversation when parents can participate and explain their wishes.

And, don’t forget that it’s even harder for parents to admit that they need some help than it is for us adult kids to hear that they do.