Preparing For Old Age

People prep for many reasons, ranging from financial collapse, man made or natural disasters, loss of a job, and more. My question to you today is:

Are you preparing for Old Age?

You know it’s funny, I know so many people who have already made their funereal arrangements and paid for their burial plot, but they haven’t planned for, what most of the time, comes before death, that is old age.

Baring an unexpected accident or terminal illness, we are all going to be old one day and what I have found is very few people are preparing for being old.

Burden Falls On Children

Over the last few years I have been overseeing my parents as they are in their late 80’s and early 90’s. Then this last February, tragedy happened, my father had a “cardiac event”, aka: heart attack. He collapsed while he was at church with my mother. If you are going to collapse, church, or a hospital are the best places to do it. There was an ER nurse that saw him go down, rush to my Dad’s side, checked his vitals, he had none, so CPR was started, EMT was called, and between the quick actions of the ER nurse and EMT they brought my Dad back. However, even though he is alive, he has suffered some ill effects from the event. His dementia which was hardly detectable, is now mild, and even though he can for the most part, still function by dressing himself and showering, he is no longer able to drive. My mother hasn’t driven in more than 20 years so the responsibility to get them to doctor appointments, grocery shopping, and just out of the house falls on me, their only child.

Did they prepare for old age? No. Not financially, not physically, no, they have not prepared. Old age just crept up on them. It is creeping up on all of us. Humans tend to procrastinate, especially when it comes to things we don’t want to think about, the things that we think we have plenty of time to prepare for, until it happens, and then preparing is too late.

How can you prepare for old age?

Well, one cannot prepare for every possible thing that may occur, but we can learn from others and do the best we can do when it comes to preparing for old age.

There is no particular order, but here are a few things you can start doing now:

  • Start eating healthy and getting in the best shape you can get in for your current age and situation. You will be amazed how just a simple walk every day for 20 to 30 minutes will help you. If you have conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, these are things that can be corrected with living a better healthier lifestyle, do NOT rely on medications to “heal” you, they never will, they will ONLY treat you.
  • Work as long as possible. Don’t retire just because of your age. Keep active, work, give yourself purpose to stay going, physically and mentally.
  • Get out of debt now, don’t wait til tomorrow, start today, right now. Start cutting out simple little things first, like the $5 a day coffee from that fancy coffee place. Start bringing your lunch to work everyday rather than eating out. Cancel cable. Sell the car with the huge car payment and buy a cheap used car for cash. Pay off your house as soon as possible!
  • Plan now for a time when you may not be able to do things for yourself. For example, rather than paying to have your lawn mowed, consider purchasing a riding lawn mower, it’s a lot easier to ride than it is to walk behind a mower, even if it is self propelled, also, a rider will pay for itself in a year to a year in a half rather than having to pay someone to mow your lawn. Plus, it gets you outside, out of the house, in the sunlight. Staying inside all day, with nothing planned is not good for you physically or mentally.
  • Consider what you would do if you could no longer drive. Are you planning to rely on your adult children to drive you around? Remember, they have jobs, family and a home of their own they are taking care of.
  • What about meal preparation? Are you used to going out to eat now and not making your own meals? If you are unable to drive, how will you go out to eat? It would be good to get into the habit now of eating at home and learning ideas of easy meals to prepare at home.
  • Are you content with staying home? Are you at peace with yourself? Now is the time to prepare for being home alone. If you are married, consider how you will cope if your were to lose your spouse, to death, or worse, a stroke or dementia, where they are alive, but unaware of who you are and they need to live in a nursing home.
  • Do you have a plan for how your bills will be paid if you are unable to pay them yourself? Does someone you trust, other than your spouse, say a child, have their name on your accounts?

It’s Not Just About You

Remember, you are not just planning and preparing for yourself, but also, to help the person or people who may have to step up and assist your as well. It is important for you to prepare so they are not as burdened as they may be if you have not prepared at all.

A friend of mine has had to place both her parents in a nursing home. Her mom planned ahead and had a power of attorney document written up so her daughter could make medical and financial decisions for her, but her dad did not sign such a document. The daughters name is not on any accounts, and now her father is mentally incapacitated to sign anything, the daughter is now having to go through the courts in order to get access to accounts and sell property that is necessary to do to help pay for her parents care.

You see, planning for old age isn’t just about how you will handle things when you get older, but also, and more importantly, making it as easy as possible for your loved ones to take care of you and handle the things that you can no longer handle on your own.

It’s Going To Happen

Old age is going to happen, don’t ignore this fact, if you are reading this article you are already have a mindset of preparedness, take that mindset and start preparing now for old age.

Share your comments below on how you are already preparing for old age.

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