Things happen as we age we hadn’t factored into our “old age” plan, if we even had one. Those unpredictable life events that, when younger and full of energy, we plowed through, discarded or resolved. Now, in the last quarter of our life, we may have to turn their resolution over to others. Unfortunately, in our commerce-oriented society, money is the bottom line for quality care. Some elders have family members who will care for them regardless of financial rewards. But many do not, having no spouse, no children or siblings. I can only hope, should I become diseased or disabled, that my son will help me. We do not revere and respect elders. Not true of everyone, but in general. Yet we elders hold many years of life experienced to reflect on, tell stories about which might, in quiet ways, inspire those who are still in the fray. Often, we listen well. But what do we do? We separate our elders from their beloved pets, homes and familiar surroundings. Shut them away in institutional, impersonal boxes. Yes, they are provided with meals, socialization, artificial though it is. Possibly some nursing care. There must be some better option, more joyful and useful to both elder and caregiver I have no answers. As an elder myself I know I can’t take over the care of another. Each day I do my best to care for me. Cook my meals, wash my clothes, clean the kitty litter. But there may come a time when I can no longer complete these tasks. And that is the stuff of nightmares. Or at least of questions I cannot answer, plan for or resolve ahead of time. I can’t predict what lies ahead for me other than possible illness and certain death. And there is no cure for that. I will join the many who have lived and died, wherever they are. I will be past, rather than present or future. See you there. *\
sorry this is blue. had trouble with changing post and it wouldnt let me get back to black print. Also to redo original post I had to delete it and thus lost one comment. Still learning technical stuff
So true Suki. So rich, the weave and texture and memories of old age, and so hard sometimes to face the closing of the tapestry. I also am solitary, and worry about the same diminishment of my strength and facilities. I wish I lived in a wiser world sometimes, perhaps a co-housing community for elders that offered companionship, honor, and dignity - but I don't know of any such. Thank you for the gifts of your poetry and wisdom.
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