Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hard-Won Advice in Books on Aging and Elder Care

Loretta Anne Woodward Veney and her mother Doris Woodward
Longevity is generally better than its alternative. But when the body or especially the mind wears out, caring for yourself or finding someone else to do it for you can impoverish you in short order.

We fail to plan for it at our peril. So when it seemed that Republicans in Washington were close to passing legislation that could fundamentally change Medicaid, I wrote five straight columns about the program. Already, the majority of Americans need Medicaid to pay for at least some of their nursing home costs or care at home because they’ve run out of money. Proposed caps on Medicaid, which have not come to pass for now, had the potential to cause enormous problems.

In the wake of those articles, you wrote in, hundreds of you, with harrowing stories and hard-won advice, more of which I intend to present in future columns. But a smaller number of people wrote in unprompted to assign me homework — books that they found useful as they were navigating their own changing conditions or those of spouses, close friends or other family members.

This week, I read all four books that came up at least twice in your correspondence. I don’t recommend you do the same, for if you’re more empathetic than average or prone to anxiety, you’ll finish the reading sprint, as I did, emotionally wrung out and worried sick.

Still, these books are all in their own way utterly essential reading. Few of us are prepared for the financial and emotional complexities of managing the last several years of our lives. But as we live longer, drain what may prove to be inadequate retirement savings and lean harder on already strained government programs, we’ll probably find ourselves facing ever more challenging questions and unfortunate compromises.  (Click to Continue)

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Hard-Won Advice in Books on Aging and Elder Care

1 comment:

Sean said...

She's right, we fail to plan for our elder years. Even when we do, it's not guaranteed. But too many people just put it off as if putting it off keeps them from getting old.