Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Gifted Elder Issues… I’m not that old!

This month’s topic for Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop is Gifted Elder Issues, and I wasn’t going to join the hop.  Seriously, I’m not old.  Yes, at the local diner I’ll be old enough to dine from the “seniors” menu at my next birthday, but that’s a whole YEAR from now!

So why are you reading my post?

Last weekend I had the privilege to attend a women’s retreat with a number of my gifted friends.  Most of us weren’t seniors by any definition; a few were.  But we got to talking about Gifted Elders, as many of us were dealing with the subject from one side or another.

I spent many years dealing with my Gramma’s elder issues.  The mail order prescription company had computer-voice prompts she couldn’t quite make out with her age-related hearing issues, so I took over managing her prescriptions the year Part D insurance was introduced. I helped with her doctor’s appointments long before she needed me to drive, so that there were an extra pair of ears to listen and a spare voice to advocate with her.

I helped her visit apartments and evaluate them when she decided to sell the house she’d lived in since the end of World War II.  We closed up and sold the house, and six years later, closed up and gave up her apartment to move in with her son, my uncle.  Even then my participation continued, and in addition to managing her prescriptions, my gracious husband and I took lunch to her every Tuesday, covered my uncle and aunt when they traveled, and spent every day with her that summer she spent in hospice. I miss Gramma every day.

So I guess Gifted Elder Issues do apply to me.

I’m grateful to my in-laws, who chose a tiered retirement community. Independent living, assisted living, nursing care, memory unit (hopefully they’ll never need that!) and more, all in one complex. But there are still issues for our “sandwich” generation. Right now, our biggest issue is starting the car left behind when they disappear to the south for the winter. This elder issue I can handle!

But what about us? 

I don’t have any answers.  I don’t even know the questions yet.  But we’ll learn as we go along.  I know that there are things we should take care of at an early age: 
  • Will. What happens to your things when you die? Your children?  Your house?  Every parent should have a will that specifies what happens to the children should they die, and how your funds should be managed to support the children.
  • Living Will / Advanced Care Directive. Not only should you create this document, but you should also discuss it with your nearest relatives, who may be faced with making decisions regarding your health if you become unable to do so.
  • Document your Digital Life…. And hand on the key!  What happens to your online bank accounts when you die?  How do your spouse or descendants get the access they need to finalize your affairs?  Who is in charge of your Facebook / Twitter / Google+ / Pinterest account?

    Facebook has a new setting, the Legacy Contact setting.  Go to Settings, General, Manage Account and select the individual who will be in charge of your account when you die.  Decide if you want that individual to be able to download the content and pictures from your account; the default is that they may not. 

What else will we face as Elder Issues?  We can learn together.  Comment below on other issues that come up as we age.  And let’s help each other.  It’s much easier when we’re not alone!

Check out more than a dozen other great blogs on gifted social issues in this month's Blog Hop: Gifted Elder Issues.  Click here and read them all... 

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