Were Doing Aging Wrong Plan to Age Well
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Today’s podcast is presented by Pago Pago is the easiest way for you to monetize your podcast providing podcasters with a flat rate for ad space. So you always know how much you get when you include an ad from pod go apply today to become a member and immediately be connected with advertisers that fit your audience. That’s pod go home and be sure to add fading memories in the how did you hear about pug go section of the application off we’re doing aging wrong our Healthcare System delivers quick interventions that act as Band-Aids but fail to include the entire family are medical model focuses on a body yet neglects the mind and soul both are essential to our healing and comfort older adults are often scared and alone when they need more attention support dog. If you Google how to Aid well, there is a lot of advice about diet exercise even wearing sunscreen, but very little advice that focuses on our entire well-being aging well should also focus on our mind and soul there is minimal discussion about how to stay mentally healthy engaged in society should continue to have a purpose that fulfills us. These are the thoughts of today’s guest Stephanie Erickson. She is the author of the book plan to age. Well, this episode is brought to you by caregiver Chronicles an eight-week online course from diagnosis through hospice for more information use the link in the show notes. Welcome to fading memories a supportive podcast for those caring for a loved one with memory loss. Before we get in the show. I thought I give you some details on some of the courses that you will receive with caregiver Chronicles. It starts from the very beginning with the diagnosis, but you will also get off courses on a healthy lifestyle navigating medical professionals understanding medication legal matters Insurance dealing with durable medical equipment wage in a caregiver is needed finding one placement family Dynamics and challenges and conflict Home Health hospice and planning for your loved ones transition. I know from personal experience that the more, you know about handling this disease the better the outcome will be for everyone. So I urge you to check them out and let them know that you learned about them from fading memories podcast off. With me today is Stephanie Erickson. She has a book called plan for aging. Well, there’s definitely something we should all be doing. So thanks for joining me Stephanie off. My pleasure. Thank you so much. So we were chatting before about your book and there was a three chapters that really interested me one is a topic. I talked about a lot putting together a team. But we also touched a little bit on how we age correctly how we age maybe not as correctly and then planning not just for your financial and physical health, but also the health of your soul, so can we start with maybe planning for our excuse me talking about how people aged well and how they age not so often. Yeah. Well, I think first of all there’s a range of what’s well and what’s not well, so the first thing is we have to Define what that means to our self, right? Cuz a lot of people and I think women in particular, I know me and my friends we talk a lot about aging and we’re talking about our skin. We’re talking about our wrinkles. We’re talking about what our body changes and that is a piece of Aging but there’s the other part which you alluded to and we’ll get to which is the heart and the soul of Aging but in terms like in in relationship to the book when I’m talking about aging well, I’m talking about meeting all of those needs that we Have those holistic needs the body mind and soul and doing that in a way where we are transparent and inclusive with our family sharing what our expectations are our value systems in conversations prior to a crisis cuz most of us end up reacting once there is one and we forget to plan in advance. So really I think aging well is about having some forethought thinking in advance about what you want your life to be as you get older and then sharing that plan and getting the buy-in from those around you that makes sense and as most listeners know, I have a grandmother that’s a hundred thousand two and half so you definitely want to plan because I don’t think most of us at the beginning of our adult life expect to live to be over a hundred and she did say three years ago three and a half years ago.
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She was striving to hit a hundred and five and this was right. I know right after my dad her oldest son had passed away that happened. Or 99th birthday day. We interned him at the military cemetery and I was like Fifty and a quarter and I just remember thinking I can’t I can’t there’s a exhausted. There’s no way I’m quite feel the same right now. So, you know, I’m all about quality mean if I can live to be a hundred and two and do all the things that I enjoy or not. Maybe mm but most of the things I enjoy great if not not interested. So, is there a way of kind of planning so people understand what our what our opinion of quality is? Cuz make sure I say that right quality not quantity. Well you were saying what you were saying is that you you want to live longer than a long as you can live in a way that’s comfortable for you. And so I think that’s about rethinking what our own expectations are in terms of what we’re going to be able to do physically because the reality is as well. Get older we will have more physical difficulty moving around. I’m sorry. I’m not I’m very fit right now and very strong and fifty but I’m definitely not the same as I was when I was twenty-five. I was more fit and even stronger right? And so when I’m ninety I might still be really strong but that doesn’t mean that I going to be able to you know, pump out Thirty push-ups or something, right? So I think we need to be realistic about what we mean and I think part of the challenge that I see is that people connect aging with that physical body and we’re not addressing the other parts of us because I think even if our body slows down there are things that we can do internally that can bring us a lot of fulfillment and satisfaction. So even if our body is not is not moving in the same way. We can still feel fulfilled and that to me is the real challenge about aging well as is getting in touch with that part definitely having a purpose and and if you have a purpose then you can log Fulfilled is important. So can we touch on that a little bit before we move on to the other topics? We’re going to talk about. Yeah, I think a purpose is is good and they, you know, our our identification so much is about the roles that we play and so much around work, right? So when people when you meet someone you’ll say so what do you do? It’s not like wage. Who are you? What are your about? It’s what do you do? So everything is about you know, our role as a social worker. I’m a mom. I’m a wife, you know, it’s all of these roles and so I think finding a purpose beyond what those rules are is really important and to start to find that deeper part of who we are earlier on because eventually we won’t be working wage. Eventually. Our kids won’t need us in the same way, you know, so if I’m not a social worker, who am I if I’m not caring for kids who are saying mommy, mommy, mommy every 15 minutes then who am I I need job. Find something else within me that makes me me that I can carry on Beyond and I think for me that’s about the purpose is knowing who you are in another way outside of those traditional roles. Yes, I was lucky because I never I have one daughter and I never lived my life through her. I had my own life. We had our family life and obviously she was a huge part of that very very important. But my husband was one that went through the empty nest syndrome when she moved out and he’s he’s making Confidence from the other room. I cuz I she was twenty-five when she moved out so she didn’t move out, you know as traditional. She didn’t move she commuted to college so we didn’t, you know, we didn’t even get that dorm experience and I was ready and I thought about what’s her life going to look like when she’s not living with us when it’s just the two of us in the dogs and I think that helps a lot cuz it helps the transition. That’s for sure. And yeah and I think having something like you before we started you were mentioning cycling, you know, you have something a passion that you’re doing that has absolutely nothing to do with You might do it with your husband you you might but that doesn’t mean that it’s Associated only with him. It’s an activity that you could also do with other people or on your own and I think that’s really important as finding that identification. Now, I have a lot of those things that I’m doing for myself and my life doesn’t revolve around my kids in that way. However, I will be like your husband because this is me, you know last weekend. I went to buy my son winter boots and we moved from the kids section to the adult section cuz now his foot is big enough to be in the adult section and I broke down sobbing in the store because now my babies and so I came home like I’m in trouble like the MS kid their kids are out of the house, but I do have other things but I still think I’m a bit overly attached to my kids off.
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Maybe it’s just well, she’s always been very independent. So and we’re really close but it’s not like, you know, she just lives down the street and some you know, haven’t chatted with her this wage. Yet when by chat, that means text messages, of course, of course, but that’s okay cuz you know, she knows I’m here. I know she’s there and you know, she’ll send me cute little outfit photos of her bunny or cute funny things. She finds on the internet. So it’s like I know I’m in her life and I’m in her mind and that’s good. Yeah, I don’t have to be hovering all the time and driving her right up the wall. So what ways do people aged right and what ways are we doing it wrong? Cuz I want to make sure I’m on the right side here. Yeah. Well as I was saying to you in terms of doing it right to me, it’s it’s understanding who you are at the deeper level and expressing that to your family and your loved ones getting their buy-in to make sure that that plan is in place so that all of those needs can be met as you age to me. That’s that’s aging well in terms of the, you know, concept of my book. That’s why when I was looking down in terms of that concept, obviously, there’s other things to age. Well, you know, you eat you eat them. I did not too much alcohol and you and you exercise blah blah blah, but I I’m talking about like in the context of my book the things that I think we’re doing wrong is avoidance, which we all do when things are uncomfortable. We don’t want to do them and it’s a human reaction to just put things off and procrastinate and that’s getting us in a big old mess. Big old mess as families and as a healthcare system because we’re just like well later later, we’ll deal with it later. Let’s deal with you know, what’s happening right now part of that is I think ageism but part of it is I just think this like death aging phobic society that doesn’t want to deal. So to me that’s what we’re doing wrong and it’s just creating more heartache and problems for us down the road. I’ve actually seen quite a bit of that. This year’s with caregivers whose loved ones have passed away like my mom passed away in March the very end mark the very thank you the very beginning of the pandemic wage. Was really a blessing and it was a blessing for her and I was still shocked at how much and how how much it affected me when it happened and how much there are days when I’ll see a picture of her life in the memory care and smiling and laughing and and then realizing that she didn’t really have that in the last almost a year and it’s just like, you know, so then it kind of its kind of just write hits home in the fields as people say but there’s so many people that and with Dementia or Alzheimer’s it’s so hard to see when they’re not really getting close to the end cuz and I always said I’m ready for this journey be over. My mom had Alzheimer’s for like twenty years and I was I was ready I thought but she fell and broke her off and that was the last straw for her body and just it was like the the last injury, you know, we hear about people falling and breaking a hip and dying two weeks later. It’s kind of what she did and Ed. I joke sometimes when it’s when it feels okay to make the joke is that her care costs were going way up and with and then we’re right at the beginning of the pandemic and we still do have the option that she and I used to go to the park and the pool and the library and watch kids cuz that’s what she like to do. Well, that’s not been a really good option this year. So, you know, I think she just thought you know, if she had a Moment of clarity. I think she would have been like this is nuts all this is crap. I’m out cuz that would have been my mom but it’s been go ahead as I say you’re touching not a lot of things if if we’re going to move on to that next part about the heart and soul you’re touching on a lot of things that I am and discussing in my book. You you said that you know, you were taking your mom to the park and to the library and to the pool and she enjoyed watching children that is in exemplary example of what we need to do to feed our soul as we age and for her job Brought her Joy it access a part of her that who-knows-what memories. It was sparking or the feelings that were coming up for her maybe at some point along. Her journey wasn’t able to communicate as well. In terms of this is why this has benefiting me but you could recognize it in her behavior and in her mood and her Expressions, you could see that it was it was beneficial. That’s what I’m talking about about accessing that other part of us and no matter where we are in our aging Journey whether it’s Dementia or not that we provide these kinds of experiences for people and not stick them in a corner in a wheel chair in front of a blaring TV, cuz I’m sorry that doesn’t feed your soul unless maybe you are a news announcer.
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And so you like watching the news. I mean like it’s a very small percentage of the population that that probably is feeding their soul, you know, so I love hearing that and then that’s exactly what I advocate for my book. Well, I’ll have to I’m sure my daughter and my husband and almost son-in-law no time. Very creative and this year twenty-twenty we moved to align our finances with the recession that the economist worth for twenty Twenty-One. So I apologize. We we planned ahead and I don’t know we brought a problem the week the end of the world it feels like and when we we just make sure we’re we’re staying as temporary we have plans for next year finding a new property new kind of not a new lifestyle but a little bit new and so I just said let’s just thought up this house for everyday Comforts and everyday living and you know, we got rid of lots of the entertaining stuff. I mean I had like way more wine glasses in any restaurant needed much less per household and I got rid of a ton of crafting supplies because a lot of them are really old and and I just hung on to him cuz I had the space I’m like, you know what I gave them the teachers like dead. Now right before right before they stopped having kids in classrooms. And after we moved it was like well now that I can’t go to the store and just pick up whatever it is that you know, the sparks my creative urges. I started making greeting cards for the residence where my mom lives. I’ve got a huge batch of Halloween that is getting delivered or read this right before Halloween and I’m going to do the same with Christmas and it takes hours If I Lose Myself and it’s lovely. So whatever creative Outlets I can do when I’m 102 like my grandmother that’s probably something important to continue doing as I age I get really cranky if I can’t be creative well, and then that’s something that improved for you to communicate with your family and for them to probably already see and observe and that’s the thing is that you know, if we pay attention to people actually pay attention. I know it’s a lot to ask actual job. Listen again. I know it’s a lot to ask but we’re given so many clues about what is important to somebody and what feeds their souls. So when I I do this presentation about the Aging wage heart and soul which is that the title of one of my chapters and I do presentation on it and what I’m saying is look at yourself and look at somebody else. When do you see them smile gently. They’re not talking to you. They’re in their own bubble. But you see a little smile. You hear a little hum to their voice is it when someone’s digging their hands in the garden like when is that moment where you could tell somebody sort of disappears and let’s go that is their sole speaking volume. So pay attention to yourself like you are so you can communicate that to your own family so that if you are ever ill they can provide that for you and for your aging family members caregiver pay attention to them and say, okay what feeds their soul and how do I reproduce that for them? And to me, you know, whatever their capabilities are at the time. I tried that with my mom. My mom was very creative. She did painting woodworking sewing and about six months or so after she was in the memory care residents. I realized that one if she was aware and I didn’t think she would be dead but she would not have Christmas gifts for the three grandkids. And so I came up with a very very basic craft project. She can do as a gift for the three grandkids that did not go well and I think the problem was at that point her visual processing was so bad that thought she was very stressed about getting it wrong and I I found that very very frustrating and that was actually the beginning of the podcast because I was searching for job. Ways to connect with her cuz she could just sit around and shoot the breeze. Well, that’s great. If you don’t mind answering the same question every three minutes which after twenty minutes I did and so I was reading books that I was researching on the internet and I realized man caregivers don’t have their family member at home don’t have time for this craziness. Let me see if there’s a podcast and at the time there was one and it off it just it wasn’t my flavor. So I crazily started my own there was your creative juices picking up again, right? Yeah, and it’s been nice because twenty-twenty with the pandemic and social distance and all that my other career of being a portrait photographer.
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I know when we moved, you know, it’s it’s been a battle to maintain that business since the last economic crisis. We have ten years ago, and I finally said, you know what I’m ninety-nine percent retired from that because it’s just too much too much. Yeah try to deal with and You know, so I don’t have that creative Outlet. So but I have others and podcasting is surprisingly. It’s a different creative flavor and I really love so long. So how we how should people we’ve talked about how we age well and thinking about our purpose and what lights up our soul and we have to communicate with our families. So what’s okay, we’ve we’ve kind of gone through that personal process of thinking about like now, I know I mean both of my my husband my daughter they know cuz my dog also real creative so I would I’d be surprised if she was unaware that that would be important to me as I age. Where do we go now that we’ve done the soul-searching in the cells discovery of so we can age well and start planning now now what do we do communicate it? I mean it says that like, it’s so easy. Well, I’m not saying it that way. Easy, but it’s the next step. We can have a million fantastic ideas in our mind and if we don’t put it out on the world, it’s doing nothing except, you know, wrapping around a you know a rain and and it’s not going anywhere. So obviously the next step is communicating and that’s where you have to involve other people and the concept of Team caregiving which is the third point that you and I were going to talk about today. It’s your team is you and it’s your loved ones who are like your closest Circle so a spouse or your adult children or your parents, but then it broadens out you have other family members and other friends that might be implicated in that plan, but then there’s every single health care professional and I’m not talking about just the doctor and the nurse I’m talking about the social worker in the occupational therapist in the office, they’re pissed and in the spiritual advisor or a chaplain, if you’re lucky enough to be in an environment where you have that kind of a person The dietitian, you know there there’s so many different kind of people. Should be involved in that team. And so how we need to communicate what kind of care and support we want to all of those people. So everybody is on board making sure that our plan is fulfilled. So I’ll give you an example at this one of the residences here where I live at one point. This is years ago. The care has gone downhill since wage years ago. They had a physician on board who was very much about balancing your body mind and soul and one of the patients there was a diabetic and do so, but he always wanted ice cream. And so what the physician would say to the nursing staff is you know, what this guy is ninety-five give him a little cup of ice cream. Let’s just adjust as much dedication. Let’s give him that it makes him feel good about his life. So this is what I’m talking about and crude and communicating your wishes is saying to the doctor my dad loves ice cream. I know he’s got diabetes, but we gotta find a job. To make it work and then creating a plan with the Doctor Who then informs a nurse’s when they’re giving the medication and the nurse’s aide who goes to you know, everybody’s on board and helps fulfill that for the person that’s about creating a team. How do we go about creating that kind of team cuz I tried real hard for my mom and when you bring up doctors, I still want to strangle a doctor cuz I’m not sure he had any of those things in mind. I’m not even sure because he. Her original t General physician left the practice and this was a younger guy who was really nice but swear. He was completely clueless about Alzheimer’s does it ask my mom questions and I’d have to be under my breath what the truth was and I always had to retrain them every time we’d go in and they’d say well, you know, here’s a sample cup for a urine sample and it’s like dead. Really, you know how we did this last month? Right? It was so frustrating. Her neurologist was great. She spent a lot of time with both of us. She would talk to my mom and but she was listening to me. So she kind of split her Focus which I was very impressed with so my mom never realized that she wasn’t a hundred percent of the focus or if she’s not aware of it at the closer to the end of her life. And the problem with the neurologist was she was always behind he would go, you know show up for your appointment and I would and I would tell him I’m here we’re going to go across the parking lot to get something to drink because she gets really agitated.
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Wait a minute, you know, when you’re Advanced Alzheimer’s five may be like five hours and she would we were there once waiting for an hour and oh my goodness she got hostile and it was not fun. So we fixed that. But you know, just the Care staff in her home was great and they dead. Did what the doctors told them but I never felt like I had what you’re talking about. So, how can we like, how can I make that happen for like my husband and I how can we start that kind of team before? We really need it. I wish I had the you know magic spell for this because it’s an ongoing frustration for me as well as a healthcare professional being in a system where it’s like talking to, you know a blank wall and when it comes to working with some professionals, there are some Physicians who are out of this world in terms of their lack compassion and the time that they afford for families and the way that they’ll listen to other Professionals in their opinions and respecting my opinion is equally to their own. I’ve had amazing experiences and then I’ve had the absolute opposite where it’s because MD is behind the name somehow my opinion is not you know valuable let alone a caregiver right so and that’s not just Physicians. It’s all professions. I don’t have the Magic Wok. Answer for that. I think it needs to be a shift in our society in the way that we look at aging and the way that we value human beings as they get older and the way we see that we’re all in network that it’s not just my mom is getting old. My mom is getting old and I’m trying to care for her and it’s impacting my health as well as my husband’s health and our relationship and my child needs me cuz she just had a baby and I can’t be as available and I think we need to kind of shift the way that we look as aging as an entire society and then hopefully some of that will trickle down into the way that we support. So the only advice I could give to you or to any caregiver right now is be the squeaky wheel and demand it just keep asking for it and advocating for that change and if you you know have them, you know Representatives a political representatives in your area who believe in Mind Body Soul and and aren’t ageist and value older adults dead. Team up with them aligned with them and try and see what kind of effective change you can make at least in your own and your own small area. There is no magic solution though. Unfortunately my husband and I gave this conversation about the shift our society needs to take he’s a realtor and he used to be on our City’s Planning Commission down. There are things like where we lived was a mile up a very Steep Hill from the main road, which was great. You know, we didn’t have a lot of road traffic noise, but down the block down the our street was our friends who had her husband’s got Parkinson’s disease and you know, it wasn’t a walkable neighborhood. You couldn’t walk to the grocery store and he could ride your bike to the grocery cab ride your bike to the grocery store, but God forbid you wanted to bring home like a gallon of milk or something cuz it is deep Hill coming home and we kind of separate people almost dead. By decades because you know Europe here in the executive homes where obviously you had to work longer in your life to get to that level of Financial Security to afford those places and we were in a neighborhood in Denver where the edge of the neighborhood was like condos and then they had like townhomes and small homes along the further you got into the neighborhood away from the main road the bigger the houses were and so it was an entire like one neighborhood was like spammed the generations and I’ve always said Life Care Homes need to be near schools. Like my mom’s was across the street from the middle school and those kids would come over and do a lot of things with the assisted-living was events. Yeah, it was one and and they would bring sometimes they bring over the memory care residence earlier on when my mom was a little bit more with it, which is not really the right term but more able to participate a little bit they would bring song Those those residents over as well and it was you know, it was good for everybody. And you know, I just you know starting there. I’m sorry to interrupt again, you know, I don’t want to lose this train of thought be starting there with young kids is super important because as a society, like I said, we have this ageist view where we think that people lose value as they get older. It’s a huge frustration for me because people do value in fact, if you want to ask me they gain value because if so much wisdom and experience that were missing out on a whole area of wisdom that we could be getting but including children like that like your idea of having, you know, Care Home across the street from a school.
00:30:01 – 00:35:06
It’s amazing because it’s also teaching the children at a very young age the value of older adults and not to be afraid of them and they’re not scary and to make those connections. So when they those kids get older they will have already like, you know integrated that into their view of humanity and that’s wage. Where we have to approach us at such a like a larger way than we are as a society and not only do neighborhoods pocket, but we do that with older adults when they no longer can care for themselves and they need help. We just send them away because we don’t have the resources to be able to do it at home and I’m not judging anybody for having their parent living in assisted residence. I couldn’t I have to pay my bills. We not wear a double income earning family. We have no choice life is fast. The economic demands are big. Like that’s the way we’ve we’ve Fallen as a society and so long now this is the only way we can deal with it is to send people away and this is just contributing to us thinking. Well, we don’t have any more value in those people. So let’s just, you know, send them away. It’s awful. I have a friend who’s a T5. He’s in our Rotary Club is a really fun guy and they moved from a large single story home on the very very large dog. That was much too much for them to maintain to a retirement neighborhood, you know, the 55-plus neighborhood and he hates it cuz there’s no kids and when we moved out of our house one of the you know, there’s four. Well, there’s four in that particular like four or five of those neighborhoods around there’s one that’s the active adult community often. There’s the one that’s got more of the older 55-plus community and we talked about well, do we want to go over here or over there? And I mentioned to my husband that this particular friend of ours does not like living in the adult the senior neighborhood because there are no kids and now there’s days cuz we’ve got toddlers behind us there are days when it’s like yeah, I think I’d like to live there but I think I don’t think it’s as healthy the active adult community I think would be better, but I’m not sure these adult neighborhood job. These retirement neighborhoods are really that great an idea unless so insulated that they’ve got like the library and the grocery store and everything. They need is kind of right there, which is not that but then they’re missing out on the the birth of life and and all the other benefits of all these other people, you know, and I think this is interesting. I haven’t had this discussion with anyone but it’s an interesting concept as planning cities with an intergenerational lens and how can we do that? That’s that’s a really interesting topic. I want to talk to this colleague of mine about it cuz he keeps saying like we have no innovation in in Old Town planning. It’s like status quo more like robots, you know, every every other field gets Innovative and they see it as a positive thing. We start trying to flip Senior Care upside down and people are like what what are you doing? You know, but that’s a very interesting concept that you just brought up. Anyways think about comes up because I live in a bedroom community. About fifty miles Northeast of San Francisco. So people commute out or they did until this year and being in the San Francisco Bay area of California what part of the reason we moved was? Okay, we’re going to wait, you know, cuz the real estate market is going up up up up up up. We also know what’s going to happen. So we’re like, okay, we’re going to catch it on the downside swing cuz the house we sold we bought top of the market and we sold at the top of the markets. It’s like let’s let’s right this ship financially that was the plan and people are moving into our city cause it’s they don’t have to worry about the Hideous commute of you know, an hour and half to two hours which I think is just, you know, it’s ridiculous that we ship all the jobs to one area. And then that will drive as bad for the economy is bad for our health and you know, we so we have this conversation a lot. Well, he’ll make cuz our city does not have a lot of good jobs as you know retail service the olive juice. Is a gotten smashed by the pandemic and but we have a lot of you know, like white collar management type people that can work from home so our cities doing okay, but we’ve thought about things like, you know, where where we live. Now, there’s a lot of these houses that have the in-law unit and I said, well, this is great except that, you know, we need all the services like if I was to have my mom lived with me, I still need the services so that we could continue working like you were saying, you know, like we need door-to-door Transportation not just you know, pick Grandma up on the curb like my grandmother isn’t walking out to the curb. Cuz once you can’t see it and now she’s very frail and needs a walker and my mom would have wandered down the street.
00:35:06 – 00:40:14
I would have had to stand there and wait for the bus with her. It’s like that’s not always a possibility. So I think once you’ve been in the caregiving space as a family caregiver, you can see where there’s just life. Huge need and you know, I’m not expecting the government to like fund all of this. But Somebody’s gotta get the ball rolling. Yeah well and if we talk about inter-generational approaches and we talk about life with purpose, which is something that we started the conversation with, you know, after retirement. Why wouldn’t that be a normal transition as okay? I’m now retired. So now I’m going to be part of this Transportation this volunteer transportation system. We have within our community for door-to-door support for those that have a disability or or aging or whatever it might be and am a child at the teenager can get a job and not driving that bus but being a part of it to help people move and ambulate around and why don’t we hire a team to do that job. And now the team’s being said she dies to this population. And I mean there I think there are a lot of things that we can do but the priorities and again this goes back to I think we’re in a just Society the prime. It is for funding and Innovation as a Francis says and just even time resources. It’s they don’t want us and if people don’t want to spend not people the governmental bodies that funny that these sort of programs fund other things and they’re not thinking about aging which is amazing considering the average age of our federal government is not a terribly young exactly off my God. Yeah exactly. I mean we have older adults like running for office right now. Yeah. Well the two oldest mean Trump is currently the oldest President Bush there will be the to whoever wins is going to be the oldest-ever exactly, you know, so it’s insane and yeah, you know, it makes me kind of laugh because it’s like the one thing I kept advocating for was needed to stop having old white men run the country now, they’re older and older women. Apparently, I need to ask for even older white men. Maybe we’ll get some like somebody like, cuz you know, birth. This is from here. Yeah, we got a young woman there on the ticket and a woman woman a color young. So from a progressive State ye soch it’s and I I have to admit when I heard Joe Biden talk about his caregiving plan and it wasn’t just childcare but it also included family caregivers. I literally cried cuz I was like, please God. This is what we need cuz you know, I’m a Jenik sir. You must be too and it’s like we’re going to figure this out like a long time ago cuz like the Baby Boomers just keep getting older and older and older and then Millennials coming up. I think the beginnings of them are going to be forty. My daughter’s Amal younger Millennials almost twenty-nine. So I you know, I still sometimes hear Millennial and think teenagers. It’s like I don’t think of the gens he’s is as teenagers when they are but it’s like we’ve never figured this out Rapids. Because you know our cities are not set up for aging well and and caring for people will and its just oh, yeah, it’s a mess. Yeah, we’re off to take it upon ourselves to advocate for all of that to advocate for ourselves plan for ourselves, which you know, I think it’s kind of the American way of doing things. So what should we be doing before I let you go this afternoon. What is like one thing you wish people were doing and taking the heart. Buying my book. Okay. That’s a good one that is linked in the show notes. So you guys can click on it by it. I make it really easy to order the books. Thank you. I’m just making a joke. I love jokes. We need more jokes. I just the time the time is now we shouldn’t delay. You may get out of your comfort zone and start to have some really awkward conversations first with yourself and what your biggest fears are and what you’re worried about as you get older start there have some clarity on that and then, you know start with someone that you trust start opening the door to have those conversations. It’s what I I think is essential is just doing something moving forward progressing in some way. For me, it’s really just about doing something now starting the conversation now there it’s very uncomfortable and I get it. I don’t like to talk about, you know, difficult topics either but not talking about it. First of all doesn’t make it happen faster and it doesn’t make it go away. In fact what it does eventually is minimizing anxiety and the concerns we have because things out in the open, so I think the first step is to really have those difficult conversations with yourself who you are what you really want.
00:40:14 – 00:44:52
What are your biggest fears about aging? What are your expectations? What do you hope to achieve as you get older? How would you like to see your life at the end your last four or five six years? How do you envision yourself and your family so starting with the internal conversation and then start branching out and sharing that with just one person little by little slowly slowly. It’s not it’s not a Sprint. It’s a marathon right? So just kind of starting wage. Conversation first with ourselves and then with others to kind of get the get the plan in place So the plan is not imposed on you cuz trust me not planning just means when a crisis comes and then we’re packing and then we never get what we want. So thinking about things in advance will really help. I totally agree my paternal grandfather. He will have been gone twenty three years December 2020. He I must have got it from him. He was a planner he had the burial sites picked out and funeral or I mean he had everything planned out and he would sit down and try to talk to my nana the one that’s a hundred and two about it, and she she was not down for that conversation and I’m curious now. I don’t know if I might I might see if I can broach the subject. I’m wondering if she regrets that he was doing a crossword puzzle and she asked him if he was ready to go to die off. Is my dad’s side of the family is they have all had all the men have had diabetes. So he said yeah, I’m ready to go. He put his pen down and died immediately must have been a massive heart attack and you know, thankfully he had everything planned but she wasn’t aware of all the plans. He may have told the youngest son. Cuz the youngest son has a pretty good planner but being the youngest he also doesn’t assert his knowledge. So I’m curious if if if she if she regrets not having have that conversation, but you know, it is hard but like you said if we don’t tell people hey, you know, well if we don’t tell like my mom always said, well, I don’t want to be a burden on you girls and I want to live in my home forever which ended up being mutually exclusive. You know, you can’t have those conversations like I couldn’t say. I don’t know that you’ll always be able to live in your home. What kind of options do you think we should have and I wouldn’t have gotten the surprise as my dad was on hospice to learn that he just assumed she was going to come live with me like no I did not have a spare room at the time. So, you know, it’s yeah, I do advocate for having long conversations early because you know be assuming things is never good and trying to make decisions in a crisis is just horrible. So yeah, I really appreciate this and sorry about that. You guys are having a storm coming. Yeah. That’s right. That’s right. What state are you in? I’m in Montreal. Actually, I’m from California. I’m from Los Angeles, but I live in Montreal now. I’m sure you’re glad it’s not in the L A area right now. Well, yes, and now I miss my family desperately. Oh, well, they’re having a huge fire wage in Irvine. So awesome. Well, I appreciate this and like I said, the book is linked in the show notes. I highly recommend cuz click on it order it may I link it to an independent Bookseller, but you can always get it through Amazon if you want. It’s pretty blue with yellow letters on it guys can look at it in the YouTube video. Thanks very much Stephanie for grabbing a second device and finishing the conversation with I’m not pleasure technology pleasure. Thanks so much. All right take care of. Thanks a lot. My husband and I talked about the need for a multi-generational society and City structure. This is all about conversations. Nothing gets better if we don’t start discussing them and I hope that’s the message that you got from today’s episode one good way to start conversations is to share this episode with family and friends. This might make it easier to as Stephanie suggest start having some of these uncomfortable conversations with your family and Outer Circle. I think once you get suggested, you’ll find that it’s not quite as difficult and uncomfortable as you thought and as always I’ll be here for you in your ears next Tuesday.