Move before there’s a crisis

In this New York Times “New Old Age” blog post, the author discusses the importance of moving before there is a crisis.  Jane Gross had given this advice to many adult children in reference to their parents.  In this blog post, she is giving the advice to herself and taking it!

Here’s an excerpt:

As just about everyone who has cared for an aging parent knows, getting old is both an inexorable and maddeningly unpredictable forward march. Everything is OK. Then it’s not. Then it is again. What felt early on like a roller coaster becomes the new normal. In between swerves and plummets, it is almost possible to doze off.

And planning for all possible eventualities is useless — after the essential documents are in place, the family has talked openly and often about end-of-life wishes, they understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, they know how much money is available and that it is probably not going to be enough.

Caregivers and their elderly charges both know, in a spoken or unspoken way, that on the horizon is The Crisis. That’s the one that demarcates “before” and “after.” Your parents are at home, say, when they really shouldn’t be, and don’t want to leave. The Crisis, when it appears, will be an awful milestone for them and probably so for you, the adult child.

Then one day the roles shift and the crisis on the horizon could be yours. Maybe your parents are dead or maybe not, but you’re now an old person. It happens even if you’re diligent about antioxidants and fish oil, exercise both body and mind, have a cheery attitude, good genes and a wide social network. If you’re not there yet, you’ll have to take my word for it.

So this is put-up-or-shut-up time. I either take my own hard-won advice or I’d better stop dishing it out.

“Don’t wait for a crisis.”

Here’s a link to the full article:

New Old Age/Caring and Coping
The New York Times
Getting While the Getting Is Good
By Jane Gross
September 10, 2013 11:30 am

This is well worth reading!