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Fading Years

Tue, Sep. 26, 2017 Posted: 04:27 PM


The dining room tables were inlayed with an intricate design and set with nice silverware and decorative centerpieces.

Comfortable chairs, large windows, and attractive lighting made it classy.

Smiles and conversation filled the room as attentive waitresses jotted down selections and delivered entrees.

We perused our menu. Despite the crowd, the service was responsive and friendly. Not the kind of friendly that is seeking a large tip at the end of the meal—but the kind that comes from someone who, despite it being a job, seems to enjoy it.

Looking around the sea of faces, no one was close to my age—the wait staff were in their 20’s and the diners were in their 80’s and 90’s.

My mother-in-law is currently staying in a senior living facility, while she regains her strength from surgery.

But it gave me a chance to peak into a world, that should I live long enough, could one day be mine. You’ve heard that getting old isn’t for sissies.

Besides health issues, when living at home is no longer possible, the options for seniors can be limited. Because of the exorbitant cost for care, the elderly can suffer from neglect.

My mother-in-law is fortunate—her facility is a gem. It’s friendly, clean, and staffed by people with gentle and kind helping hands. A generation ago, our nation had an issue with good day care for kids.

Today’s families have many more options for their children. So, now it’s time to help seniors have affordable living in their sunset years.

Government-run facilities provide only what limited money allows—which can be far less than our elderly need in their fading years. For now, the solution is buying “long-term care” insurance—just like everything else we insure—from cars, homes, and medical care, we can insure our own elder care. Invest when you’re young so you can live better when you have fewer options.

Budget now, benefit later. My elderly father-in-law used to repeat the phrase, “Where I am now, someday you will be.” Knowing that doesn’t make it easier, but with planning, it can make it better.

Karen Farris