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"GROWING OLD AIN'T FOR SISSIES”

By Bill Lusk, CSA

"Growing old ain't for sissies". Most of us baby boomers have heard this quote (or a form of it) at some point. Actress Bette Davis is credited with coining the original phrase, which may have been "Old age ain't no place for sissies". Entertainer Bob Hope popularized the phrase in his comedy. Bob would know, he lived to be a centenarian.

 

Meant to be a light hearted take on the process of aging and its' day to day challenges - aches, pains, creaks, wrinkles, hearing loss and poor fashion sense. But it would appear Miss Davis was also sharing a prophecy of a much more serious tone. Today, people are living longer than ever before. That is great news, isn't it? Well, yes it is. But there is a caveat. Seniors must also contend with years, even decades, of managing chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes and dementia. Alzheimer's disease, once obscure, has become a leading cause of death among seniors, and is increasing at a startling pace.


Today's seniors are tough bunch though. Their lives shaped by the Great Depression, WWII and the Cold War. They put the "boom" in baby boomer, raising large families. Many are great grandparents. They did it on their own and are not accustomed to asking for help. They fear losing independence as they perceive it. Thus they "hide" health issues and safety concerns such as falling from their families and physicians.


When seniors were young they were two alternatives for caring for the elderly. The most common was to live with a family member. The other was a "nursing home". Horrible places, these nursing homes. Places where people went to die. They were dark and depressing. No way, no how would they ever end up in such a place.


Today senior living is quite different than what your parents grew up believing. Assisted living communities and residential care homes are fantastic, safe places for seniors to age in place, offering social activities, companionship, entertainment, trips and great food. They enrich the quality of life.

They are places where people go to live.


Being nicknamed "the Greatest Generation" is a hell of a thing to live up to, isn't it? Because of their aversion to assistance and attachment to independence, today's seniors tend to "go it alone". They do not need anyone's help. They will stay in their home until they pass away. This ingrained mentality serves a purpose but also inhibits their ability to consider alternatives. Most seniors cannot go it alone but they sure will try. The most common risks to this behavior are social isolation, poor nutrition and increased in-home falls. Declines in health and quality of life are the results.

It does not have to be this way! There are better alternatives. At CarePatrol, our mission statement is


"To Provide the Safest Care Options for Seniors Across America". We work with seniors and their families to advise and educate them so they are able to make an informed decision on their future.

CarePatrol is a free service. Please call us today to ensure your loved one has a safer tomorrow.


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