Do You Want to Set Your Day Right? Do These

Health Secrets

early bird

Early bird!

Do you often wake up in the morning with no motivation to get up? So you stay in bed a little longer until boredom grudgingly forces you to. That’s what happens when you have not set anything exciting and worthwhile to occupy your day.

I used to feel the same way right after my wife died. I was so down and did not want to get up until almost lunch time. Finally, I realized that I was slowly wasting my life away. Oh, I did not mind dying then. But not the way I was leading myself into.

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Don’t Move to a Retirement Community before Reading This

Health Secrets

Home alone

Home Alone, and Happy

Three years ago I thought of moving to a retirement community.

I live alone in my home which, I think, is too big for me. So I scouted around for a community near my home that can give me a simple, quite, and joyful retirement life.

I found two – near enough to my children so I won’t feel isolated from them. Unluckily (or luckily) for me, they did not satisfy my needs.

Both were fenced off from the rest of the world and, except for a small door with a peephole, they seemed so monolithic. My first impulse was, “Oh God, I want to live in a community, not a prison.”

So if you are planning to do the same, read this first before you do.

 

Why Stay Put at Home:

Since then, I decided to stay put until the rest of my days. You should, too, for the following reasons:

1.  Familiarity:
Familiarity with your surroundings has a great effect on your happiness and wellness. You know your home as the wrinkles on your hands. You know the community, the people, and the amenities, down to the name of the clerk in your favorite convenience store.

It removes the hassle of moving into new and unfamiliar surroundings, of being with people you never knew before, of adjusting to the quirks and hang-ups of the guy next door.

Adjusting to a new environment such as a retirement home is difficult and stressful for anybody. It could be near impossible for you.

 

2.  Uncertainty:
Staying home near people you know, like family and friends minimizes, it not removes the uncertainty of immediate help in case of emergencies

To have people, neighbors and family members, around that you can call easily in case you need help removes anxiety and boosts your peace of mind.

 

3.  Availability of resources:
Even if you stay home for retirement, you can still be assured of adequate health care services because these days there are so many providers you can get in touch with.

Other than these home care service providers, there is a multitude of user-friendly hi-tech devices that help you manage your health care needs.

All these means that immediate help is never far away in case you need it

 

4.  Independence:
According to the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), 90% of seniors want to retire at home, mostly for sentimental reasons. They feel that if they have survived all these years at home, they will survive the rest of their days.

Another reason is independence.

Seniors feel that independence is all they have control over in the face of the changes in other
aspects of their lives. It also gives them a sense of achievement, which is necessary for promoting purpose, self-worth, and well-being.

When my children moved out of my home right after marriage, I felt the world tumbling around me. I thought I could never get over the thought of us living separately. But after my period of self-denial, I found out that it was not such a bad thing.

In fact, I am glad they did. It allowed me free use of my time and activities which would have been impossible had they stayed on. A daily riot would certainly be happening now had they and their spouses lived with me.

 

5.  Minimize risk of abuse:
Old people, because of their condition, are often subject to elderly abuse. In fact, the problem is escalating despite the availability of services to prevent its occurrence.

Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and above have experienced some form of elderly abuse.

What is worrisome about it is that in 60% of the cases, the culprits are close family members.

Retirement and nursing homes are not any safer for old people as well. The number of elderly abuse in retirement and nursing homes is unavailable because most of these are swept under the rug and never reported.

This is minimized, if not avoided if you stay alone at home provided ample services are available in case you need them.

 

6.  It is Cheaper:
If your home is mortgage-free, stay put because it is cheaper in the long run. Retirement homes can be expensive depending on the state, services, and amenities provided.

In 2012, a private room average cost was $248.00/day; a semi-private was a little less at $222.00/day.

This could be exorbitantly high even if your retirement income is substantial. It will definitely leave a huge hole in your budget.

 

The Bottom Line?

It is your call. But before you make a decision, weigh things carefully because staying put or moving to a retirement home are not exactly two peas in the same pod. In fact, they are poles apart.

Do your research. Surf the Internet, talk to friends or have a sales person give you a call. Get as much information as you can. The more the better. You don’t want to be caught with your pants down due to your own lapses or negligence.

Focus your attention on total costs, health care services, nutrition plan, activities to promote togetherness and camaraderie, safety, proximity to shopping centers and malls, family visitation privileges, etc.

Make sure you get all the pertinent information and understand them all to avoid future regrets.

Please help other seniors by sharing this. Better still, subscribe to my newsletter to get a weekly update of the exciting and bittersweet life of a senior.

Image: http://www.seniormoneysaver.com/dining_in_cooking.htm

~oOo~

If You’ve Reached this Far, Celebrate. Here’s Why

Health Secrets

celebrate life

Celebrating life at 86

Do you know why you have to celebrate if you’ve reached this far? Because it takes a lot of hard work and a huge dose of luck to make it. In fact, many did not.

The average lifespan now, both male and female is 69 years. But how many of your boyhood friends, cousins, neighbors, work associates are still today? That you are is worth celebrating, isn’t it?

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Elderly Poverty: Shocking but True and What You can Do About It

Health Secrets

Elderly poverty

Elderly poverty – shocking but true!

Elderly poverty is true and shocking but you hardly notice it, or ignore it. You’re so busy with your own life to give it any attention.

But it is all around you. You see it each time you take a walk or go to your neighborhood convenience store. They are those dirty and bedraggled senior citizens sleeping on street corners, alleys and even subways.

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How to Treat a Gay in the Family

Health Secrets

I am surrounded by gays, but this one tops them all…

“Uncle, I want you to meet my husband, David.”

Immediately, my jaws dropped and I was transfixed not knowing whether to jump with joy or drop dead with embarrassment. I was totally taken off guard that I froze – unable to give the couple a hug or a congratulatory handshake.

Why? You see, husband David, apparently married my nephew, not niece.

Same-sex marriage is not only taboo in my country’s strictly religious culture, it is also not allowed by law (they married in Australia). To have a close relative, a nephew, marrying another man is nothing short of a near-death experience; my ancestors must have turned in their graves.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against gays. In fact, I am surrounded by them. There is a gay in every generation of both sides of my family, i.e., a brother, an uncle, close and distant relatives, not to mention close friends. Even I was effeminate as a child my Mom wanted me to become a priest, and had I more than one son, the other would probably be gay, too.

I am ambivalent towards them. I know that their sexual orientation is not their fault. In fact, I sympathize with them for having to face the stigma of being gay everyday of their lives.

If you have a gay in the family, as I do, treat him with respect and understanding – especially when they are old and grey. Their sexual orientation is a work of Nature which they couldn’t do anything about as you can’t do anything about yours.

Don’t be swayed by ill-informed statements like that of Ben Carson’s that being a gay is a choice. Nobody would choose to live a life of constant harassment, ridicule, abuse, or be ostracized by the mainstream.

Would you?

I once had a lively chat with two gays in a coffee shop. I wanted to pick their brains on how it is to be gay. Well, both are earning a living and, at the same time, supported by closet lovers.

Even as a child, they knew that they were “different,” and had to fight a long battle of attrition against family members who couldn’t accept them as they are. They won, ultimately.

That’s how it is with gays. Before making a public “debut,” they have to face the same gauntlet of disapproving family members. For them, that is the toughest hurdle. Once they gain acceptance at home, let the general public be damned.

Younger gays are a raucous bunch, even vulgar. There is nothing sacred for them and are always ready to take a swipe at anybody or anything that frowns on their sexual orientation. And they are fearless fighters for their rights. Never lock horns with a gay. You will surely lose.

Age mellows them somehow, and elderly gays are more subdued, introspective, genteel, and act accordingly. But that doesn’t improve their lot in the eyes of society in general.

They still are subjected to unfounded restrictions you and I are spared from. For example, gays are…

 

1.  Childless and alone in their old age:
Studies show that gays are four times less likely to have kids compared to non-gays of the same age group.

This leaves them with without any help when they need it most.

Relying on government programs is not encouraging either. Medicare  doesn’t cover everything for a long-tern nursing home care and, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, only 3% of  senior gays are covered with a private long-term insurance.

Elderly seniors’ old age future is anything but rosy.

 

2.  Poorer than non-gays:
Gays, even today, suffer from employment discrimination. This leaves them with hardly any savings when they reach retirement age.

A study done by the University of California, LA, shows that 4.9% of elderly gays (collectively called LGBT) are poorer compared to non-gays. Overall, 42% of elderly gays suffer from financial difficulties at retirement.

 

3.  Still discriminated upon:
Despite gaining much acceptance, gays still feel biases against them.

For example, gays are often not welcomed in some senior centers where they could socialize with other seniors and to fill out important paperwork dealing with government assistance programs for seniors.

Even the professional staff at these centers is, in most cases, not trained to handle the peculiar needs of gays.

 

4.  Having peculiar health problems:
Many gays suffer from mental issues that affect their lives like loneliness, depression, isolation and thoughts of suicide, according to SAGE (Strategic Advisory Group of Experts).

This because a lot of them dd not seek treatment early on for fear of being considered mental cases. Now it is considered to be due to a genetic framework that didn’t perfectly fit – not a mental illness.

Another health issue is HIV. In 2011, more than a quarter of the 1.2 million with HIV in the U.S. were gays, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

There are currently more than 39 million people in the U.S, aged 65 years and older, who identify themselves as gays (LGBTs, for lesbians, gays, bi-sexual, transgender). That’s a lot to reckon with; a lot of votes no politicians can ignore.

You can mock them, ostracize them, call them names or label them but that can’t change what they are. They cannot do anything about their sexual orientation as much as you cannot do anything about yours.

At the end of the day, you are left with no choice but accept them as they are. Besides, other than their sexual orientation, they also need the same things you and I need; the same hopes and aspirations. They also expect the treatment from society you expect.

And they are a gregarious lot to be with.

Please help other seniors by sharing this. Better still, subscribe to my newsletter to get a weekly update of the exciting and bittersweet life of a senior.

Image: http://www.advocate.com/marriage-equality/2016/1/25/watch-sweethearts-candy-celebrates-same-sex-marriage

~oOo~