My family and most of my friends are at the age where we are in the throes of trying to help very elderly parents. After dealing with this for many years, certain realities have smacked us right in the face.
1) Falls are the enemy of aging adults. My Mother has fallen a number of times, some of which have resulted in hospital stays, stitches and bruising. It is hard on her, and the family around her always feels guilty. It is just a fact of life that as we age, we fall. We are not as agile, we take more medications, our eyesight is not as good and different medical conditions can all affect our balance. Prevention is the key.
2) Wills are a touchy subject with many families. My Father died unexpectedly in his fifties and had no will in place. Consequently the state took a larger percentage of the estate and my Mother got less even though she was left with four of seven children still at home. Things like wills are much easier to talk about when you are young and healthy.
3) Money is always an issue unless you are ultra rich. Many of our parents are outliving their retirement resources. Just at the time when many could least afford it, houses and retirement funds took a big hit in the recession. Add to that the fact that our parents are living well into their nineties and it is no surprise that funds are running short.
4) Pride is a delicate thing. Our parents are proud people. They do not think that their driving is getting scary. They certainly don’t want you to think that they need help with their finances or writing checks. They are scared and angry when they experience confusion about things that never confused them before.
5) Inevitable! We are going to age. If we are lucky we will get to be as old as our parents. So, the point of Senile Denial is not to hide our heads in the sand. I guess the point is to age as vibrantly as possible with eyes wide open.