Confronting senior housing
Sun City, Calif.
Aging and end of life issues are of particular concern to me and thousands of other people reaching retirement age. Many critical decisions must be made during these “golden years.” Many people want to live in their own home with their own stuff, but there comes a time when that’s no longer feasible.
Many decisions must be made concerning senior housing options. Procrastination is always an option, but if you don’t plan ahead and make your own decisions, someone else will be forced to make those decisions for you, and it may come as a huge cost.
Decisions must be made about having home care. In California, for example, no home care license is required, so anyone can go to work for a senior with no license or training. In Sun City, some people hang out in the malls and when they see a senior struggling with groceries they will offer to help. They will then go home with the senior and work their way into becoming a home care person, often stealing from them and trying to take over their finances.
As people age, decisions must be made about rehab, assisted living, and eventually skilled nursing care. My cousin tells me that in Florida, old guys are looking for “nurses with purses” to take care of them in their elder years. I have heard widow women in Sun City say that when they meet a man, the first question they ask is, “Do you own your own home?” You know what they are thinking.
The best book I’ve found on this subject is entitled: Your Senior Housing Options by Diane Twohy Masson. Masson spent several years trying to find adequate housing for her mother and has worked in senior housing since 1999.
She provides tips and advice gleaned from shopping 300 senior living communities. She has a website: www.Tips2Seniors.com and also an e-mail: diane@Tips2Seniors.com. If you are a senior or the child of a senior, I suggest you read this book.
David Moe was born in Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 1964 and received his M.A. degree from San Francisco State University in 1975. He spent four years in the Navy and 32 years in the insurance business. He is married to his wife, Thordis, and they have two daughters and four grandchildren. They now live in Sun City, California.
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 5, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.