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Boomers – As a “Boomer” we still think we are young at heart, even though sometimes the mirror gives us a jolt of reality. What does it mean to each of you as you look at your life? Are you preparing for today, or just this week, this month? What is left to do in your career, in your dreams? Have you prepared for aging? That said, how many of us really take a deep breath, pause and consider where we are today, and then, where we want to be tomorrow?
In reality, we plan for many life events – college, marriage, having kids, buying a house, managing a career and much more. But the question is, how many of us plan for aging or illness, not only for ourselves, but our loved ones? Human nature and culture often pressure us not to consider illness or the end of our lives, but inevitably, there is no fountain of youth and we will all reach our end point in this world.
On the other hand, if the right side of the heart is damaged, then the blood trying to enter the heart backs up to the liver and the lower body. The back up usually continues to the legs, so you will see swelling in the legs and feet. Additional symptoms associated with heart failure include fatigue, shortness of breath, weight gain and limited endurance.
Ask yourself, how have you prepared for yourself and loved ones? Do you have a Last Will and Testament? Is there a Medical Power of Attorney in place so that someone can express your healthcare wishes if you are unable to? Are there Advanced Directives, especially if someone has very specific wishes already? Do you have long term care insurance to cover costs that are not covered by health insurance? Many more questions need to be asked and answered by each one of us.
Frequently, once a health event occurs, we ask ourselves and medical professionals “What Now?” Maybe the better question is “What If?” Answers to this question will help guide us through some of the passages that actually become gifts to ourselves, and our families.
Boomers, how have you prepared for aging – both for your parents and for yourself?
Author: Cheryl A. Acres RN, CCM