Seniors & Aging

Grandpa and Grandma déjà vu! Part 5 | Real Life

Remember the soap opera, “As The World Turns”, melodrama-ing the disruption that change imposes upon our change-averse, comfort-zone, status-quo complacency? Well, as our world turns, faster and faster, we just have to accept the need to embrace change and “go with the flow”. Reality!

For example, the print news media’s do-it- or-lose metamorphosis into vastly more cost-efficient digital-mode shrinks their print- edition newspapers and blossoms their on-line versions. For our precious weekly Sunday-morning- breakfast-table- favorite-articles feel-good indulgence, they compassionately shrink their print editions, instead of eliminating them, to enable us to continue cuddling up to our beloved ink-aroma- crinkly newspapers. But, they also encourage us to embrace the more-spacious on-line editions, because now a lot more “newspaper” is there.

That’s why this newspaper has been running out of print-page space before this column’s verbose manuscripts ran out of words.

In addition, sourcing columns and features stories from websites on the Internet, eliminating local-neighbor- manuscripted columns like this one that aren’t Internet web-syndicated sourced, has become imperative.

“No, thanks, Gary, I’ll no longer get your stuff, even if I digital-up more than I have already. Likely wouldn’t anyway, just for that.”

OK, but in view of the surging at-home living trend among seniors, how about digitaling-up to avail ourselves of the distinct benefits that seniors-oriented smart-home technology can bring to us?

A few examples: At-home cyber-enabled live real-time video/audio doctor consultations and body-function monitoring.

- Instant anywhere doctor remote infusion of meds and therapies.

- On-screen grocery shopping featuring same-afternoon delivery.

- On-demand chat clubs, learning, mental stimulation, entertainment and blogs, reducing mental deterioration and isolation’s loneliness.

- Uber and Lyft transportation from home a few minutes after a single Jitterbug GreatCall keystroke. Safety and security monitoring, by both service providers and the family, enabling instant emergency response. And limitless info and wisdom on the Internet, like A Place for Mom’s “Senior Living Blog”, a source of this column’s info.

Column shrinkage: Tell you what: Let’s re-package and update some of the recently-cut items, for everyone:

We’ve been exploring the trend back to living late-life, and even end-of- life, at home, rather than in institutions. That’s despite their creative marketing -- For example, many institutional residents, whose tech mastery typically topped out with the touch-tone phone keypad, are becoming digital gurus there, because the institutions now offer tutoring.

Zoning- and tax-favored private “55-plus” retirement communities, with their vigorous homeowners’ associations, activities clubs, and abundant neighbor-helping cultures, can be an alternative to, or at least a postponer of, institutional living. Enhanced by support services such as Neighbor to Neighbor, Meals on Wheels, day care centers, mobile health care providers, and the many local social services and counseling agencies, many of us who otherwise would require the more expensive alternatives are OK in the “55-pluses”, or even in the community at large. Nonprofit Be Well At Home now even provides at-home dwellers all the comprehensive services and guidance that come with institutional living, at moderate fees.

Home health care agencies fill in with when-needed credentialed, etted aides, guidance, and logistical support. If family members and friends/beloveds can help, it’s even better, and they sometimes qualify for government and foundation caregiver grants. If they don’t help, or when they should get caregiver respite time off, you can engage personal responders, personal friends / neighbors or agency professionals, equip them with your “Mayday and Doomsday File”, preparing them to help when urgencies happen.

Despite all of that, a welcome amenity of institutional living is in-house, or at least expedited, primary health care. CCU/OLLI guest presenter Harry Willoughby tells us that we can arrange that at home, too, via providers such as Home Based Primary Care.

Further, our area now also has credentialed professional direct-engagement personal health care case managers, such as Reagan Callaghan, also a CCU/OLLI guest-presenter, skilled and experienced in strategizing and implementing our health care. And, there’s the V.A. Clinic for qualified veterans, at Market Commons.

At home living legalities and financial arrangements? We learn from OLLI Guest presenters attorney Dundee Carter and financial planner Kevin Kaylor, and from instructor financial/estate planner Taber Brown, that they can be reasonably simple, unintimidating, and inexpensive to arrange and to document.

About our column: Bouquets of warm feeling and gratitude to Jay Rodriguez, The Sun News features editor, for his mentoring and support, and to you for your interest and feedback (”’attaboys”, and otherwise). No longer will it be “More next time, and let’s hear from you”. But it needn’t be “Farewell” either -- Let’s continue to dialogue via e-mail; I’ll welcome that and hope that you will, too.

See you in OLLI’s wonderland, anyway, where together we’ll continue to enjoy exploring elder living and estate affairs, OK?

Contact Gary Newman at Your ideas and comments are always welcome.