I am a baby boomer. Reflecting on my past, present and future needs, I learned that a lifestyle can change without notice (and at any age). This article is a lesson in adjusting to lifestyle change.
Challenges from the Past: At 22 years of age, I found myself in a role I never imagined. I became a caregiver after just six months of marriage. My husband suddenly became paralyzed and I watched my mother die of cancer. These situations were beyond my control. I chose to move on rather than feel sorry for myself. I created a list of important goals that included taking time out to pamper myself once a week with a massage, movie or lunch with friends. Next, I created a “To-Do” list that was updated weekly. Over the next 36 years there were good and bad decisions.
Living in the Present: Now 58 years of age, I am blessed with grandchildren, a supportive husband, and ability to assist seniors with organizing their homes. Each day I face the possibility of becoming totally blind (diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa which has no cure). Applying my tools for coping with the unknown, it is important for me to create a support team of professionals, products and services. Today I am legally blind but very independent. My doctor insisted that I give up driving. Two accidents convinced me he was right. My husband sold my car. Does anyone want to lose his or her independence? Of course not, but I am an advocate of preparing today for tomorrow and reducing the chaos.
Planning for the Future: This same support team can help with other challenges such as hearing and mobility loss. To be honest, I do not want my family to help with my daily needs. On my “Important” list is need for social connections and to be humble enough to ask for outside help. There are so many great services that assist with transportation, shopping, cleaning and doctor visits. As an organizer clutter is not a worry, and I keep each day simple (one day at a time).