Saturday, January 5, 2013
Fearing the inevitable old age
One of the blogs I’ve been reading and enjoying for many years is “The Other Side of Sixty” penned by my friend, the Wise/Wild Web Woman. She is an accomplished writer in many formats, a dedicated and caring mother & grandmother and a loyal daughter of Éire. Her reflective, provocative and entertaining posts have led to some great exchanges between us.
Her most recent post, "Terrorized by Old Age", struck a nerve with me which I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about over the last years.
One of her central points is that those of us who are single and aging seem to spend much more time worrying about what will happen in our potential impoverished retirements than our married/partnered friends do. She says this, “the stress and strain can take an enormous toll on their health and sometimes they don't make it to that magic Canada Pension Plan age.”
Here’s what I said in response on her blog:
I think the worry for so many approaching retirement is how we will manage. Regrettably for people who worked in the arts, the notion of a pension was pure fantasy – it didn’t exist and neither did incomes which permitted much in the way of retirement savings plans. Of course we did it for the love of the art and didn’t give much thought to retirement anyway.
Now, as my retirement gets closer and my health deteriorates, I have real worries about what is ahead. Friends are talking about going into extended care facilities with a cost of $25-2800 per month.
I know I’ll never be able to afford that and look instead at these infamous “special care homes” – privately operated profit centres where patient care from poorly trained, poorly paid staff comes low on the scale to profit. Classic case: one cookie for dessert because two would be too expensive! Truly frightening. One often finds oneself wishing for an early death so as to avoid the pits of old age. I am one.
In the meantime I am grateful for a top-notch healthcare system that is the envy of many people in this world. True, it has its limitations but the care I’ve received over the last three years has been very good. I just don’t want it prolonged because we still haven’t conquered our fear of death. But that’s something for another post.
In the meantime, be well!