“I do it myself!”
Those are words you’ve been saying practically since you were able to speak. You can get your own drink, button your shirt, pull on your britches, walk yourself downtown, drive yourself around, and figure out life. You’re independent, but in the new book “Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?” by Joy Loverde, you might want to re-rethink the future.
As the author of three books meant for “old people,” Joy Loverde knows a few things about being That Age. One of the first, biggest truths is that “one in three baby boomers” is “separated, divorced, widowed, or never married” – in other words, alone. What happens, then, when solo living isn’t an option anymore?
You can prepare for that near-inevitability, says Loverde, but you have to “promise” to be “completely honest with yourself about the fact that you are getting older.” Stop spouting cutesy things and remember that “Sixty is not the new thirty.”
Think about where you are now, and imagine what life will realistically be like a decade hence. Know your sociability: do you like people? Can family be counted on to help? Are you “frozen in fear”? (Hint on the latter: you’ve been through changes before, you know).
Remember that money is key to surviving old age. You’ll need to be financially savvy, and that includes knowing absolutely everything about your household situation. Talk with your spouse and take notes. Hire a lawyer or advisor to help; it’s imperative that you’re protected, smart, and you know where you stand.
Think about the obstacles you’ll encounter, should you need to relinquish independence. Make a detailed list of your life: online presences, passwords, bank accounts, and the location of personal papers. Know what you face if you fall ill. Consider finding an “age-friendly community” in which to grow old, and remember: “family” isn’t necessarily biological. It doesn’t even have to be human.
There’s a lot of help inside “Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?” And there’s a lot of fluffy-work.
Initially, you’ll want to know that this book doesn’t stay exactly true to its title. Author Joy Loverde encourages readers to do a lot of prep-work, including a good amount of self-examination, well before getting to the information for which this book was likely sought. Impatient readers should be forgiven for chafing.
Once you’re past that, the tasks get hard-boiled and there’s a lot to think about. Loverde asks you to consider the thorniest questions about leaving home or staying, asking for help or stoicism, severe illness, death, and facing the truth about any other new situation you’ll encounter. There’s where the worksheets are extremely helpful; so are the websites and checklists.
Another thing: this book has a nice, wide audience. Loverde touches upon concerns for LGBT and straight readers , as well as for families and those who are super-early-bird planners. And that, overall, makes “Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?” a great resource because you can’t always do it yourself.