A notice of increase in my husband’s long term care insurance premium has prompted lots of discussion between us the past few weeks. Should we keep it or let it lapse? What will it cover? Under what circumstances could we access the payout of benefits? To our surprise, but apparently a widespread LTC practice, he’d have to be pretty seriously debilitated, requiring skilled nursing, before we could file a claim. LTC policies won’t provide much assistance for us in the “tween” stage of life’s second act: that period when you are too old to safely or effectively do what you’ve always done for yourself, but are still not sick enough to need heavy-duty professional care.
After fleshing out our research by consulting our insurance agent, eldercare attorney, various websites, and friends we decided to keep the policy for the financial cushion it may provide, even though it doesn’t give us quite the late life peace of mind we thought we were securing when we initiated it seven years ago.
I have a fairly well-documented ability to look on the bright side of things, but this gaze into the not-that-distant future gave me just enough pause to feel the keen edge of the pivot point we’re balanced on. Is it down or uphill from here? That’s what I was wondering when Mike shared the quote below from this morning’s e-mail; it really resonated and I felt cranky.
Here it is… the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise…How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.
But, here it is. My friends are retired and getting grey…they move slower and I see an older person now when they come to my door. Some are in better and some in worse shape than me, but I see the great change. Like me, their age is beginning to show. What the heck? We are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be.
It’s not that I mind getting older—I’m grateful for each day—I’m just not happy about being old. In the wake of this wake up call, I’ve redoubled my resolve to my daily fitness routine. I promise never to let two days lapse without logging into my online brain training account with Lumosity. And I’ve incorporated into my meditation positive visions of myself moving through whatever challenges the upcoming years may throw our way “with patience, good humor, and bouyant resilience.” A Good start I think.
Then the universe dropped in to bolster my resolve. I discovered Beautiful Minds: Finding Your Lifelong Potential, a partnership between the National Center for Creative Aging (“dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging”) and life’sDHA™ (A product of DSM Nutritional Products, purporting to be a sustainable and vegetarian source of algal DHA omega-3 important for brain, heart and eye health throughout life.) The goal of their national health education campaign is “to empower Americans to develop and maintain healthy, beautiful minds by incorporating lifestyle factors known as the four dimensions of brain health — diet and nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being. And so the website presents us with stories of people across the country who embody the four dimensions of brain health and are accomplishing amazing things well into the second half of their lives.
If your knees are more achy than they used to be and your brain seems more fuzzy, and you’re sometimes doubting yourself and what’s left of your life. Take a look at the video by clicking on the logo below, put a smile on your face, and take the next step on your own journey toward a terrific tomorrow.