Don’t Assume You’re Old – How to Reduce Long Term Care Expense, by Brenda Evers

•© GLOW IMAGES omodels are used for illustrative purposes

• © GLOW IMAGES
o models are used for illustrative purposes

Some people are up in arms at the possibility they may be held responsible for the expense of relatives’ long term care.  In Pennsylvania, a couple found this out when presented with a bill for $500,000 from a nursing home for care for an aging relative!  A “filial responsibility law” in that state allows for this.  And that state isn’t alone.  Maryland, where I live, along with more than 20 others, has similar laws.

As alarming as this scenario is and as much as it might incense our sense of fairness, the fact remains that the costs of long-term institutional or home care are high and, if that care is used, the costs have to be borne by someone. Right?

Numerous studies indicate we are facing a veritable tsunami of challenges, especially the rise of health care demands and health care costs, stemming from our aging populations.  Yet, running alongside these predictions is a quiet revolution urging us to re-think aging and, in that act, create a different future.

Data is beginning to show that how a person views aging has a big impact on their experience.  We can, it seems, do much to avert the age = decline scenario if we choose to see aging through a lense of freshness, youth, engagement and purpose.

Although the data is new, the idea is not. Christian healer and health expert    Mary Baker Eddy envisioned this more than 150 years ago, when she said, “Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom.”  Eddy’s words are based on the examples of the long, healthy lives of Bible figures who chose to live close to God.  And, on the teachings of Jesus, who often referred to the possibility of eternal life.  His every word and act pointed to improved life not decline.

And Eddy knew what she was talking about since, in a day when women lived to be on average about 50, she did her most substantial work from the time she was 60-90, including launching a major daily international newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, and founding a church and a publishing house.

She wrote presciently of the dangers of focusing on the body and the aging process, when she also penned: “The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age.”

So, if you’re ready to quit measuring life by solar years, it seems the first step is to expect improvement with age.  It is possible.  It is happening now with more than 70,000 U.S. residents living beyond 100, often in good health. And many more are projected for future decades.

Some of these centenarians have shared what they felt were the secrets to longevity.  These suggestions are interesting, and I especially like those that focus on mental and spiritual goals, including:

  1. Think more about what you can do than what you can’t do.  Appreciate your well earned talents and maturity.
  2. On your birthday, focus less on the number of times the earth has been around the sun since you were born and more on the good you have seen and experienced.
  3. Be humble about your experiences and accomplishments, but don’t overdo it.  Be sure to recognize that your life has blessed others.
  4. Shut down regret, blame, and sadness.  These contribute to decline.  Instead, be glad for the life lessons, and find another person who would enjoy sharing about that.  Friendship is a great way to stay young at heart.
  5. Develop a relationship with God that works for you and, if possible, with a faith community as well.

And as for expensive long term care, it’s in your hands.  Take charge of that concern now by being so engaged in nurturing your spirituality and appreciating yourself and the good around you that you choose to defy the idea that you have to decline!

Brenda Evers, a member of Kate’s blog team, is a writer who loves to learn about and share with readers the connection between spirituality and health. In addition, she is a Christian Science Practitioner in Ellicott City, Maryland.  She and her family spent many wonderful years in Southern California and now are happy to have returned to beautiful Maryland.  Contact brendaevers@gmail.com.

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, Christian Science, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland.  

 

 

 


3 Comments

  1. What a wonderful blog on an important subject. I felt uplifted and inspired just reading it. The five points are excellent, alerting all of us to be aware of how we’re thinking and living. Following these goals would do much to change the whole climate of how age is viewed and experienced.

    Thank you so much for these spiritual insights.

  2. Marsha Maupin

    Hello Brenda, thanks for sharing. Enjoyed your article. Good ideas to share and to hold in our own hearts. I strive every morning to say “I am signless, ageless, Father I am Yours, You are my All, You possess every part of this day.” I heard this at a Christian Science lecture maybe thirty years ago and it has helped me to be joyful when I wake up and expect to see the good God has for me and everyone. My 50th high school reunion is approaching and I feel so young. Love to you and the family…Marsha

  3. I love your idea to expect improvement with age!