Jan
11

Back On The Market

By

Thanks to the many friends, clients, customers and readers for showing your concern for my apparent absence from posting to the Real Estate Geezer.

As Boomers and DINKs, my wife and I have been fortunate enough to celebrate the holidays this year with my dad 84, my aunt who is 100 and my wife’s mom who is 94 years old.

But some things had changed. In early December 2009 my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and my aunt, although physically “healthy”, began having more difficulty walking, severe memory problems, and because caring for herself had become impossible she needed around-the-clock assistance.

Becoming a caregiver for our loved ones takes a lot of adjustment. Dealing with their doctors, Medicare, working with the pharmacies and the nurses’ aids is daunting and very time consuming. The emotional strain and the role reversal, if you will, as well as the financial aspects of getting old, made my wife and I look into ourselves, face our mortality and wonder what our lives will be like when we reach their age and have similar medical problems.

All this with the backdrop of the health care reform bill now coursing its way through congress. I must say, from what I understand, the bill does nothing to ease the financial and emotional strain of what millions of Boomers will be facing in the very near future. More on this when I actually get to read what the House/Senate reconciliation committees finally agree on — behind closed doors.

Well I’m back now. Back on the real estate market, so to speak. There is an order to things. My aunt’s nurses and Dad’s chemo therapy are scheduled. I give a wake up call to my father every day, bring him his breakfast, the morning newspaper and arrange his medication. And if he feels good that day perhaps we go for a short walk. I pick up my aunt’s mail give her a hug and hope she remembers who I am that day. Then I head to work.

Things make more sense now. Reading the New York Times blog The New Old Age has been very helpful. I feel less alone now. The support of the neighborhood and city infrastructure can be very reassuring. For example, The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, only a half block from our apartment and where I was an after-school and day camp member over 50 years ago, was so helpful in assisting my dad and I in getting him Medicare drug coverage. They continue to offer invaluable help with assisted living ideas for my aunt and perhaps the eventual hospice care for both of them. And on good days, when both dad and aunt get out their apartments, they can visit with their friends at the senior center and have some lunch.

We’re lucky to live within four or five blocks of each other. We love our doormen who are an important part of our extended family. They show genuine concern,  hold the elevator when dad is walking a bit slow,  and even help us get a cab when the wind and snow make it difficult for even the sure footed to get around. They are just really nice! We love New York City because of the convenience, and yes, the small-own feel of the neighborhoods.  We’re thankful for Fresh Direct and the convenience of being steps away from almost anything you may ever need or want.

I’ll file this under Boomers and will continue to update this story from time to time. If any of you are having similar experience, or just need some support or someone to speak with, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be more than happy to help in anyway I can.

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