As one ages, one’s lifestyle is not static.

Being human means tomorrow will not be quite the same as yesterday. Changes become subtle. One day one looks in the mirror and from out of nowhere a gray hair appears. One starts to feel a little bit uncomfortable from a nagging discomfort in the neck. One’s vim and vigor turn into a sigh of relief when stress and strain are mitigated. All these are the signs of maturing as one enters into seniorhood.

There is no specific date that one can point to where one finally admits one is a senior.  We often say when one turns 62, we can officially declare ourselves “over the hill.”  

“The years teach much which the days never knew.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we were growing up, there were many unforeseen circumstances that changed life’s footsteps. It seemed as each year passed, the faster the changes became. Now our attention is directed to planning how to live the last 10 or 15 years we have left. The thought of immortality long passed and replaced by the thought of our demise nags us more. The millions we were going to make, for some of us, have faded away. 

But still there is much to plan for. If your will has not been made, get it done. It’s the same with a living will. Personally, if it looks like I won’t recover from brain damage, don’t put me on life support. One can get these documents off the Internet for nothing and go to the bank and have it notarized. Speaking of banks, another simple and easy way to help avoid probate is to name someone as a transfer-on-death (TOD) beneficiary or a payable-on-death (POD) checking account. 

My mother would be a good example of planning for the inevitable. It was somewhere in her early 70s when she realized it’s time to make those final arrangements. One never knows if at the end of the day there will be a tomorrow. But, there is a lot more to do other than just one’s preparing for the last hurrah.  

Everyone has had or will have a higher probability of having medical problems during this twilight time of their life. I know of one senior couple where one spouse can no longer care for the other. Has the one spouse made plans for the needs of the other in case that spouse has died?

Here is a good tip that will ease your budget. Barb and I have joined the Memorial Society of Georgia. They have arranged with other funeral directors where the cost for a funeral or cremation is discounted.   

As we seniors grow older, ill health becomes our main concerns. Seniors face it all, from mild aches and pains to the most devastating illnesses.

Here, I have added a list of the most common illness that befalls us seniors of which I have already had the displeasure of experiencing seven: Alzheimer's, dementia, memory loss, mild cognitive impairment, incontinence, emotional distress, cancer (47 percent chance by age 74 of having some form of cancer), heart disease, arthritis (half of all people age 65 and older are troubled by this disease), vision and eye diseases (all seniors have some form of eye problems), diabetes, sleep disorders, depression (one-third of widows/widowers meet criteria for depression in the first month after the death of their spouse, and half of these individuals remain clinically depressed after one year), hearing loss, osteoporosis and lung disease.

Knowing what to expect and when to seek professional care can help one safeguard these concerns.

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