It's been over ten years since fulfilling the family caregiver role and happy to report, I feel much more confident about aging alone.
It's not because I've adapted well to the circumstances of being without help from family, but instead, it's because the plan I've put in place has made me feel more certain that I'll be okay.
Of course, that could turn on a dime. And that's why I must pay attention to unexpected circumstances.
And if some event should occur, hopefully using the future thinking will help me mitigate the effects and then adjust to it.
In today's Live event on my Facebook page, @Carebuzz, I presented an edited version of my aging plan. And in it, I focused on transportation, one of the challenges we have in older age -- to find mobility when we are not able to drive.
Ten years ago, just on the other side of caregiving, after watching my parents decline, I got a strong urge to "think" about my future. That's the time I began the assessment phase.
I learned through watching my relatives decline that I better stay in good health, save money, stay fit, and eat good, nutritious foods. And to focus on independence.
That was the year I decided that living an urban lifestyle was for me. It took seven years to accomplish that dream but here I am. (The photos above show me 'walking' errands, the foods I eat (mostly) and where I live.)
Living in a walkable area for the past two years, I'm considering selling my car and totally being car independent. At first, I was apprehensive and uncertain but after working my future thinking strategy and seeing that I can really do this, well, I'm coming very close to taking the final leap.
You may wonder, "why on earth would she do that?" The reason makes perfect sense, really. Think about it. The car:
To me, that's a waste of an asset, not to mention the costs of maintenance and car insurance. Instead, why not make better use of the resources? Sell the car and invest the money.
Believe me, this is a well thought out decision -- no rock was left unturned.
First, I created a priority list of my transportation needs and the destinations frequented. Then, I developed a map, outlining the area where I live and the distance of my home from merchants, restaurants, grocery markets, etc. It helps to visually study the area and distances to comprehend whether walking could accomplish most of my daily needs and activities. (However, after doing this for 2 years, I feel confident about the decision.) See below:
I used other thought processes in the decision to sell my car and shared more of them in my Live. You can watch the video to get a better idea what I did.
The takeaway. I want to you to know that planning for the future really can be done. It takes time, effort, patience, and a commitment from you to make it happen. And a few mistakes along the way... Once you work through the processes, aging won't be so scary, uncertain, and full of doubt.
And that, I am certain about.
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