The problem: Cars have gotten infinitely safer with each passing decade and yet, more than 35,000 people die each year on American roads. Since most cars don’t crash themselves, the problem is not the vehicle, but the person behind the wheel. Driving a car is one of the most complex things a human can do. To do it effectively requires unwavering attention and the ability to make split second, sound decisions. Those decisions require eyes, ears, brain, hands and feet working in concert and at their optimum.
Did you know 25% of Baby Boomers have no children? Based on the most recent census count, that translates to nearly 19 million Americans. Additionally, 33% of Americans aged 45-62 are single.
For these two groups of people, proactive planning for aging is even more important than for those with children and spouses or partners. Not knowing who will help with decision-making, care, or other important age-related concerns often leads to no planning at all. This situation effects so many more people than we might think.
As the seniors in your life age, it is especially important for family members or legal representatives to keep a close eye on their finances.
The slow progression of dementia can manifest early on with poor judgment surrounding financial matters including allowing insurance policies to lapse, or forgetting to manage certain investments correctly. It can also become apparent in more obvious ways such as not paying bills on time or overpaying, or difficulty with simple math, and struggling to pay at a check-out counter. Older adults are also vulnerable to financial abuse and scams and should be reminded of red-flags.
It was fantastic news when vaccines to protect against Covid-19 were developed in record time. Being highly-effective made the announcements even more welcoming. We are all in debt to the scientists and researchers who worked tirelessly to find the solutions. Creating the vaccines should have been the hard part.
The global pandemic has affected us all, in ways both big and small. Among all the disruptions, no group has been more impacted than our seniors. Due to their increased vulnerability to the disease and the much higher mortality rates amongst older individuals, our elderly have become even more isolated in this strange time.
In my work with seniors and their families, I come across quite a few older folks who are still driving. And while many of these drivers are still competent behind the wheel, too many show warning signs of decreased ability.
For those of you 85 years and older—congratulations on reaching what we professionals call, “ the oldest old.” Some folks in this category are doing remarkably well and are living full, interesting lives. Others unfortunately are struggling cognitively or physically with challenges.