Woody Allen once said, “You can live to 100, if you give up all things that make you want to live to 100.”
I don’t subscribe to the point of view that you need to give up things to live longer.
I find that those who are “living young,” seniors who are outgoing, engaged in family activities, travel, relationships, and careers, are the ones who we all tend to see as “being young.”
However, I do agree that the prospect of an ever-increasing lifespan (how long you live), without a corresponding increase in the healthspan (how long you live well), does present a number of difficulties which can affect us on a personal level, but just as dramatically, on your (or your family’s) wallet.
On a personal level, as we age, the risk of Age-Related Diseases (ARDs) increases.
ARDs cause an enormous drain on independence, our enjoyment of life, our ability to work and our very ability to function in society.
Hearing difficulty, loss of vision, changes in muscle mass, and depressed immune systems add to complications in personal health and social interaction as we age.
Urologic conditions can cause discomfort and upset our ability, and that of our partner, to get a good night’s sleep.
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death, and high blood pressure (hypertension), is the most common condition adults suffer.
Our immune systems get compromised, leading to a risk of infection.
Inflammation, caused in part by senescent (or aging) cells, can lead to a decrease in joint functionality and bone strength, contributing to an increased incidence of frailty and falling.
Cost of Aging
On the economic front, the news concerning the financial costs of aging is not much better.
The majority of medical expenses occur in the final years of our lives. From the medications, hospitalizations and the care we receive, families need to know and discuss what could be coming when we become seniors.
According to the federal government, the national average costs for long-term care in the United States (in 2016):
- $225 a day or $6,844 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home
- $253 a day or $7,698 per month for a private room in a nursing home
- $119 a day or $3,628 per month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
- $20.50 an hour for a health aide
- $20 an hour for homemaker services
- $68 per day for services in an adult day health care center
The cost of long-term care depends on the type and duration of where you live, the care you require, and the provider you use.
There are several factors that can affect the costs of long-term care such as:
- Extra charges for services provided beyond the most basic room, food and housekeeping charges at facilities, although some have “all-inclusive” fees. Either way, you pay
- The time of day. Home care services, when you can get them, are generally higher priced in the evening, on weekends, and on holidays. And it always seems like those times are when issues happen
- Community programs have variable rates such as adult day service. They may be provided at a daily rate but can cost more based on extra events and activities
So the personal and financial costs are tough to bear, on you and your family.
Planning A Defense For Aging
What can be done about it? A few suggestions:
1. Plan in advance, before you start losing your health. Health issues start to spiral, and it is difficult to make decisions on where and how we want to live when we are ill.
2. Know the financial impact of assisted living or home care in your area.
3. Make every effort to improve your health. We know that staying healthy is infinitely better on your body and wallet, than treating a disease. Exercise, limit stress, eat a healthy diet.
4. Take Calcium-AKG. What’s that? Studies in mammals, conducted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and the University of Singapore, have shown that Calcium Alpha-Ketoglutarate, works four different ways on modulating known aging pathways.
The results of the tests showed an improved lifespan (how long we live) and, more importantly, an increased healthspan (the healthy years in life).
AKG is safe, well-researched and has been shown to play a critical role in Ammonia detoxification, preserving the DNA structure and integrity, blocking or jamming “inflammaging” signals from your cells, and regulating/conserving cellular energy.
5. Learn the services (and limitations) that your insurance company or government can provide, before you need them
6. Talk openly with your family and doctor, about the options that work best for you. Again, don’t wait until the last minute
Aging brings about many challenges that we and our families inevitably must face.
We increase our risk of age-related diseases, we lose our ability to remain independent, and the impact on our family budgets cannot be ignored.
Fortunately, if we plan ahead, and are aware there are steps we can take at this moment to stay healthy, the personal and financial impacts of getting older, maybe minimized.