Vida R. Mobley
HCS 310/Health Care Delivery in the U.S.
“Everyone wants to get older, but no one wants to be old” so the saying goes. Many people approaching retirement age look forward to having more time and fewer responsibilities. Yet, they are afraid of becoming aimless and useless. They also fear isolation, unhappiness and diminishing health. What then, is the secret of a happy life? Good friends and a loving family help to bring happiness to young and old alike. However, what others contribute to an elderly person’s life is not all that counts. A long-term study of 423 elderly couples indicated, “making a contribution to the lives of other people may help to extend our own lives.” This study explains, “these findings suggest that it isn’t what we get from relationships that make contact with others so beneficial,” it is what we give. Such giving may include helping others with housework, running errands, providing transportation, or listening to someone who needs to talk. The recipe for a long and happy life does not consist of a big bank account or anti-aging therapies, and diets, rather, it consists of staying active and giving of one’s time, energy and strength to enrich the lives of others. It is inevitable that many of us will need some type of long-term care at some time in our life. This care may range from a service as simple as sharing meals with others at a senior center to an expensive service such as a lengthy stay at a nursing home. Long-term care refers to the physical, medical, social and financial support often needed later in life. The prospect of long-term care can be frightening because of the dramatic changes that can occur when a person faces an illness and advanced age: financial loss and dependence on others to take care of our basic needs. Problems arise when we find ourselves in need of this assistance and are unprepared and...