What If I Don't Like Mom's Place?

Most of us have television. It's the way of the world... the way we communicate with each other and the most popular activity for the average senior citizen. I used to think the television thing was an American issue but it's not. One lovely afternoon in Mexico we had to wait diez minutos to buy a scarf because the grandma had been left in charge of the shop and she was watching her soap opera. It's a good thing that we are patient and speak Espa&‌ntilde;ol. Oh, and the soap opera was a dandy. Muy caliente.

Now, back to television at home. Most channels have advertising. This is a given. Advertising drives the economy... not only ours, but others around the world. Currency flows freely over phone lines and computers to buy everything from pillows to potions which will help you poop enough, grow hair, be sexier and destroy wrinkles. These commercials pay for programming. Without them, our view of the world would be smaller. With them, we could be seeing things we don't want to see...

Since I spent most of my life in the business of advertising, I am always on the lookout for clever commercials. The creativity required by these folks is staggering. They are all fighting for the same market. Fritos, Cheetos, Coke, Pepsi, Geico, State Farm Insurance and so many more. All of them are moving forward with new products. If you really want to know where our lives are headed... pay attention to commercials.

Guess who the star of the advertising and marketing business is now? Yup. We are. God bless every aching bone in our bodies. We rule the retail world because there are a lot of us and we need special stuff. If you don't think we're important... watch commercials. Count the number of gray haired folks.

They are speaking to us... and to our lives.

The one which has caught my attention is called A PLACE FOR MOM... it's not the first of its kind but probably wins the well done category for commercials. This message is targeted to many of us and to our parents. My jury is out on this company which wants to partner your parent with a nursing home or retirement living community.

Okay, I'm a Mom and I want to choose my own place. That place would be here with Dad. Yes, I know that these things can't always go the way you want them to but at this point I'd like to think they could.

My mother is 88 years-old. She doesn't need me to tell her where to live. She lives in her own home and will continue to do so until she stops breathing. At least, these are my instructions. As it happens, we have left these same instructions for our children. As a former Hospice volunteer and seasoned human being, I can tell you that these sorts of plans don't always go the way they are supposed to. However, I encourage you to make them anyway.

Why? Because of that gosh darned change thing. None of us can predict what will happen tomorrow... let alone during the next ten years. At our ages, we pretend that we can choose where and how we will die. This just isn't always possible. The elderly human body is fraught with complications and those complications attract physicians and those physicians are attached to hospitals and those hospitals have rules about dying.

In other words, if you have not filled out a Living Will, which is a free document in which you can make your own decisions about health care and your final days on this planet, you should get to writing on one of them. They are available at any health care facility. It's the best money you never spent... unless you don't fill them out and return them to your physician, hospital or health care provider.

Back to A Place For Mom. These are people who will try to find a place for your elderly family member (or you!). They will want financial information, social and lifestyle information, health records and pretty much every other detail which will help them find a suitable home for your elderly relative. This may be good... or not. Either way, I see a future which I am unsure of.

In the old days parents or grandparents lived with their children. Things have changed. Of late, we help take care of them in nursing homes. I can't imagine what will happen to us because I think our kids will call, A Place For Mom. Too bad, Mr. S. :)

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