Erik Erickson defined the stage of life in which elders find ourselves as Old Age and the conflict to be resolved at this stage was between integrity and despair. An integral part of the stage, in Erik’s views, is making a “life review” as a way of finding acceptance of one’s life in its completeness – to accept the good with the bad.
In this post, rather than a life review, I wish to present a live preview, posing questions that remain unanswered about what is to come. I offer these questions in order that those who are not yet elders will understand what their loved ones are questioning and contemplating.
- When will I die? In other words, how many years, months, or days remain?
- Between this day and the day that I die, will my memory be intact? What of my faculties will I lose?
- How long will I be able to think clearly and manage my affairs?
- Will I be able to communicate with my loved ones? How? Through voice, signing, writing?
- Will I be able to care for myself?
- How long will I be able to remain independent?
- If I fall, how long will I have the strength to get up on my own, especially if I am alone?
- Will I be strong enough to walk and to get myself to places that I need to be?
- If I drive, how much longer will I be able?
- Who will care for me if I need someone at home for a short time?
- If I have to move to residential care, will I have a say in where I am placed?
- Will I have enough money to sustain myself until the end?
If you are an elder, I offer this live preview in hopes that you will be able to use the questions, along with questions you generate to do some prior planning. If you have elders in the family, perhaps you will want to assist your loved ones in thinking about questions and making plans.
Q is for questions.
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This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z (2016) Challenge. Click here. to see all of the blogs in the A to Z Challenge
4 thoughts on “Q is for Questions”
Such an important post. Thank you, Joy! I lived these questions everyday with my own parents, until my elderly father passed away after a long illness. My mother is now ninety and she & I still regularly discuss these questions. So important not just for the elderly but at all ages. Another question to address is the living will and the extent of medical intervention at end of life. Living is what we do. Life is how we do it.
That’s heavy. For someone turning 50 this year, these are buried in the back of my mind. As I’m beginning to notice my body strength and recovery time increasing already, they’re a good reminder of what’s to come. You always inspire great reflection and introspection within me, Joy. Thank you.
Very interesting post and thought provoking questions. Thank you for sharing.
These are all very important questions.
Thank you for sharing this.