Since Sunday was Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a story about a family I met-the family of a woman who is in the midst of undergoing treatment for a cancerous brain tumor. She has two adult children but is used to handling her own affairs. However, she is currently finding it difficult due to her need for help with walking and caring for herself. Her adult children are concerned and supportive, but they are also adjusting to the new relationship with their mother. She is technically an older adult, but is still in the workforce and is on a medical leave from her job. Her insurance coverage is limited for the extent of the treatment and care needed. She had to move from one facility because her coverage ran out before she was ready to return to independence. She will have more big treatment decisions and will need help from her kids. Her son shared how hard it’s been trying to figure out the best course of action. This family has a difficult road but there is also hope-she stands a good chance to get better. I think her family is a factor.
This was a reminder to me that there are many individuals in the aging community who are not well but who may return to independence after an episode of illness. There is a stereotype among professionals that aging services are the equivalent of arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. This is not the case and some individuals do recover. May is Older Americans Month and Im reminded it’s a good time to notice any sort of ageism we see and be careful not to perpetuate these stereotypes.