“Tarnishment”

There are different stages in life, we all know that. We are born, grow into adulthood, have families of our own, who grow and leave home. We then transition to our parents as they get older, are less able to do things as they used to. We went from the joy of bringing life into the world, to watching it leave. I don’t mean to sound morbid here, but as I am in the midst of helping my 93-year-old mother move into long-term care and apply for Medicaid, this is where my head is.

This process sucks, plain and simple. As we all live longer, there is now a stage after Retirement. Those years after work, spending time traveling, move to Florida and enjoy the sunshine (not my idea of the best retirement plan, but it is to many). But now there is another stage we have dubbed “Tarnishment”. This is when the body/mind deteriorates, and the fun of retirement is gone. Sadly, this pertains to so many people in my life that I care about.

The way things are set up is a double-edged sword. Security is tight, doing things like change direct deposits is complicated. I appreciate that, but then it does make it hard to get it done. Medicaid has a tight timeline, and meeting that can be difficult. We hired an attorney, but there is still so much we have to do. Then there is her home, this time she can’t sort, pack, or pitch as she sees fit. Which she was able to do so many times in her life. These decisions are now mine and making them is so very difficult. All I can say is be warned, educate yourself before you need to. And most important, be involved with your parents in their later years. This process would have been so much harder if we weren’t.