Have you ever asked yourself, “Who’s going to take care of me when I’m old?” This is a rather modern question. For thousands of years, multiple generations have lived together making the answer to the question a foregone conclusion. In the last century, however, much of that has changed.
With so many people living solo and grown children moving away, the question of who will take care of us when we are sick, managing an injury, recovering from surgery—and even in our advanced years—needs to be asked again.
Joy Loverde is an expert on this topic. She wrote the classic book, “The Complete Eldercare Planner” (updated & revised 2009), and it continues to be #1 in its category. Loverde has now pivoted her expertise in caregiving to a new message of self-responsibility. Her new book, “Who’s Going to Take Care of Me When I’m Old?” is now available.
“No one is thinking about this question of who is going to take care of me,” said Loverde. “I decided to put in writing what people don’t know how to articulate. I am going to give people the question, and the answer. My skill is seeing the future.”
So who does Loverde say will take care of us? It turns out it's “people you may not know yet, and who will surprise you.” You can meet new people in your neighborhood, at a book club, at the gym or while grocery shopping—so make it a priority to develop networks of contacts beyond your children or grandchildren. Tending to the relationships in our lives is not just about the fun of socializing (although it is fun)—it's about cultivating support for when we inevitably need it.
“Relationships are a moving target,” says Loverde. “The question of who is going to take care of me when I’m old will constantly compel us to continuously ask what’s next, what’s next, what’s next—because relationships come and go. 'Who’s Next' can be exiting! What you do today may not be there tomorrow. We have to keep ahead of the question, rather than being a victim of being alone.”
“Bottom line, we have to look to the people around us as invaluable. We can’t just rely on products and services.”