As a financial planner, I love helping my clients figure out what they want their lives to look like, then coming up with the options to get them there. I’m all about planning! I like to think I understand the limits of planning and that I accept that life is unpredictable and can’t ultimately be controlled. Some weeks that is easier than others.
Life at 97
Thank goodness for minor league baseball (10 days away) and Big Band music! Those, paired with love of family and good food, keep my 97 year old dad, Les Agnello, going. He’s at a stage of life where he lives in the moment with little recall of the recent past and difficulty imagining the future (other than the aforementioned start of baseball season). Frankly, I’m envious!
I can’t help but see that Dad is more frail with each passing month. He continues to be able to climb the 16 steps to the main floor of our house to have dinner with us each evening, but with increasing difficulty. As his strength wanes, so does my confidence. I no longer bring him to the house when Ron is away. I’m not sure that, by myself, I can keep him safe enough on those stairs. What will our lives look like when Dad can no longer climb the stairs and be part of our everyday home life?
Safety is an illusion
In the past six weeks, Dad has twice had falls, each time with the first fall followed by a second a day later. He uses a walker, has an attentive physician, his meds have been checked, he gets physical therapy, lives in an assisted living, but I have nightmares about not being able to keep him safe. Because, as much as I love him, I can’t. The only safety from physical harm would come with confinement…and that would wring every last bit of joy from Dad’s life. So we continue, taking one day at a time, moving into an unknown and unknowable future, doing the best we can today.
I still believe it’s better to have a plan, though life’s not very subtle reminders that the future is uncertain are coming through loud and clear! If you want help planning care for your loved one, give me a call at (336) 701-2612.