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February 16, 2012


Woman discussing retirement optionsBy 7:30 pm I was exhausted. Why? Since I teach only one class on Thursday I could hardly blame it on my students (and it was a good class anyway).

Blame it on the meetings.

Before class I went to a session on planning for retirement. Lots of information about things I've barely thought about before.

Planning, especially financial planning, is something I've avoided most of my life. I've tried to go with the flow, and it's worked pretty well. But now with retirement a very real option I'm starting to get cold feet about where the money will come from when the paychecks stop.

Today's meeting was the first, and on Tuesday we have a meeting scheduled with a different financial planner. Who'd a thunk it?


Guidelines for dealing with dementiaA Web Publishing 2 class filled the gap before my next meeting, an information session for families new to Kemper House, where we recently moved my mom.

The switch from talking about the future (retirement) to the present (class) and then to the past and how it plays out in the lives of people with dementia gave me mental whiplash.

What we learned was tremendously helpful. Just the advice shown here would have saved me and my family a whole lot of frustration and pain. You have to accept things as they are and not try to make them what they used to be.

It's hard. You don't want to believe that the person you knew for so long is in some ways gone. You desperately try to bring them back by pleading or arguing, as if getting them to say the "right" answer will make everything OK.

Of course this fails, and trying makes you and them feel miserable.

No more. Acceptance is my new watchword. Once again, my son Danny's advice comes to mind: "It is what it is."


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