Outsourcing is all the rage; but mostly has been defined as sending out work to reduce costs. If you are old you should outsource. The reason is to cut costs, but not just in monetary terms, but also in terms of health and wellbeing. You can’t afford to fall; fail to file taxes; or, miss important deadlines.
You have already outsourced. You didn’t do the surgery to implant your pacemaker, you outsourced the job to a surgeon. When you were younger you could do more things for yourself. It was no problem to climb up on the roof on an old ladder and lean over to get the leaves out of the gutter; but, at 73, NO! You can’t afford a fall. It will cost a lot and may be the beginning of the end.
What should you outsource? It depends on the individual, but you should consider the following:
- Anything that involves climbing or balancing.
- Financial care including preparation of your taxes.
- Medical care
- Memory related
Who should you outsource to:
- A spouse, unless s/he is near your age and condition.
- A child – hopefully you have a good relationship
- An accountant
- An attorney
- A close friend whom you trust
- A bank
- A handi-person
- Someone referred by a friend, neighbor or family member.
- Angie’s list
At what point do you outsource? Sooner rather than later.
What if you don’t outsource?
- It may cost you a lot more.
- It may affect your health.
- It will cause you anxiety.
- It may be the last thing you don’t do.
The biggest problem is that you think that you are still competent. You haven’t taken a long hard look in the mirror lately. And, you can be stubborn and obnoxious. The result is that you think you can do something that you can’t.
Think about it.
We need a “SENIOR INDEX” indexing people over 65. There is a consumer price index for seniors and a S&P 500 stock index. Why not a single number published daily that would show how old people are doing?
How to index old people? An age index, so every morning I could track the number of people over 65. (This might be scary.) A death index charting those over 65 dying? An obesity index for fat elders? Certainly a senior financial index charting net-worth, savings, income, and expenses of seniors. I would like to know each morning how seniors were doing. It would be the first thing I read in the paper. It could appear on CNN right after the stock market indexes.
The index should be simple; limited to factors affecting people over 65; and have a base year. I like 2005 which was the year I turned 65. A search engine coud track the variables daily, apply a senior algorithm and come up with a number. I would know how I was doing adjust my life accordingly and call my doctor/funeral director, if necessary; much as I do today when I see the S & P 500 index going up or down.
Tongue-in-cheek components of the SENIOR INDEX:
- Net worth
- Number with dementia
- Number with driver’s licenses
- Number of drugs taken
- Number of grandchildren
- Life expectancy
- Marital status
- Size of house
The components could be weighted depending on their importance to old people. I am looking for a number like the stock market indexes. I want something new to obsess over. It would have exaggerated importance; and, would probably be meaningless. Someone would figure out a way to commercialize it; and then sell us something based on the change in the index.
A snapshot of people over 65 would provide guidance when those under 65 decided what to do about us. If the index went up/down laws could be passed raising/lowering social security, medicare and Medicaid. The possibilities are limitless.
I can’t wait for the SENIOR INDEX! What about you?
In the March 2013 Fast Company Magazine there is an article Swedish Modern Comes to Town, by Greg Lindsay.
The article describes Ikea’s LandProp division which is applying the Ikea philosophy to housing. There is no mention of old people, nor are there any homes in the US yet, but given the Ikea name, the size of the house, and the price, The Geezer would buy one if one became available in Tucson or Albuquerque. Lindsey gives the price of a BoKlok house in the UK as $112,500.
The homes are prefab, available in three configurations, called “The BoKlok” and are under 800 square feet. They don’t appear to have a configuration for seniors, but The Geezer thinks one could be configured for him, especially if built in geezer-friendly, multi-generational communities with few cars, public transportation, and geezer-perks.
Keep The Geezer in mind.
OODA Loop: observe, orient, decide, act.
On Sunday, Thomas Friedman,* in the New York Times, described the airforce training principle for use in arial dogfights. Dogfight? Why does the Geezer immediately think of old age and fellow seniors?
Observe where you are, who you are and what your situation is. A mirror helps. List. Don’t judge at this point; just observe reality, not hopes or fears. Where are you in real time?
Orient yourself using a “senior compass.” Focus on health, economics, family, resources, life expectancy , dementia probabliity, insurance, and any factors unique to you; all the while looking in the mirror. Locate where you are in relation to these factors.
Decide what you are going to do: downsize, move, sell, get a roommate, hospice, long-term care facility. Your decision is based on your observations and orientation; not on what someone else does. The decision should be taken in consultation with your “WingMan.” Test your decision by asking: What happens if I do nothing? Where do I end up?
Act on your decision. You can make adjustments along the way, but you will have a plan thought out; hopefully prior to senility.
Now you are ready for battle; and, old age is a battle. Your goal is to increase the odds of a pleasant and reasonable old age. It will not be perfect, but will be better than “winging it.” Your “OODA Loop needs to be better than the OODA Loop of old age.
You need a wingman!