Later this month, SEACUS will hold a seminar on end-of-life planning.
It’s a subject no one wants to think about until we absolutely have to — after all, who wants to confront a parent or grandparent’s mortality. And most certainly we don’t want to think about our own.
But, to be cliché, death is a part of life, and we should be prepared for what happens to all of us eventually.
However, as important as this planning is — you can make your own plans and relieve your loved ones of the burden of making life-and-death decisions — we believe it’s even more vital given how the state has changed recently.
As of this year, one in four Arizonans are 65 and older.
Think about that for a second; 25 percent of the state’s residents are “retirement” age.
We put retirement in quotes because, as we know, this economy really doesn’t allow for the average person to opt to retire — we work for that paycheck until we physically can no longer do the job and then try to survive on too little Social Security that Congress wants to take away from us because it’s an “entitlement” despite our paying into the system our entire lives.
But we digress . . .
The Baby Boomers are aging — the youngest turn 58 this year — and Arizona is immensely popular with those aging Boomers who no longer want to (or are physically unable to) deal with cold weather and snow.
So that means a rapidly aging state. And with that comes new challenges — such as whether we have enough hospitals and physicians. In the rural areas of the state, where many from the Midwest love to stay because they get more home for their dollar, the answer is an unequivocal no.
There are other issues that come along with aging Boomers, such as the maladies they face are not the same as seniors from as little as 30 years ago.
The Greatest Generation dealt with issues such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. It was a group unaware of healthy eating and the need for exercise.
The Boomers have been health conscious since the ‘70s. And while they certainly do love their fad diets, it seems most have learned that eating properly and light to moderate exercise is the way to stay “young” longer. Which means different concerns for the medical field, such as sports injuries and joint replacements.
SEACUS’ Thoughtful Life Conversations: Advance Care Planning Workshop is Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 12:45 p.m. at the Clifton Senior Center. Given how rapidly we have to deal with aging, it’s probably a good idea for us all to attend.