The Big Age-Related Problems we Worry About

Listen to the Audio: The Big Age-Related Problems we Worry About

Hear this discussion from our Longevity Explorers — circles of older adults who meet monthly to explore solutions to the challenges that come with aging.

This discussion is in our Research Archives. All members can read the discussion summary (below). To listen to the discussion audio recording you need a Researcher Membership with Archive Access, or a Longevity Explorer membership.


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from: Longevity Explorers | SF Village

Research Archives: Requires Archive Access.

Discussion Summary

SF Village explorers take on the task of listing challenging topics facing elders in later life.

The List

Here is the list we came up with. Listen to the recorded discussion below to put the items into context.

  • Death (Assisted Suicide)
  • Becoming incompetent
  • Decluttering
  • Outliving our money
  • Caregiving help: finding, paying, trusting. And post hospitalization especially.
  • Elder abuse
  • Legal paperwork: wills, trusts etc
  • Medicaid financial planning
  • When, where, if, how to move (eg assisted care)
  • Expectations of our children & family
  • Disaster preparation
  • Isolation
  • Substance abuse
  • Falling
  • Law changes (eg Medicare rules on hospital observation vs admissions)
  • Driving (when to give it up)
  • Financial transitions during death
  • Legacy: what is it? Ethical wills.

Here are some additional notes from the discussion:

Heading the list are money, death (planning a good death, even with terminal illness vs. suicide), talking to family about 'what to do when I'm not here anymore'. With the topic of money comes the matter of how to make the money last until the end and strategies to conserve capital. Outliving one's money is a dreaded thought for most.

The subject of downsizing later in life leads to the idea of de-cluttering and distribution of possessions now rather than later. Becoming incompetent either mentally or physically - or both - is high on the list. 

Caregiving resources - both finding and paying for them, and trust in caregivers leads to the thought of elder abuse (financial as well as physical). That led naturally to the topic of financial planning, and the legal paperwork pertaining to wills and trusts which must be prepared, and are not, in many cases. Some members are concerned about paying for long term care, and realize that in order for the state to subsidize their care they must spend down their assets to poverty levels. Others cite the change in Medicare regulations that incentivize hospitals to hold patients in 'observation beds', skirting the Medicare requirement for a three overnight stay to cover subsequent Skilled Nursing care costs.

One member points to isolation as a problem of many elderly, and the frequent companion of isolation - substance abuse. Others mention the fear of falling and the injuries resulting from falls. 

Legacy, ethical wills, having to move, family dynamics, and disaster recovery round out the list of scary topics that face older adults later in life.


Listen to a discussion of this topic

from the San Francisco Village circle discussion June 7th, 2016.


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Key words: 
Big topics to be faced in Later Life, End-of-Life Planning