WILMINGTON, NC, June 26, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — In this long list of worries and concerns about aging, one topic always tops the list – money. For many seniors, the long-awaited time to sit back and enjoy our newfound freedom comes with a growing sense of concern over our limited resources. Having a place to live without burdening others is of paramount importance to many. Frances Fuller, award-winning author of Helping Yourself Grow Old, addressed this question in a recent post on her website entitled Can I Afford The Assisted Care I Need? In this piece she wrote in part:
“The question of cost is fundamental when we start looking for a place to spend our waning years. Our resources are limited and we don’t know how long they will last. While attending a certain very beautiful church, I met a lively, well-dressed woman conversing with a friend in the common room. She told me she was 98 years old and had lived there for nineteen years. Honestly, if I had heard that when I was seventy-five, I would have found it scary. (The costs of getting older can be scary.)
“Furthermore, even if our funds are unlimited, we have principles about how we are willing to spend money. We have families, younger generations behind us. And we live with a tender conscience in a needy world.
“All I can tell you about this riddle is what to look for when trying to make a wise decision.
“First, be aware that there are many senior communities that are owned and managed as businesses. Profit is their goal. You can offer a lot of what we want; they have to if they want to get our business. And we can have good reasons to choose one of them. A business that provides elder care is fair and reasonable, as is a restaurant or an airline.
“At the same time, we should be aware of how they make their money. Finally, they take it out of our wallets. Do you pay your employees a fair salary? If not, you will surely see them struggling to retain staff. Can they keep their promises to the residents? Ask people who live there. And are there large areas of life without well-known price tags? I’ve become suspicious of large sums of money paying for everything: groceries, cleaning, electricity, internet, entertainment, all provided although I don’t know what it really costs.
“As residents, we may have to live with this for a while before we realize that if we’re just dining out with friends or family, we’re still paying for dinner that we didn’t eat at the retirement home. We would like to buy something we like very much from a shop and eat it in our room, but we consider this an extravagance because we have already paid for dinner in the dining room. Finally we realize that we don’t know what we are paying for meals.
“At the same time, we should be aware that there are non-profit communities. Sometimes these are institutions that started out as homes for certain groups of people, perhaps a Christian denomination that favors their own retired clergy. They might even be subsidized by the denomination. Their day-to-day activities will likely reflect the sponsors’ culture and values, and their monthly fees will be lower.
“Even within this type of system there are different financial models. Some charge money upfront, giving the impression that they are very expensive. My experience says calculate for years. The upfront payments can come back to you in the form of small monthly expenses. . .”
The full piece is available on her website at http://www.francesfullerauthor.com.
Frances Fuller’s book is unique among the many books on aging because it is personal, while most of these books are written from an academic perspective. Most are from sociologists, doctors, gerontologists, even the CEO of AARP, and one from a Catholic nun, Joan Chittister. Chittister’s book The Gift of Years is beautifully written and focuses on spiritual values and finding meaning in life. Chittister admits in the foreword that she was only 70, which is the leading edge of aging, and her book is somewhat abstract.
Atul Gawande’s book On Being Mortal relates to medicine and aging and enjoys high Amazon rankings in the Sociology of Aging category. It contains a lot of valuable scientific information and shows an understanding of the physical and emotional needs of older people.
Frances Fuller’s book, Helping Yourself Grow Old, Things I Said To Myself When I Was Almost Ninety, is an up close and personal encounter with aging. It’s a candid and up-close look at her own daily experiences: struggling with physical limitations, grief, loneliness, fears and the choices she made to deal with them and become a better person. Faced with regret and the need to forgive herself and others, she is determined to live in a way that will bless her children and grandchildren.
Frances addresses many common, universal, but sometimes private issues in an open, conversational tone. Their confessions and decisions invite self-exploration and discussion. She is trying to understand her own past and her responsibility to younger generations. She shares her everyday life, enriched with memories of her fascinating experiences. Her stories and her voice – fresh, honest, irresistible – make you want more. The end result is a book that helps create a detailed map through the challenging terrain of the ages.
The result of this intimate narrative is that readers laugh, cry, and identify with their mistakes and problems. Reviewers have called the book “unique,” “honest,” “funny,” “poignant,” “challenging,” and “life-changing.”
For these reasons, it is a book like no other book on aging you will ever read. The book can serve as a basis for what lies ahead for all of us from someone working through many of these issues. While the book is perfect for book clubs, there are many other individuals and groups who could benefit from the information and ideas in the book:
Those who are close to retirement
Individuals who are currently retired
children of aging parents
Those who have lost a spouse
Senior Citizens Discussion Groups
Church groups (men and women)
and a bunch of others. For group discussions, Fuller has made a set of discussion questions available on her website at http://www.FrancesFullerAuthor.com.
Readers have showered the new book with praise. One Amazon review said, “I’m like, ‘I need to re-read that and take notes!’ It is full of wisdom, humor and grace. I also intend to re-read it every year – it’s so important!” Another said: “There is valuable life experience in this book. Helping Yourself Grow Aging is truly an all-ages book not to be missed.” Another said, “Beautifully written book telling timeless truths for both the old and the young. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to laugh, cry and learn wisdom from someone who has lived so much.”
Frances’ previous work, In Borrowed Houses, won three industry awards and has achieved best-seller status. Frances Fuller was the grand prize winner at the 2015 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading Book Awards. It received the bronze medal for memoir at the 2014 Illumination Book Awards was produced by residents of the region. In 2015, “In Borrowed Houses” received two awards: Best Nonfiction and Best Cover.
Critics have also praised “In Borrowed Houses”. A judge at the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards entitled “In Borrowed Houses”. . a well written book full of compassion. . . a captivating story. . . “. Another reviewer described the book as “Wise, honest, insightful, funny, heartbreaking . . .”. Colin Chapman, Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, said: “. . . Western and Middle Eastern Christians need to read this story…with remarkable insight and genuine hope.”
Frances shared stories about her life in an interview with Women Over 70, and a recording is available on her Facebook page.
Frances Fuller is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. The full text of her latest article is available on her website. Fuller’s book is available from Amazon and other booksellers. A free e-book sample of In Borrowed Houses is available at http://www.payhip.com/francesfuller. Frances Fuller also blogs on other Middle East-related topics on her website at http://www.inborrowedhouseslebanon.com.
About Frances Fuller:
Frances Fuller spent thirty years in the violent Middle East, twenty-four of those years as director of a Christian publishing program with offices in Lebanon. While directing the development of spiritual books in Arabic, she survived long years of civil war and invasions.
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