I've spent a lot of time pondering this question. My father has reached a point in his life where I'm deciding on putting him into an assisted living facility. Right now, he has expensive home care which is slowly (if not inexorably) marching his lifetime of savings toward a zero balance (but he gets to live in his home). Assisted living will essentially cost the same thing, but will hopefully solve some issues he brought up to me regarding loneliness and boredom. My father planned well financially, he did all the right things, but the cost of home care for aged folks is staggering, and there is no insurance that pays for it except Medicaid. And Medicaid kicks in only after you're down to your last $2,000.00 of everything that you own.

I think this future that waits for most Americans is disheartening. A few are oblivious to it. They either don't want to know, or they don't want to think about it. But our healthcare industry and long-term care for people in their 80's and beyond is functionally broken and terrible. Add to this the complexity of filling out things like taxes for old folks who no longer understand how to gather together documents, and it becomes even worse. Our society is relentless, with monthly recurring bills, annual taxes that need to be filed and paid, insurance documents that need to be kept track of, accounts that need to be checked, and the list goes on and on. When I visited my father last week, he had a stack of envelopes on his desk in his office. He shrugged and told me he was overwhelmed by it all. So I spent hours going through them, paying bills, setting up autopay, etc. These are things that the care provider we hired wouldn't touch. She just wants to provide care, not get entangled in understanding paperwork or finances.

This is a new development with my father who seemed fine in just November of 2018. However, things can change rapidly for older folks. I guess I don't understand (and am a little frustrated) by how complicated our society is. I do hundreds of things every single day to keep track of just myself. I check credit cards to make sure there are no erroneous charges, I check my bank account, I check four different email addresses for correspondence, I open letters that get sent to my mailing address, I watch to see if subscriptions change their pricing and start to charge more, I clip coupons for groceries, and the list goes on and on.

Folks, you may not be aware of it, but our society is so complicated that it takes a fully functional brain of more than average intelligence to be on top of all this. But the thing is, not everyone is born with all the same tools as everyone else. And age robs us of abilities to do things that we previously took for granted. My big question about this is why? Why isn't life easier? Wouldn't it make logical sense to make a society that the lowest common denominator could easily negotiate?

It's a legitimate question with seemingly no available answer. It's no wonder that our population is plagued with anxiety. Who wouldn't be when the society at large is filled with relentless trauma and never-ending work? I wonder what the breaking point will be, or if there even is one.

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