A Fortune Lost

What becomes a life that ends in poverty and poor health?

I recently discovered there’s an epidemic affecting the elderly. Many unsuspecting, naïve souls work their entire lives to amass a goodly amount of money; a sum that makes them feel comfortable and safe, only to lose it once they become unable to care for themselves.

My observation revealed a vast generation of elders so afraid of losing their health and money, they let fear overcome what had always kept them safe, common sense. Ignoring well-intended advice of friends and family, they continued to hoard their money and shortchange their health.

The paradox has always surprised me: Why would any intelligent person disregard their health for the sake of convenience foods? The elder generation did not grow up in a fast food nation. In fact, many grew up in a world where vegetable gardens and home cooked meals were commonplace.

Why did they stray so far from their roots? Is it because they, like most living in the 21st century were deceived and brainwashed by the lies of the commercial food industry? And the pharmaceutical giants with their pill for every ill mantra?

Why can’t they see their food is making them sick and destroying their bodies? And why on earth would anyone outsource their health? Perhaps they don’t know any better. They haven’t made the connection between nursing care and their depleted bank account. Yet.

What I gathered from these strong-willed, independent people was the attitude, “I don't want to lose my independence.” I understood immediately; they were afraid of not only losing their money, but their autonomy as well.

I want to say to those of you (perhaps you have an elderly friend or relative) who think you can “take it with you,” and “eat whatever you want ‘cause you’re gonna die anyway," that it won’t end well. In fact, it’s generally a very sad ending.

One man I know in particular worked very hard all his life. He had no children, few friends and was very stingy. His years of restaurant food and packaged dinners had finally caught up with him. When he realized he would have to move into a nursing facility, he was crushed. Not only by the loss of leaving the security of his home, but the loss of his money as well.

He now decided he wanted to give some of his money away. With shock and amazement, he discovered it was illegal to give any money away if he were to get future assistance for nursing care. His mind was reeling when he realized his hard earned money would be gone in less than 6 months. After his money was used up, he would spend the rest of his life with a measly $161.00 a month allowance.

Advice to the Elderly:

Keep your Body & Mind in Good Health

Be Generous with your Time and Resources

Stay Connected to Others

Find Passion and Purpose for Living

And most of all, Love Yourself

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