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20240125 Shopkeeper and Senior Care

Running a business is so much more than having product and customers. A small business owner has many responsibilities other than just simply presenting his store. We have seen, in recent years, things like COVID or inflation or China’s market collapse or war in Ukraine or anything- can have an affect upon that small business. These things are on a global scale; but, there are also things on a personal level. Explorers’ Emporium’s shopkeeper and family are currently (for 10 years) in a struggle with caring for his mother-in-law and his mother.

When it comes to family, these struggles are on the personal level. There are often no work arounds. The impact is on the emotional level, the financial level, and often leads to complete exhaustion. The shopkeeper is 60 years old (that is old). His mother-in-law and mother are in their 80’s (that is really old). If a parent spends one or two days in the hospital that can have heavy impacts on the business, the shopkeeper and his family. Now, imagine when it turns to 20 days or even months. And, not just the shopkeeper faces these issues. His family. His friends. So many other people, all struggling with their own family crisis.

The shopkeeper’s father was a prudent planner. He did make sure he paid extra into Social Security so that when retirement came, there would be a little extra money to help with life, food, medicine and such. The counter affect is that- after he passed and his wife needed extra care- she was making a couple hundred dollars too much to receive any government assistance. So, she gets a blood clot in the brain that causes two strokes. Medicare covers that. Then, the inability to care for one’s self, get food, eat food, can’t walk, can’t shower, can’t speak, can’t, can’t, can’t falls upon the family.

24/7 care or else. Husband and wife both work. Does one of them quit working- risking their entire family, their house, their existence? Nurse homes or group homes cost $3000 to $12,000 a month (yah… a month). Because the father was a prudent planner and his wife receives a couple hundred dollars over the requirements in Social Security, she cannot get Medicaid to help with those costs. What is $200 compared to $3000-$12000?

Now, let’s add this twist. Two months ago (before everything happens) The shopkeeper and his wife, thinking ahead, say, “OK, we sell our business’s building and get to a property where we can own it outright- downsize- move to less populated area- search for passive income methods. Eliminate the mortgage, maybe we will have enough?” But, the mother has her blood clot and strokes before they are able to sell and buy a new location. This is not the hard part. The mother survives, the hospital is eager to transfer her to a rehabilitation facility. Once this happens, you now have 20 days to solve all the problems listed above; the insurance (Medicare) will no longer cover anything after this point. Medicaid is unavailable. We now have 16 days left….

What we have learned. First, everything above are just obstacles. Don’t look at the whole problem. Take one thing at a time. Is the mom OK? What does she need that the Rehabilitation Facility cannot provide? She will not know what is happening. She is afraid. She is often alone. She cannot take care of herself. She is 100% dependent upon you. She is 100% dependent upon the nursing service. Are they under staffed? Do they understand her conditions? Is she getting her medicines, food, water, blankets, etc…

What about you? You are emotionally compromised. You are overwhelmed. You know NOTHING about the medical industry, government or any services- not to mention- everyone around you loves their acronyms. As an educator, I always maintained an understanding that you teach to the people in front of you. In other words, do not talk like a college professor to kindergarteners. People in medical services do not always know this. Remind them. Ask questions. Ask them to explain in a different way. It is critical that you understand everything going on. It is critical they understand you. When it becomes too much. Breathe. Step away. Pause. Contemplate. Focus on what is in front of you. Do one thing. Then, one more thing. Then, one more thing. And, so on… Take care of yourself! You have to. In the end, if you go down- everything goes down. So, take moments to calm. Read. Learn. Breathe. Stretch. Exercise. It helps.

Obviously, at this moment, we do not know if we have a solution to all this. Still learning. Still taking action. 16 days left. Our time is running out. Your right way is not their right way. Obstacles. One thing at a time. One thing at a time.

My wife and I know we are aging too. How do I avoid putting my family through the same mess? “Assisted Living Insurance” is probably a good start. It could have really helped us now. But, do have a plan. Start considering, now, what you can do to help yourself and your family in your senior years.

Thank you for letting me BLOG about this. I did not realize I had so much to say. I do apologize for all the closed days at this store. We hope we can make it up to you, after this is over. 🙂 Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your understanding.

As an addendum to the above- my mother had been in the Nursing Rehab since 1-22-2024. We were told we had 20 days to resolve housing for her by the office management. It took the case worker 4 days to call me back after several messages. She just called. She has informed me that it is not 20 days to get housing resolved. It is 14 days- even though I signed documents that say otherwise. We have 10 days to find housing. Remember to breathe. One thing at a time. One thing at a time.

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