Who’s Got Your Back?

The phrase “I have your back” is a common expression used to indicate that someone is looking out for you and will support you. The origin of this phrase is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have military roots. During World War II, fighter pilots would watch each other’s backs during combat missions. The general public later adopted this phrase, and has since become a popular way of expressing loyalty and support.

Independent and Assisted Senior Living Near Kansas City and Topeka

So, who has your back? As we get older, we need a team of backup people. Think of it in this context: if you have a fall at home, who will be there to help you? If you can no longer drive your car, even temporarily, who is your backup driver? Who will be your advocate if you have a medical condition that takes you to the hospital? If you can’t button your shirt because of arthritic hands, who will do it for you? If you must make a significant financial decision, who is your advisor? This list could go on and on, but the point is that everyone needs backup people in their lives. 

Is your spouse your primary backup person?

Many might name their spouses first, but that is not a given as we age, 42% of women over 75 live alone. Being a solo ager is inevitable for one spouse. In a healthy couple relationship, this should be an open topic of discussion. One spouse or partner will outlive the other, and that is just a fact, and how, as individuals, are we prepared to deal with that? Many reading this article are living alone presently and are the real experts on the issues involved. This is another one of those subjects that no one wants to talk about, but we must. Our expanding life expectancy and the decline of the nuclear family have created a major cultural disaster. 

Healthy senior couple relationships are a beautiful thing

At McCrite Plaza, we’ve had the pleasure of celebrating many 70-year wedding anniversaries. But at some point, it may not be possible for one spouse to care for the other. Both may need other backup people for their individual needs. 

Craig and Susan moved to McCrite Plaza Independent Living together. They had been married for 65 years at that point. Their love and passion for each other was palpable. They had a son and daughter who lived across the country, and they saw them on holidays. When they first arrived to tour, the two of them seemed to operate as one person. Craig had vision problems, and Susan held his hand continually to ensure he didn’t feel lost or confused. Susan had arthritis in her hands and could no longer perform small intricate tasks like opening a jar or buttoning her blouse, which Craig could do easily. They finished each other’s sentences!  They lived their lives like that, just doing what the other couldn’t. But they had reached a point where they needed help with housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation, and staying home was not the right answer. A few years after their move to McCrite, it was a pleasure to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with all their new friends and family present! 

The McCrite family has always made a commitment to couples. They realize that even though couples provide essential support for each other, there comes a time when both need help, and the pressure of caregiving may be detrimental to their health. As couples age, they may need additional backup people in their lives. 

Do you have kids that are available to help you?

Although it is natural to think of children as support people, many aging seniors either don’t have children or they do not live nearby. In addition, kids may not be appropriate candidates to help in emergencies. Some family relationships are filled with tension over problems that have existed for years. Many kids are entirely absorbed by their own family and career pressures. So, the help and support of children is beautiful, but it is not a given.

Do you have a network of friends that you can rely on?

So much research is being done today emphasizing the importance of socialization with friends and neighbors. This activity keeps us healthier and gives us security when we know we have friends we can call on in an emergency. Friends can be backup resources for each other. It’s ideal to have multiple friends who have your back!

Peer groups are usually experiencing similar things and can easily relate to aging issues. Although there is a lot of teasing about older people talking about their illnesses and frailties, it is true that many are experiencing things like dental and hearing impairment, joint replacements, and the same chronic health issues. Consequently, there is a vast amount of information and certainly a lot of sympathy among friends. 

Good friends are wonderful backup resources, but again, if you fall at home, they may not be the best resource to help you. However, if you need food provided while you are recovering from an illness, they can be the best!

Part of planning for a healthy future is knowing who the backup people are in your life!

As you think about your future, having the help and support you need is essential. In times past, when people lived in close proximity to their families, having support was a natural process. Often, generations shared the same home, and care was all under the same roof. That is a rare thing today. 

If you’re fortunate to have children who live close by, you have a lot of support available. Even though the kids have families of their own, it can be a big help to reach out when you need them. Families can help make decisions with finances, medical assistance, transportation, etc. Of course, most seniors are cautious about being too needy and asking too much from their kids. 

McCrite Plaza always has your back!

Even if you are a couple and have family and friends to support you, there may come a time when another choice is best. For sure, this is a reality for solo agers. Think of all the backup people who are in place at McCrite Plaza. 

  • First and probably most rewarding is an array of peers and new friends. Social life makes for a rich life.
  • 24 x 7 medical response team is on duty. If you fall in the middle of the night, help is right on the premise. You can enjoy safety and security. 
  •  You have an activity department at your disposal. Whether you enjoy arts and crafts or outings to local arts and entertainment, it’s at your disposal. Transportation is always available. 
  • Delicious meals are ready daily. You can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared by a chef. You can eat in the dining room with friends or in your own apartment. 
  • If you need assistance with your activities of daily living, like dressing, bathing, and medication management, it is accessible at any time, even if it is temporary support. 
  • When you want housekeeping and home maintenance taken care of, a department of great people does that for you. 
  • If you need a counselor for a personal concern, there are professionals to guide you. 
  • And at McCrite Plaza, there is a unique opportunity to become a member of the family. The McCrite family members are there to share their love and compassion daily. 

Whether you are alone or with your spouse or family, having a community of backup people is a beautiful, safe, and secure way to live your best years. Planning for that is a very wise thing to do!

Bonnie was a frequent visitor at McCrite Plaza. She came to many social gatherings and educational events. Every time she talked to staff, she explained that her son lived with her and felt she needed to stay in her home to be with him. He technically was supposed to be caring for her, but she seemed to take care of him by doing all the cooking, housekeeping, and laundry. It was also apparent that she loved socializing with her peers at McCrite Plaza. Over time, she did need more support and felt it was time to leave her home to her only son and move to the community. McCrite offered her so much more, and her son could always come to visit for a relaxing and carefree time together. Her son still had her back, but the whole McCrite community was there, too. 

Knowing that someone has your back is so comforting. You feel loved and cared for. If you are alone or do not have the support you need, community living is a beautiful option. Come for a visit at McCrite Plaza and see what it’s like to have a backup team!

Call us in Briarcliff-Kansas City at (816) 888-7930 or (785) 267-2960 in Topeka, or complete the contact form below to schedule a tour, have lunch, and see everything available for seniors!

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