Navigating the Complexity of Insurance and Drugs for Seniors

Navigating medical insurance and prescription drugs is becoming a nightmare for seniors on limited incomes. I’m 78 years young now and the idea of working is daunting. Businesses don’t look at seniors as capable as those under 50. I could maybe get a job as a greeter for Walmart, but I’m sure there are many other seniors like me who are waiting in line for any opening like this. Many don’t have the income necessary to survive.

As a diabetic, I should be eating a much healthier diet. But with the rising costs of groceries, I’ve been stocking up on canned goods, beans, rice, and other staples that have long shelf life. I don’t have the means to shop every week picking out fresh produce and meats. Honestly, I rarely eat meat. I have cut back on portions and don’t eat foods fried in oils. I do my best to eat a fairly balanced diet at least once a day. I do oatmeal for breakfast and leftovers for lunch.

Now after my big rant against the high cost of necessary medications by big pharmas in an earlier post, I’m caving in. With the increasing AFIB situations I’m experiencing, the idea of having a stroke is worrisome. I know the aspirin regimen does help with thinning my blood, but according to the information I’ve been reading, the medication my cardiologist has prescribed, Eliquis, will also help to prevent blood clots and strokes by a significant percentage over aspirin. I’ve worked out a way to afford the medication for 2022. Not that it isn’t a significant cost factor, but I’m cutting back in other areas, including reducing my insurance for 2022.

I’m also thinking I can cut back on the med by substituting aspirin on some days. If this doesn’t work, then I will talk to my doctor about switching to a less expensive drug, like Warfarin.

I spent the morning researching doctors, pharmacies, and drugs accepted by my insurance for 2022. For those businesses who don’t think seniors have a brain, believe me it is necessary to navigate the medical information!

There are other people, including seniors, who are in much worse situations financially than I am. I live a comfortable life, so I’m not complaining. Instead, I am praying for those less fortunate than me as well as myself. I still have hope that God is working to turn things around! Lifting my cup of tea with a smile and a thankful heart.

God’s Calling to Volunteer

Attending our church’s newly launched Sweet Life dinner for seniors enlightened how much I miss working in a church environment. I spent nearly 4 years working as church office manager where I had the opportunity to pray with people who called or dropped in needing help. I enjoyed helping in all capacities, especially in interactions with people.

When I retired, I fell into a comfortable routine of being a senior accepting a quiet life of rest. The lockdowns from the pandemic helped to cement the “finality” of retirement. Don’t get me wrong, I believe this is necessary. I don’t have the stamina I used to have, but I know I need more than this stationary life.

God has shown me it is time to reach out and volunteer. My life isn’t over until He calls me home. In the meantime, I know I want to be part of spreading love outside the walls of my home.

Lifting my cup of tea and thanking God for gently opening my eyes to the opportunities awaiting in the future.

God Warms the Cold with Love

A very cold morning to send off my daughter to her new home in NC. The temps dipped to 28 degrees here overnight and I woke to a white lawn! Now though it is still cold, the sun is shining on a pretty green lawn. I’m looking forward to settling in for the winter and getting anxious to smell turkey baking and to set up my Christmas tree.

This evening our church is hosting the first Sweet Life event for seniors. I’m looking forward to having dinner together with close friends and meeting new ones! It’s been a little busy here for the past five days, so an evening to relax and feel close to God is just what I need.

As I look back over the events of last week, I smile. So many blessings! Sometimes I get so overwhelmed, tears of thankfulness leak onto my cheeks. Lifting my cup of tea with a grateful heart filled with love. May your day be beautiful!

Beware The Retirement Box

I chatted with my soon to be grandson at our family get together on Sunday. I’ve been thinking how most of the time I sit and watch the family sharing memories and talking about their lives. We laugh and it is all so enjoyable. But this time I was talking one on one and being treated like I’m a person with things to share that aren’t about past family memories. He asked me what I did before I retired. This led to him sharing what he does now and what he had done leading up to his current position. We talked about his family. We had common interests. It was the best conversation I’d had in a very long time. Most people don’t know how to talk to the older generation. It’s more about how are you doing? Are you all right? Or worse, what’s happening in your life?

As a senior living alone, my life is very quiet. I no longer create spreadsheets, databases, and reports. I don’t answer the phone or offer answers to business related questions. I don’t interact with many people. I have a routine. I keep busy with hobbies. I take care of my cat and house. Not many people are interested to hear about the pages I colored or the diamond paintings and puzzles I completed. There is no longer a conversational bond between me and my children. My life is foreign to them. It’s like they see me in a retirement box, which is beyond their understanding. And I’ve succumbed to living there.

After the conversation on Sunday, I felt the excitement of pulling a report together by creating queries and automating data manipulation. I had a good career for a long time. However, it was a career only those who work in the field of numbers would understand. Retirement to most young people sounds wonderful. They can’t imagine having a life that isn’t run by the clock. I was young once and I looked forward to being retired. Now I’m here.

Am I disappointed? Not really. I don’t have the patience or stamina to be productive in a work environment for eight hours. As with most things, the mind is willing, but the body is aging faster. What I miss is conversation that isn’t about health, the state of the world, or food. Perhaps the lack of more meaningful conversation contributes to seniors becoming grumpy old people.

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you all a day of exciting and pleasant conversation. You are worthwhile.