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A Growing Old Story

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 We have another post from our blog contributor, Jack Matthews, from HomePorts Village program in Chestertown, Maryland. His reflections on using technology give me hope and inspiration. Also the importance of family nearby.  The capacity to keep a positive attitude and be realistic about planning for a future when additional support might be needed, shows us how to be responsible for lifelong planning, and mindful of the importance. So remain open to learn new things and interact happily with younger generations!


This story is being typed on a Bluetooth keyboard on a tv table, but the print is on an iPad on our dining room table nearby. It will be printed on a wireless printer at the other end of the table. This is what makes growing old exciting to me, in my 90th year.

   I enjoy every day, look forward to every tomorrow. I have eliminated TV and the home phone, but I do have a Jitterbug cell phone, an iPad, and a laptop. The latter two provide unlimited news, information and communication. When I get older I may get a smart phone so our great granddaughter can show me how to use it. Then I think I will be unstoppable … if I can just get started.

   My life is not complete because in early January,’14 my wife moved to an Assisted Living Home in Rock Hall, 12 miles away. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago, our two children and I finally realized I could not continue providing the day and night care she required. She knows us, converses, but has no short-term memory, so it’s limited. She is content, eats well, sleeps well, and has excellent care. I plan to join her when I can’t take care of myself.

   We visit her as often as possible, but I gave up driving a year ago, when my arthritic knees, hips and back were telling me they could not handle an instant emergency, such as a deer, dog, or child, so my rollator and I have to be taxied. Other-wise, I live by myself, eat a careful, healthy diet, get some exercise every day, and sleep well.

   I could not do this without a great family: our daughter lives 8 blocks away, shops for me. Our son is Director of Athletics at Washington College, 4 blocks away, visits me at least once a week, and both take me to see their mother when their schedule permits. Most Sunday mornings finds them on our porch, to catch up on our comings and goings from the week, with me. We stay in touch by texting, email or phone.

   Aging forces us to evaluate our minds, bodies and energies. If we accept this and plan accordingly, this stage of life can be rewarding. There is still time to dream, to learn, to see, and to do. Each of us is a story, and whatever stage we are in, we should act as if we are the person we want to be. We create our feelings by the thoughts we select.

   There are times when I would like to still be driving a vehicle, but I feel fortunate to be living in Kent County where we have an organization that is established to provide services to assist us, 55 and older, to live in our homes as long as possible. HomePorts is a non-profit membership structure that has volunteers for some services, and provides referrals to reliable providers for numerous additional services.

   This “village” concept is growing rapidly in Maryland and the U.S., and promises to provide assistance to members who wish to age in their community.

   I have called for advice or assistance a number of times and was pleased with the response each time. This also means I have a great resource without calling on our adult children.

   For additional information, www.homeports.org or 443.480.0940.

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