Now and then some of us mention how much we learn from one another at Time Goes By.
On the lightest level, without your suggestions, there might not be an Interesting Stuff list on Saturdays. I also wouldn't know that so many others share with me the changes that come with growing old – the good and the not-so-good. And you have no idea how many blog posts are suggested by your comments - if not always directly, by piquing my curiosity due to something you said.
Also, let me call out two 90-year-olds I've known through this blog for at least ten years. Millie Garfield and Darlene Costner, 16 years older than I am, remind me regularly – each in her own way and with great kindness – that I'm still a youngster at this ageing game and have a lot to learn about becoming one of the old-old, as they are.
Readers often tell me they learn so much here but they rarely mention specifics. During the past week, several commented about what specifically they had learned here and I'm going to quote three of them today.
Not uncommonly, I forget a lot of things I've written in the past. Patty-in-New-York reminded me about an important one.
”Can I tell you how I found your blog?” she asked. “I was house-hunting (not really, just as a pastime) online and came across a post you'd written about things elders should consider when purchasing a home or moving.
“Primary among them was to consider a one-storey house or at least to get a bedroom on the ground floor, because if you didn't have that, sooner or later you might find yourself sleeping in the dining room as illness or age overtook you. (I paraphrase, but that was the gist.).
“This resonated with me deeply as that exact circumstance happened with my Dad. Anyway, I've been reading ever since.”
That was a big consideration when I was shopping for a new home here in Oregon in 2010. I skipped over a couple of attractive places due to stairs and all old people should take this into consideration if they relocate.
Because they don't get much comment response, I sometimes hesitate to post what I think of as nut-and-bolts stories – hard information and facts about health, Social Security or Medicare, new services for elders – that kind of thing.
Last week, reader Scotti let me know they can make a real difference.
”I found myself this last weekend in the unfortunate position of having my Medicare Part D plan refusing to cover a medicine. I was unhappily thinking about paying cash because I had run out of my medicine and was beginning to feel sick.
“Calling all the pharmacies in town I found only one that actually had the medicine I needed on hand. But it would cost me $150 to pay cash (my copay would have been $40). Then I remembered your article and looked up my Rx on GoodRx.
“They provided me a coupon to allow me to get the medicine for $70. Still a lot - but I was relieved to be able to get my medicine and start feeling better.
“It may be several weeks for my MD and the insurance company to work out their negotiations - but I can get through that since I have a month's Rx for now.”
When I write about ageism – fairly frequently because I believe it is a major impediment to all elders' well being – I know a good-sized contingent of readers will dismiss it as unimportant - “names can't hurt me,” etc.
That doesn't dissuade me from continuing to bang the ageism drum and here is reader Elle Hayes telling us that reading Time Goes By
"...has made me more aware of ageism. Funny how I accepted ageist comments prior to your postings opening my eyes - and also funny how friends and family reacted, at first, when I tried to tactfully explain the similarity between ageist remarks, weight related comments, racial and religious bigotry.
“Now my grandkids are much more aware of what's acceptable to the mature citizens of our community and what is not. I also like that I speak out now; when someone calls me 'young lady,' 'oldster,' 'Honey,' 'sweetie' and other patronizing names, I say, 'Just call me by my name, Elle, and leave it at that.'”
And every time she does that, she makes a difference. More people, like her grandchildren for example, will come to respect old people and give them the same dignity they give younger people.
Aren't those three stories terrific? Let's see how many more we can share.
Today, tell us in the comments what you have learned about navigating this last era of our lives. It can be something I've posted or what someone passed on in the comments or just as likely, something turned up elsewhere in your life you would like the rest of us to know.
After all, among all of us TGB denizens we have hundreds of thousands of years of experience and knowledge.