A U.S. Census Bureau report on marriage found that of the 62,140 couples who were married in 2009, 83 percent had been married for at least five years and 55 percent had been married for at least 15 years. Interestingly, the Census report said that only six percent of married couples had passed their golden wedding anniversary of 50 years.
Maybe I'm Amazed
Congratulations! You are a member of a very exclusive club. You're very special and this is something of which you should be proud. You've survived World War II, the Vietnam War, the Baby Boom, the Beatles, Elvis, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Lib Movement, the Me Generation, Generation X, Watergate, 911, Reaganomics, child rearing, and career changes in sickness and in health, and best of all, you've survived each other so Happy Anniversary too you..
Stand By Me
Today normal is new, strange, and difficult. You may be feeling isolated because your adult children and grandkids live far away; childhood friends are gone, and you may not be able to move about or come and go as freely as you once did. But through thick and then, you've stuck it out together. Thank goodness you've still got each other, and and thank goodness there are options and opportunities to make your new normal feel like more like home.
Many of the answers and resources you seek are as close as your laptop. Your own community has government-run and private agencies that receive state and federal funding to provide services to senior citizens. Need a ride to the doctor's office? There's an app for that in the form of senior citizen transportation services. They'll even take you grocery shopping.
Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand
It's great that you've got each other but don't shut yourselves away from the world. Surf the web or call your local senior center to find out what services and activities are available in your area for people your age. Launch into the fray of social media and reconnect with old friends and even make new ones. And don't write off your children just because they're far away. Skype chat or phone chat--let them know you need to stay connected and make arrangements for them to visit you periodically.
There's No Place Like Home
You may also have concerns about how you will care for each other if either of you is experiencing health problems. Although you may have medical insurance, it can still be a struggle to pay your portion of health care expenses, especially if you are relying on a part-time job, Social Security, or retirement savings.
Another option to explore is the way the two of you can receive care at home where you feel safe and where everything is familiar. Home health aides can assist with your personal care, such as bathing, grooming, and helping you put on your clothes. They also wash dishes, cook, pick up groceries, and perform light housekeeping duties like sweeping, dusting, and doing laundry.
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
Home health care staffers include licensed experienced nurses who monitor your vital signs, make sure you are taking your medications and following your doctor's orders.They also coordinate appointments with physical therapy, speech and language pathology services and social workers, if needed.
Most private and public health care insurances, including Medicare, will pay for home health care. These companies also take private payment from their clients. If maintaining a home is too much for you, then consider an assisted living residence where in-home health care is among the services the facility provides.
It's a fact that aging brings about surprises, changes, milestones, and decisions that you've never had to face before. But no matter what comes your way, know that after five decades of wedded bliss, there is no obstacle, change, or challenge too difficult for you and your spouse to face together. Happy Anniversary!
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell writes this article just weeks before moving back home to be near her beloved aunt and uncle who've celebrate 55 years together. She hopes that this article will be an encouragement to special couples like this who love being together and who value the opportunity to get the care at home that they've savored all these years.