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A personal update from Ben Bolling
Ben Bolling here. I hope everyone is doing well. Happy Independence Day weekend to all of our readers in the States and happy Monday to all of you.
Dang. This post is hard to write, but I’m just going to jump straight to it.
I’m going to have to delay our regularly scheduled New Futurists content for the month of July. I’m dealing with some elder care challenges that demand my complete attention at the moment.
Because I’ve had to do some fumbling in the dark when it comes to taking care of the aging folks in my life, I want to use this post to collect some resources that have proven IMMENSELY helpful to me. If you have other suggestions for elder care resources, please drop them in the comments below, DM me, or drop me an email and I’ll add them to the list.
I want to shout out my two close collaborators Ezequiel Rubio on Southern Gothic and Luis Valero-Suarez on Into the Omniverse for being incredibly kind and supportive during this challenging personal time for me. They both graciously reminded me that it’s okay to take some time to take care of yourself and the ones you love. We’ll be back in August, ready and raring to go.
Also, a huge thank you to all of our subscribers. Allow me to riff on a little benediction that one of my dear high school English teachers, Joan Short, shared every Friday in her classroom: “As Carson McCullers reminds us in The Member of the Wedding, ‘The world is certainly a sudden place,’ so take care of yourselves, take care of each other, and come back to us safely here because you are very much appreciated here in this place.”
A few eldercare resources, links, and articles I’ve been reading:
You are not in this alone, folks. AARP Friendly Voice is a program with trained, caring volunteers on the other end of a phone line who are ready to chat, listen, or just say hello. Phone: Call 1-888-281-0145 for English or 1-888-497-4108 for Spanish, leave your information and you will get a return call.
The AARP family caregiver guides are excellent.
I had a bad experience with the resource “A Place for Mom” that you may have seen advertised. Long and short: they receive a commission on placing your loved one in some sort of facility (e.g. independent living, assisted living, memory care, etc.). When you’re stressed about how to best care for a loved one, the last thing you need is someone trying to hard sell you on the first, easiest available options. I would highly recommend looking for a local aging specialist. You can find local and community resources here.