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Dear Santa, Here Are the Gifts That Older Women Really Want

By Carol Marak December 13, 2023 Family

In the spirit of the holidays, I call out to individuals 55 and over to share your wish list with Santa. Not the kind of Christmas wishes and dreams we typically hope to receive from relatives and friends.

These are the gifts that city officials, tech innovators, health care professionals, housing developers, appliance manufacturers and others could design for us, the folks growing older.

Here’s a request, Santa, it’s one that several friends and I have in common: Can we please do away with the double price for singles? Living alone bears enough financial hardship on individuals, so why do we also have to stomach a heftier price for memberships, too?

It happens with gyms, local art museums and even in group memberships like AARP. The price to join for an individual is higher than what people in shared households pay.

So, please wave your magic holiday dust, dear Santa, and fix the ‘single gouge’. Since we have terms for biases such as sexism, ageism and racism, we can call this particular bias, ‘singleism.’ Maybe singles can start a revolution. Will you help us, Santa?

Now that’s off my chest, here are ‘dear Santa’ requests from others living alone across the globe who, like me, are growing older.

More Public Transport

Dear Santa, I’m well over 60, and I want more public transit and ways to get around. My doctor tells me that I cannot drive to certain medical tests, and that I need to find someone to bring me and take me home.

While I would enjoy a driver, the restriction puts me and thousands of others in a predicament since we live alone and have no one to count on for a ride. So, Santa, can you please help us follow the doctor’s orders and find a reasonable solution?

Companion Services

Dear Santa, how about a service that vets people/drivers who offer a companion service for senior citizens? The driver companion would sit in the medical office while the patient receives the treatment.

Sure, there are home care agencies and private duty nurses, but sometimes the services charge too much. Maybe you could create an app like Nextdoor – one that includes vetting, background checks and references.

And add a banking feature that tallies the hours of the time given/donated. The more hours you give, the more hours you get when you need help.

Here’s how it could work: I give Mary a ride to the doctor’s office, and I wait. Once Mary’s home, she banks my hours. The time loads into my account. When I need help, I draw on it, and either Mary or another neighbor helps me. It’s like a shared time economy.

Technology Tutors

Dear Santa, I’m a nurse. Quite often, when trained on new software, the trainer is usually 30 years younger and doesn’t get that people my age have trouble viewing computer screens. We need at least 3 things:

  • Training modules integrated into the software, including audio versions for those who learn better via hearing the instructions. Additionally, we need to follow along using a physical workbook.
  • Industry-wide standards for medical records software, including terminology, plus a firm future date by which all working software must meet the standard.
  • Career tracks and training for computer specialists who will be working with medical software, so they have a clue what docs and nurses are doing with patients. Please, Santa, pass this on to medical software geeks.

Professional Jobs After 50

Dear Santa, we need access to professional jobs in our fields of specialty, where we are not subject to the same performance review as younger people seeking a promotion and an executive position.

The conversation needs to change from “older workers are unqualified and lacking in skills” to “older workers have excellent skills, experience and a work ethic.”

Other countries have age 55+ professional employment policies. The U.S. has nothing except people laid off at the age of 50. Please help us, Santa. There are so many needs that older individuals have.

Read more at 60 CREATIVE WAYS TO MAKE MONEY IN RETIREMENT.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What is the one challenge you face and hope that Santa grants? Do you have any suggestions how this challenge can be fixed? Please join the conversation!

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Penny St John

I live in an area of New Zealand where there is an organised volunteer programme for driving people to medical appointments. The person being driven pays a small cost for petrol which is expensive in NZ. It’s a great service.

Lin

I love the ideas presented in this article. The neighborhood assistance plan is the best. It is crazy for doctors to require me to have someone wait for me during a procedure and drive me home when I feel perfectly fine after something like a colonoscopy. But neighbors helping neighbors would be a good idea.

Laurie

I loved this article! I agree, as newly widowed, travel is very pricy due to costs of single in all double rooms. I also love the medical records standards request! The ideas of a neighborhood assist program, to drive people to appointments and earn points for down the road is a great idea!

Vicki Hoff

As far as help with technology. Check with your local library. I have worked in a library system for 27 years now. I know that our system offers one on one help with technology.

Cat Lyddon

Dear Santa-Sometimes those of us who live alone in older age need pets to make our lives bearable, but then there is the tragedy of older animals left behind. We need businesses that will care for our pets and see them through to their lives end. Like SS for pets or a Retirment home for pets. Otherwise, when my current fur passes, I will have to live without companionship so that I do not doom loved animals to a sad end in a cage.
The ones I have now were in fact left suddenly by their 90-year-old mum. I only took them because they had 2-4 more hours before they were delivered to a city pound. Cats in city pounds are usually disposed of within hours of arrival. There is just no room for them, and the pounds must by law only keep what they have room for.
So, if you have family left or children-they are burdened with your pet or friends are. I can’t tell you how many eldercare nurses and companions have taken their patients pets because no one else did.

Last edited 2 months ago by Cat Lyddon

The Author

Carol Marak founded the Elder Orphan Facebook Group and https://www.CarolMarak.com. She’s an experienced family caregiver who focuses her efforts on solo agers. Carol believes the act of giving care puts primary caregivers at risk of aging alone. Follow Carol on https://www.facebook.com/Carebuzz/ and enjoy her Live events on smart aging topics.

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