From PRIME, a special edition of City & Shore Magazine
By John Dolen
The title of the book bespeaks its informality: Oh My God, I’m Getting Older and So Is My Mom. And that’s not the half of it.
Written by Scott Greenberg, a West Palm Beach radio-show host, this is his account of retiring at 58, only to find himself confronted with a host of issues he wasn’t prepared for – including an aging mother-in-law.
There is a breezy touch of conversational humor, no doubt due to Greenberg’s time as a radio host. The chapter dealing with seniors driving past their prime, for example, is titled, “80 in the Left Lane Going 20.”
Greenberg combines that approach with real-life anecdotes and tips gleaned from his second career, in health care. He is currently president of ComForcare: Senior Care Services in Palm Beach Gardens. His advice also covers his own issues such as how to find good “ologists,” covering the gamut from urologists to dermatologists.
For those confronting the diminishing driving skills of an aging parent, Greenberg suggests a cautious approach. Don’t make the mistake of saying, “OK, Dad, give me the keys.” Most elderly people value their independence. A more subtle approach is advised, such as taking the parent to the pharmacist to have medications appraised for their effect on driving.
Long-term care is another area Getting Older addresses. Greenberg tells the story of Louise, who had bathing, bladder and hearing issues. She needed to move somewhere and be under the care of professionals.
When Greenberg visited Louise, things started off casually enough, and Louise said, “I’m fine.”
“You are not fine,” Greenberg said, “and this has to be the last time you ever say that.”
Louise, naturally, was alarmed and puzzled.
Greenberg explained, “If you’re ‘fine,’ your long-term healthcare insurance provider won’t pay for you to get the help you need.”