I began to think about aging alone after caring for my parents. My mother struggled with heart problems, while my father lived with Alzheimer’s disease. Watching their decline was heartbreaking. It was close to one year after dad’s passing when the question hit me: “Who will care for me?”
Twenty years ago, former first lady Rosalynn Carter gave a speech in which she said, “There are only four kinds of people in this world: Those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.” She was right: We all give and receive care at varying times in our lives. We all occasionally need to lean on a loved one. And we all need to recognize that we can’t serve others unless we first care for ourselves.