Bernard Otis is an eighty-five-year-old Detroit native who attended Cass Tech High School and University of Michigan. His book, How to Prepare for Old Age, encapsulates his years of experience in life and his years as a trained care giver. The two-fold purpose of this publication is to give a tribute to his wife and partner, Anna, who lost the battle to cancer and to help others better prepare for their own inevitabilities.
Mr. Otis attests to the full-time efforts and the mental and physical strain of care giving. At the same time, he provides thirty-three senior moments (words of wisdom) which include: Treat everyone as an equal; Talk to your children. They will appreciate it later on; Practice good health so you can remain active and creative; Time flies. Be sure to make every moment count; Don’t ever give up. Choose life; and Meditation and mindfulness can make life’s journey more satisfying. Like ice cream toppled with fudge, poured on each of these chapters is a little ‘old-age humor’ that will warm your heart and make you roll in the aisles.
Mr. Otis relates close personal examples as well as conversations with other seniors. For example, he tells of his constant leg pain which no medicine will relieve and his relentless refusal to let the pain stop him from accomplishing his goals and living a happy life. He also reminiscences of the conversations he had with his father: “Son, always remember that our main role in life is to help others create happy paths.”
How to Prepare for Old Age gives clear advise for visiting the sick and elderly. Why have a clear purpose to your visit, where to sit during your visit, what to talk about, what not to say when greeting mourners at funerals and in their homes are discussed. In addition, this book contains a glossary and some definitions of health terms such as ten various types of care-giving facilities and the differences among them. Several checklists are provided on 1) Home and personal issues 2) Insurance and care giving and 3) Finances.
I highly recommend How to Prepare for Old Age for anyone fifty years of age or older and anyone who is giving care to a loved one.
My favorite quote: “Live a rich and fulfilling life, and live out your years happy and healthy as you possibly can.” – Bernard Otis
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