Best-selling author Frances Fuller offers a unique outlook on aging based on her own experience. Her insights are penetrating and deal with issues that many seniors and their families are concerned about.
WILMINGTON, NC, June 26, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — On that long list of worries and concerns about aging, there is one subject that always rises to the top of the list – money. For many seniors, that long-awaited time when we should be able to kick back and enjoy our new-found freedom is colored with a growing sense of worry regarding our limited resources. Having a place to live, without placing a burden on others, is paramount in the minds of many. Frances Fuller, award-winning author of “Helping Yourself Grow Old” addressed that question in a recent post on her website titled, “Can I Afford The Assisted Care I Need?” In that piece she wrote in part:
“The question of cost is basic when we begin to search for a place to spend our declining years. Our resources are limited, and we don’t know how long they need to last. While visiting a certain very beautiful community, I met a lively, well-dressed woman who was chatting with a friend in the common room. She told me she was 98 years old and had lived there for nineteen years. Honestly if I had heard this when I was seventy-five I would have found it scary. (The cost of getting old can be fearful.)
“Besides, even if our funds are unlimited, we have principles related to how we are willing to spend money. We have families, younger generations behind us. And we live, with tender consciences in a needy world.
“All I can tell you about this conundrum is what to watch for as you try to make a wise decision.
“First, be aware that there are many retirement communities, owned and managed as businesses. Profit is their purpose. They may offer a lot that we want; they must if they are to get our business. And we may have good reasons for choosing one of these. A business offering care of the elderly is fair and reasonable, just like a restaurant or an airline.
“At the same time we should be aware of how they make their money. After all they are getting it out of our purses. Do they pay their employees a fair salary? If not you will surely see them struggling to keep staff. Are they able to keep their promises to residents? Ask people who live there. And are there major areas of life without known price tags? I have become suspicious of large sums that pay for everything: food, cleaning, electricity, internet, entertainment, all provided, though I don’t know what any of it actually costs.
“As residents, we might live with this a while before we notice that when we go out for dinner just to be with friends or family, we still pay for the dinner we didn’t eat in the retirement home. We would like to buy something we really like from a store and eat it in our room, but we see this as extravagance, because we have already paid for dinner in the dining room. Finally, we realize that we don’t know what we pay for meals.
“At the same time we should be aware that there are not-for-profit communities. Sometimes these are institutions that began as homes for certain groups of people, perhaps a Christian denomination that gives preference to its own retired ministers. They might even be subsidized by the denomination. Their daily activities will likely reflect the culture and values of the sponsors, and their monthly fees will be lower.
“Even within this kind of system there are varieties of financial models. Some require money up front, giving the impression that they are very expensive. My experience says, do the math over periods of years. The advance funds may come back to you in the form of small monthly expenses . . .”
The full piece is available at her site at http://www.francesfullerauthor.com.
Frances Fuller’s book is unique among the many books on aging, because it is personal, while most such books are written from an academic point of view. Most are penned by sociologists, doctors, gerontologists, even the CEO of AARP, and one by a Catholic nun, Joan Chittister. Chittister’s book, ‘The Gift of Years’ is beautifully written, focusing on spiritual values and finding meaning in life. Chittister admits in the preface that she was only 70, which is the front edge of aging, and her book is somewhat abstract.
Atul Gawande’s book, ‘On Being Mortal’, relates medicine and old age, It enjoys high Amazon rankings, in the category of “the sociology of aging.” It contains a great deal of valuable scientific information and shows understanding of the physical and emotional needs of the elderly.
Frances Fuller’s book, ‘Helping Yourself Grow Old, Things I Said To Myself When I Was Almost Ninety’, is an up-close and very personal encounter with aging. It is an uncontrived and firsthand look at her own daily experiences: wrestling with physical limitations, grief, loneliness, fears, and the decisions she has made about how to cope with these and keep becoming a better person. She faces regrets and the need to forgive herself and others and is determined to live in a way that blesses her children and grandchildren.
Frances deals with many common, universal but sometimes private issues in an open, conversational tone. Her confessions and decisions invite self-searching and discussion. She tries to make sense of her own past and to understand her responsibility to younger generations. In the process she shares her daily life, enriched with memories from her fascinating experiences. Her stories and her voice — fresh, honest, irresistible — keep the reader eager for more. The end result is a book that helps create a detailed map through the challenging terrain of old age.
The result of this intimate narrative is that readers laugh, cry and identify with her mistakes and problems. Reviewers have called the book, “unique,” “honest,” “witty,” “poignant,” “challenging” and “life-changing.”
For these reasons it is a book unlike any other book on aging you will ever read. The book can serve as a primer on what lies in store for all of us, from someone who is working through many of these issues. While the book is a perfect fit for book clubs, there are many other individuals and groups who could benefit from the information and ideas in the book:
Those approaching retirement
People who are currently retired
Children of aging parents
Those who have lost a spouse
Retirement community discussion groups
Church groups (men and women)
and a host of others. For group discussions, Fuller has made a set of discussion questions available at her website at http://www.FrancesFullerAuthor.com.
Readers have lavished praise on the new book. One Amazon review stated, “I find myself thinking,’I need to read this again and take notes!’ It’s full of wisdom, humor, and grace. I also have committed to rereading it annually – it’s that important!” Another said, “There is valuable life experience in this book. Helping Yourself Grow Old is truly is a book for all ages, and one not to be missed.” Another stated, “Beautifully written book telling timeless truths, for both the old and the young. Highly recommend this book for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and learn wisdom from someone who has lived so much life.”
Frances’ prior work, ‘In Borrowed Houses’, has taken three industry awards and has achieved Bestseller status. Frances Fuller was the Grand Prize winner in the 2015 ’50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading’ Book Awards. It received the bronze medal for memoir in the Illumination Book Awards in 2014. Northern California Publishers and Authors annually gives awards for literature produced by residents of the area. In 2015 ‘In Borrowed Houses’ received two prizes: Best Non-fiction and Best Cover.
Critics have also praised ‘In Borrowed Houses.’ A judge in the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards called ‘In Borrowed Houses’ ” . . a well written book full of compassion . . . a captivating story . . . “. Another reviewer described the book as “Wise, honest, sensitive, funny, heart-wrenching . . .”. Colin Chapman, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut said, ” . . . western Christians and Middle Eastern Christians need to read this story…full of remarkable perceptiveness and genuine hope.”
Frances has shared stories about her life in an interview with Women Over 70, and a recording is available on their Facebook page.
Frances Fuller is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. The full text of her latest article is available at her website. Fuller’s book is available at Amazon and other book retailers. A free ebook sample from ‘In Borrowed Houses’ is available at http://www.payhip.com/francesfuller. Frances Fuller also blogs on other issues relating to the Middle East on her website at http://www.inborrowedhouseslebanon.com.
About Frances Fuller:
Frances Fuller spent thirty years in the violent Middle East and for twenty-four of those years was the director of a Christian publishing program with offices in Lebanon. While leading the development of spiritual books in the Arabic language, she survived long years of civil war and invasions.
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