Barbara and Dearie welcome your questions on topics ranging from retirement and being “young-old” all the way to end-of-life issues.
As our loved ones age, new questions arise when families must navigate a wide variety of options. We hope to help answer some of these questions.
Barbara Green has practiced as a geriatric social worker for more than 25 years. She is experienced in counseling families and older adults through the expected age related changes and is knowledgeable in the field of dementia and mental health care.
Dearie is fictive, but speaks much as Barbara’s own mother, now 94 years old, has over the years. Their conversations reflect an intimate mother-daughter shared history as well as the many conversations Barbara has had with other older women. Dearie remains fiercely independent with a “take it as it comes” outlook.
From time to time, I hear people giving advice about how to talk with loved ones about end-of-life issues. It’s possible that my mother will live on for years, but her health seems to have declined a lot in the past year. I have this nagging feeling that I haven’t talked with my mother about what’s important to her — but I’m not sure how to ask the questions. I’m also wondering if there are things I’ll wish I had talked with her about once she’s gone.
— Future thinking
I’ve recently met a woman to whom I’m very much attracted. We’ve spent time together doing things we both enjoy and feel that we have much in common. Trouble is we’re quite a bit older now (I’m 81 and she is 76 years old) and I’m not sure if I want to keep this at the friendship level or become more involved and serious with her. We haven’t talked about this and in the back of my mind is the question about how to bring up becoming intimate. Is it ok to have a sexual relationship at our age?