Category Archives: My Journey to My Masters in Elder Care

At 52 I decided to change my life. Stepping out on faith , my new passion is helping elder live full active lives. This Catagory documents my educational quest.

Active Aging for the Hill Home

I envision the television version of retirement;  sitting on the porch with my husband, planning our next trip, visiting with the grand kids, volunteering somewhere and being active in my church.  I can only think of two things that would hinder me in this dream.  Both boil down to a lack of proper planning by myself or my husband of six years this September.

The first reason would be insufficient funds to allow us to do as we please, which is the ultimate goal. According to CNNMoney I will need $910,480.00 or $612,777.00 in today’s dollars (CNNMoney, 2013).  What I say to that is I am a bit short of the mark.  This shortage leads me to my second hindrance, the necessity to continue working after age 65.

If I retire at age 75 I will need a paltry $657,830.00 or $326,485.00 in today’s dollars.  This is a bit better and I am a bit closer to the mark (a bit) (CNNMoney, 2013).  Now this assumes all things are consistent, that I want to live on 100% of my current salary, that we stay healthy and that we don’t have to actively raise our grandkids.  Also this does not take into account my husband’s contribution.

What I can guarantee is that our lives will not remain consistent.  I have been afraid of living out my old age alone eating cat food for as long as I can remember.  My husband and I have started exercising regularly.  He lost 60 lbs and I lost 30 lbs.  We eat better but still not the best.  I am actively trying to pay every debt I can find.  We are both in school, he to complete his Bachelors and a certificate in his field and me for my Masters, we pray daily and are active in the church.  Though we are in our early 50’s we will not allow the environment or anything else to hinder our long-term well-being.

With that said we may need to alter our television, pie in the sky ideas of retirement a bit to fit reality but who knows?????C. Anthony and Donna Hill


CNNMoney. (2013). How much do I need to retire? – CNNMoney. Retrieved 3 19, 2013, from CNNMoney:



Do you think “compassionate ageism” still exists today?

Compassionate ageism is a belief that older people are needy and deserve special policies to help them (Quizlet, 2013). In using this definition, all the sons and daughters caring for granny have compassionate ageism. All the in home workers and nonprofit organizations fighting for elder rights have compassionate ageism. I believe it exists more so individually than politically. Politically we went from compassionate ageism to the greedy-geezer to taking food from babies (Binstock PhD, 2010). This propaganda campaign has painted elders as a selfish and greedy group who would see the world collapse before releasing their rights to services. It seems that attempts to put policies in place to assist needy elders are hit with this unfounded attitude. A trend I find distasteful.
Compassionate aging has become an attitude of the needy elders, their caregivers, their families and the political factions that support them. Let’s look at the trend toward aging in place which results in home health care situations. Many issues that used to send elders to a facility are being done in the comforts of the elders homes. Frequently these services are paid for through Medicare (Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). I see this as compassionate ageism in an individual application though the service is available to all that qualify for Medicare. This is only one of the policies in place. Obama Care places many more such as closing the donut-hole in Part D and Medicare reform making it a more efficient entity (, 2013). If you take into account the amount of obstruction surrounding Obama Care you can’t say that compassionate ageism is a standard it’s more of an ideal.
Binstock PhD, R. H. (2010). From Compassionate Ageism to Intergenerational Conflict . The Gerontologist, 574-581.
Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Medicare and Home Helth Care. Baltimore: Centers for Medicare and Medicade Services. (2013, 7 9). ObamaCare Medicare: Obamacare and Medicare? Retrieved from
Quizlet. (2013, 7 9). Ageism flashcards . Retrieved from Quizlet:

The state and inequality in old age (shifting risks)

It seemed obvious to me that old age exacerbates inequities and the change in elder societal standing perpetuates that inequity. This results in the stagnating of policies on the books or the lack of relevant policies being presented. Further thinking and reading seems to be shifting my attitude. It has become evident to me that I am guilty of painting with a broad brush, when I should be considering many other factors. Emotionally I group elders in to one big group that (male or female) look like my mother and regardless of their situation need my assistance. Coming to realize this is personal growth in itself.
One research paper I read says that inequities are not so much due to social standing resulting in lack of access to resources but also are linked to things like, material conditions, psycho-social effects, and health-related behavior (Old age, health, and social inequality: Exploring the social patterns of mortality in 19th century northern Sweden, 2012). This study contradicts other research that links social standing to access or lack of. I disagree, however I found one point relevant. If you have other mental issues or engage in a risky life style then access to services is not necessarily the main problem. What I found in this research is that their test group was very localized and pertinent to a very specific group.
What if an elder living in a lower social class situation lives a very frugal life, keeps active and eats healthy? This person may or may not need services beyond their means, while an affluent elder may squander resources and live an unhealthy lifestyle. This elder may need to draw on resources later in life. While the inequities still exist whether resources are drawn upon or not, this situation could be viewed as equality if taken in a very small context.
It seems that once again this topic represents a microcosm of the basic inequities that exist in America today and have been present for years. Human inequities are often at the basis of social, political and economic problems.


Old age, health, and social inequality: Exploring   the social patterns of mortality in 19th century northern Sweden. (2012). DEMOGRAPHIC   RESEARCH, 633-660.



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