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Seniors optimism varies based on their support, health and finances

caines | 10/25/2012, 5:30 a.m.

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Some seniors disagree with survey about aging

Are senior citizens excited about aging? According to a survey by the National Council on Aging, seniors are excited about getting older but they have some uncertainty with regards to their finances and health. Several local senior citizens agree with that sentiment and their feelings towards their future security is often pessimistic, so because of this uncertainty and other underlying issues, some seniors are not enthusiastic about aging. One of them being, Ella Kitchen, a 74-year-old resident of New Horizons Senior Community who said that shes not too enthusiastic about aging given that she is unsure of what the future will bring. According to Kitchen, there are several issues that seniors deal with and the community is not providing her and her neighbors the help that they need to be independent. Some of those issues are transportation, problems seniors face with their insurance companies and even living conditions. A group of seniors from New Horizons and Edison Triplex expressed that several community leaders only come around when it is election time so that they could get the seniors vote, but they dont help the seniors with the issues they face, after theyve gotten in office. Preston Adams, another senior who lives in New Horizons, says that his power wheel chair has broken and instead of it being replaced as the insurance company has promised he has been unable to leave his room. As you get older, changes and losses may challenge the most optimistic individuals, according to Edeline B. Mondestin, Director of Elderly, Disability and Veterans Services Bureau of Miami-Dade County. According to Mondestin, the county presently serves older adults by facilitating services such as transportation, meals and adult care. However, senior communities and retirement homes are required to pay for the services, Mondestin added. It is the goal of Miami-Dade County to partner with other organizations in the aging network to better serve the community,Mondestin said.Older adults should feel confident that the community will find solutions to their needs to maintain health and independence.

Family life impacting optimism

The attitude of older adults really depends on how secure their circumstances are, Doretha Nichson, member of the Seniors Concern Group, 79. A lot of seniors now live alone, and their family is no longer intact for various reasons, so they dont feel that secure. Nichson added that although she lives alone, her family is very supportive.She is grateful for her health, independence and ability to drive. Nichson currently lives with a housemate, another elderly lady that the Seniors Concern Group helped her connect with. She said in addition to helping seniors find a place to live, the Seniors Concern Group also helps with other issues that seniors face. Some seniors arent as independent as Nichson and turn to their children and other family members for support. Aaron Mashack, 68, and his wife, lives with his sons family.Mashack said that he and his wife cannot afford to live in an assisted living facility. The couple both deal with health issues and have to move around on scooters.Mashack said he wished he would have prepared better for his situation when he was younger, but he didnt know that he was going to hurt himself while at work about 30 years ago and would have to receive an operation nor was he aware that his wife would suffer from multiple sclerosis. Mashack said his faith and family are the reason for his positive outlook on life, even though every day is a struggle for him and his wife. I believe if we live right, we will be rewarded and go to heaven, he said. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com