As aging boomers are quickly discovering, the end game of being old is a non-linear quest to preserve control against overwhelming odds. Namely, it’s the challenge of absorbing wave after wave of losses while simultaneously shoring up residual choices. Given the uncertainty and complexity of the game, what will help aging boomers succeed in their quest? Part of the answer lies in the quality of their “control assets.”
Control assets are game tools that help older adults overcome losses through tactical partnerships and recovery planning. They don’t change the game’s final outcome but they can dramatically alter the quality of the game’s experience. Control assets are best understood as essential resources and planning options that include:
In the communal world of pre-WWII, aging parents almost always moved in. It was expected because there was usually a local family network that closed ranks and helped take care of the elders.
In the dispersed world of Boomers and the generations that followed, it became a different story. Minus the familial scaffolding, the challenges proved more daunting despite the desire to do the right thing.
It still may turn out to be the best choice for a family. But before they move in, a few screening questions will help clarify the scope and depth of what this choice involves.