Friday, May 8, 2009

Age Banks?

The "bra saga" continued this week as I returned the first cotton bra I had purchased for my grandmother. I had the receipt, but when I got to the service desk, I had inadvertently saved the receipt for the "new" bra instead of the first one. Thankfully, the associates at Wal-Mart were accommodating and realized my dilemma and made the exchange anyway. When I picked up my grandmother for her hairdresser's appointment, she also had a package with 2 pair of Vanity Fair control panties that she said "were too small" and she wanted me to "take them back to Wal-Mart and get me a couple of pairs of large ones." She had no receipt. I asked where she got the panties, and she replied, "Well YOU bought them for me!" I think that was sometime last summer or fall - ?? - not sure! Anyway, I pled my case to the Wal-Mart associate, and since it was an even exchange - and thankfully there were exactly TWO pair of large panties on the rack - we were all squared away.

My mother posed the question, "with all of the energy you are expending now, who will buy MY bras when I get old?" I told her she will have to be a 21st Century woman and go braless!

Then I saw a Tweet about this report on a blog at for "Age Banks" - The gist of the post is that someone in China has developed a system whereby volunteers can spend time with a senior, and that time is recorded and placed in a "bank" to be "cashed in" with another volunteer when they are in need of their own "senior care." It sounds like an interesting concept... not only for childless people like my husband and me, but also so many seniors whose children and families are unable to provide this care, for whatever reason. The question is posed... would this work in the US? and should someone be looking into this?

Ideas like this one may be the tip of the iceberg as we begin to explore caring for an ever-aging population. I just wonder if this bank could be "retroactive" for all of us who already have a lot of time and energy invested? Maybe Mom could get those bras after all!

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