June 16, 2024

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When I started prepping I never thought too deeply about how things would evolve. Just figured out I would improve my preps as much as I could and make some adjustments on the road. As time goes by, I realize old age is around the corner, and how few people seem to prepare for everything that aging brings along.

That’s why I want to share these experiences and explain how I have seen elders live through their senior years with a smile on their faces, even in one of the countries with the worst crisis ever.

I’ve been prepping seriously since 2007. That is before my kid´s birth. I had the feeling that things would not be good 100% of the time. I enjoyed my good times but prepared for the bad ones. However, the magnitude of what came to Venezuela was much, much worst than my ugliest nightmares

Basically, before 2007 my preps consisted of logical supplies at hand on a road trip, enough tools and materials for some unexpected repairs at home, and a well-stocked pantry at home. All of this is to avoid going every couple of days to get groceries or something else. 

But getting older and going through a collapse changes your outlook.

As I get older and my family grew, my prepping evolved too. I started to think about what would happen if I was no longer able to take care of myself. What if I got sick or injured? What if I couldn’t drive anymore? What if I couldn’t live in my own home?

Well, now those two last situations have become a reality. Not because of me but because of my finances.

I can’t live in my own home because there are no jobs anymore in that city for professionals. The oil industry is not even the sad shadow of what it was once. 

My car, as you may know, has been busted since 2016. 

And to top it off, there is a huge gasoline scarcity problem that comes and goes. Motorcycles have to make a line in one pump station, just like in every communist banana republic. 

The general economy seems to be thriving here, but it’s an illusion. There is money laundering all over, and obviously, there is some unrelated business that thrives on this, especially fast food and imported goods like liquors, cheese, and cured meats.

These questions led me to make some changes to my preps. I started to focus on things that would help me stay independent and self-sufficient as I aged. Things like a generator, a water filtration system, and a few small solar panels array are not “prepping” items down here. It’s almost mandatory brown line home appliances. We are way ahead in the general life quality degradation that will cover the whole planet soon.

I’m glad I made some changes to my preps. After going abroad to Peru for a while, perhaps it was for the better, although my property took a hit, just like my career and my now drained-up bank account. 

Have you thought about how you will fix your roof when you can´t use a ladder anymore? I´d say, better to remodel now to avoid fixing it.

Here are some tips to help you prep for aging.

It doesn’t make sense to not plan or avoid prepping. Here are some tips for other preppers who are planning for old age:

  • Start early. The sooner you start prepping for old age, the more time you’ll have to make sure you have everything you need. It’s not the same thing to install those sprinklers in the roof of your greenhouse now that you’re 50 and healthy than at 60 with maybe a slight increase in blood sugar or high blood pressure. 
  • Think about your specific needs. What are the things that are most important to you? What will you need to stay independent and self-sufficient? Not only your health condition; think about other stuff. Are you going to spend more time painting? then you will need a good studio. Do you have it? Are you going to keep driving that truck until the end of the day? or maybe you need a smaller, more economical car with small tires that you could inflate with a can of fix a flat to make it home without too much exposure to the elements, given the case.
  • Make a plan. What will you do if you get sick or injured? What if you can’t drive anymore? What if you can’t live in your own home? Is there someone who can help? Are those people able to cover all the needs of the homestead for as long as it is needed? 
  • Get help from others. There are many resources available to help preppers to plan for old age. Talk to your doctor, a financial advisor, or a prepping expert.

By taking the time to think about your needs and make a plan, you can ensure that you’ll be able to live a comfortable and independent life, no matter what the future holds. I mean as independent as much as you can aspire.

Where Can We Start?

No matter our age, we must start working on identifying a definite and achievable goal. Dividing it into steps will make it easier to get there.

  • Consider your finances. This is a tough one. Having enough money saved up to cover your living expenses in retirement is not easy for anyone these days. You may also want to consider purchasing long-term care insurance.
  • Stay active. The more active you are, the better you’ll be able to handle the physical and mental challenges of aging. Walk wherever you can. In the long run, your body will thank you for it, even if it seems tiresome and exhausting.
  • Build a support network. Make sure you have friends and family nearby and that they will be there to help you out when you need it.
  • Stay positive. Aging can be a challenging time, but it can also be a time of great joy and satisfaction. Stay positive and focus on the things that you’re grateful for. Enjoy time with your family. This has proven to be an excellent healing method for me. Getting to know my kid and seeing him help at home with his grampa and grandma is a real pleasure that I had forgotten how much I missed when we were back in Lima.
  • Use technology. There is a whole bunch of used equipment you can buy on the cheap and fit for yourselves to extract even the last drop of remaining life in them. Cameras, PCs, networking devices, If you believe you could have disabilities someday, then do whatever you need now to make your life easier.
  • Never stop doing what makes you happy. Because one day, you will find that doing it it’s not as easy as it was. Your mind may be willing to go those 4 kilometers to the creek to fish, but your knees won’t. That’s why you will need an ATV, whether it is electric or biogas-powered, and start using it. No matter how much bone broth and jello we ingest, those days will come. 

If you already have planned a little bit for them, things will be much easier. Need a better place to make milking goats easier? Make a good stand then, now, when you have the strength. Installing handrails, or a small ramp next to some stairs, or whatever other improvement now will save you a lot of time.

Here’s what I see older people doing in Venezuela.

Let’s talk a little now about how I see elders coping with things down here in their golden years.

Many of them have decided to stay. Some money sent from abroad is enough for the meager needs of most. Many have more than one child in other countries and receive enough to make a living. 

In this small town, many as well own their home, passed to them by their parents or bought when times were good. In other towns I know, semirural towns, they even have a backyard garden with chickens, fruits, and vegetables.

Those with more financial resources migrated, and they are happy being abroad. They may be missing the weather, the beaches, the food, and many other things, but the general life quality and having their grandchildren with them is worth it

Those who decided to stay, on the other hand, know that they probably won’t see their grandchildren in their lifetime… and they have accepted that fate. As sentimental and emotional as we are down here, they are resigned to speaking via audio and seeing the pictures and videos they receive. As sad as it is, these elders try to keep a positive attitude. Mind you, there are no harsh winters, no ugly cloudy days, the price of services is low, and life is generally easy if your needs are not too much. You get the idea. I decided to write about this, because..guess what?

My plans for “surviving” the crisis are becoming the “plans for my senior years.” Go figure.

I will ask this for homework:

What specific changes have you made, or are planning to make, to your preps to help you stay independent as you age? What has become more difficult than it used to be?

Let me know in your comments what you think about this topic!

Be safe, and keep tuned!

J.

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t  go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.

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