LIFE AFTER 50 WITH A CHRONIC DISEASE
Here's an answer that I just gave to someone wanting to know, basically, if someone can actually HAVE a qualify live after age 50 with a chronic disease (in the asker's case, the disease is MS). Here's what I said:
Well, I guess that I qualify!! I'm 58 and have been successfully managing the myriad symptoms of MS for over 45 years!!!!!! AND, I have to say - with NO QUALIFICATIONS - that my quality of life is far better now than it was in my first 50 years of life!!!! I currently use whatever "daily active hours" I have (about 3 each day) as a passionate and aggressive Disability Advocate, Educator, and Expert Witness!!
Here are my qualifications for this statement:
1) I was an HR Executive for over 30+ years before i went on full disability.
2) When it became obvious that I needed to go on disability - and, having been a Federal "Personnel Auditor" for the first half of my professional career - I put together a process and used it, that got me approved for Long Term Disability and for SSDI the first time around in under 30 days, the first time around!!! AND, it usually takes over 3 years to get approved!!
3) Having been sccessful myself, I documented my process and created a DisabilityKey Workbook - over 100 pages of forms and actual examples. Tthen, created a website with tons of free stuff on it for folks with MS and any other type of disease: http://www.disabilitykey.com
Within this website, you can find my blog with over 80+ entries. Tons of info on: Chronic Disease Self-Management; Expert Patient; and, Patient-Centered Health Care.
4) Since 2000, I've been working locally, nationally, and worldwide to assist people with disabilities better document, corroborate and communicate their symptom impairments, to empower them to self-advocate for themselves and acquire the resources they need to attain the optimum quality of life for themselves.
My website has free ebooklets for download on: triggering ADA while working with a disability; why someone is denied SSDI; and Self-Advocacy.
5) I work closely with the local chapter of the Natn'l MS Assn and offer free quarterly seminars, and meet with folks face to face every other Monday for 2 hours. I've also been priveledged to address MS patients and their caregivers for local health care networks, and am currently working on educational tools to instruct health care professionals on how better to assist folks with disabilities.
6) Since March of 2006 I've been very active as a Moderator on the "virtual village for folks with autoimmune diseases" website: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com...
I moderate the Work Related, Social Security, Baby Boomers and MS Forums.
7) I've been answering questions here on this forum for a while now.
8) Through all these resources, I've been able to provide info to approaching 1,5000 folks with disabilities, and those who actually take the time to follow the process have been successful in their endeavors.
So, please take a look at my website and the "virtual village". Join within the virtual village and ask questions about "life after 50 with any autoimmune disease" - not just MS!! You'll find that our similarities far outweigh our different illnesses/conditions!!
Hope that this helps!! As you can probably tell, attitude is a key component in success.
Good Luck, and hope that this helps!!!!!