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Thursday thoughts

April 18th, 2024 at 10:01 pm

I am getting a very eye-opening look at dental costs in retirement by taking my father around on his appointments.

He recently had two root canals, both of which required 2 or maybe even 3 trips to the dentist, and that was several thousand dollars. I thought we were finally back to the "routine" trips where we alternate between his regular dentist and his periodontist every 3 months, but today, the periodontist said they wanted to do another scaling, to the tune of $1,740.

Dad wants to put it off. He said he'll likely die with a wonderful set of teeth. At 91, there are things he doesn't like doing, and he only brushes once daily without flossing. I don't think these big looming expenses will make much difference in his dental hygiene.

Kind of a similar thing with the physical therapy he finished maybe 6 months ago. He's found that, not keeping up the exercises he learned there has led to the return of pain in his leg, and he wants to return to PT by self-paying, but I learned today he'll likely have to ask his doctor for it and either be accepted or denied by Medicare before he can choose to self-pay. I urged him to try to do some...any of the exercises he could, but that won't likely happen.

Today after the periodontist we had a lovely lunch at a favorite restaurant...

We both got the chicken piccata...probably the best I've ever had.

The chocolate souffle with pistachio ice cream was also very good.

And after that I drove to an open space area where we sat in the woods by a trout stream and I read dad a story about President Tyler from my phone. Dad loves history. We are reading all about the US Presidents (in sequential order) each time I come to visit. and we are up to the 11th president.

This is where we sat on a rainy, cold Thursday to talk about the presidents.

Next weekend I'll be taking him to his local library where they'll have a program on what was going on in his town during the Civil War. Should be interesting.

Now that I've got my $650 rebate for the heat pump water heater, I've become interested in a new state program that involves a whole house battery.  You can get them installed in your basement with or without solar panels on the roof. The utility company pays you twice a month or so for the entire 10-year warranty of the batteries, as payment for using this power during periods of high usage, mostly in the summer. They won't take energy from your batteries 2 days prior to a forecast storm, so that you have it should you experience an outage. In that case, the batteries would provide up to 18 additional hours of power, depending on what you want them to power. For me, the main thing would be the furnace, hot water heater and fridge; afer that, my Eco "power station" that I bought a few years back would provide another day of power for just my fridge/freezer.

The state is trying to use this program to build up to 10 megawatts of reserve power to more evenly regulate power supply; once they get a certain number of homeowners who cumulatively add up to 10 megawatts, they will go to the next phase where they pay the next group of homeowners a little less money, and so on, so the first tier is the one that pays the most. I'd like to do it this year, but if I'm to continue keeping my 2024 income modest, in order to remain eligible for a healthcare subsidy, I'll have to wait til next year; hopefully they'll still be working to build the first tier.

Generally speaking the state seeks to get more homeowners to upgrade appliances to electrical power supplies, which are cleaner than fossil fuels like gas or oil. I am very happy with my heat pump hot water heater and couldn't believe how much it reduced my monthly electrictiy bill.

I did a litter cleanup with a few other women from my women's group at a Tibetan monastery nearby. The grounds were very pretty and they treated us to a moma (Tibetan dumpling) lunch.

This weekend there's a beach cleanup about 45 minutes away that I'll be attending.

2 Responses to “Thursday thoughts”

  1. Lots of Ideas Says:

    If your dad just needs structure and motivation to do his exercises and he has information about what he is supposed to do, a NASM certified personal trainer might be a good alternative to self paying for physical therapy.
    Some will even do home visits, but if you were going to take him to pt, taking him to a gym might be the same effort for you.

  2. rob62521 Says:

    Looks like a wonderful lunch! Yum.

    Dental work is super expensive. You are a good child helping your dad out like this.

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