Joyful Aging: Rick Montano |

Joyful Aging: Rick Montano

Being curious about what the day will bring, staying active, fostering family ties, and being of service are Rick’s prescription for joyful aging.

At 63, Rick has spent the last 25 years as an in-home caregiver for his wheelchair-bound wife, Kathrine, 58. Diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Kathrine also suffers from grand mal seizures and migraines. She’s on oxygen 24/7.

Rick moved to Nevada City from the Bay Area 26 years ago. He worked at Cousin Jack’s before becoming a full-time caregiver. He sees a counselor periodically to make sure he remains in good spirits. He also enjoys hiking.

Rick starts his day at 5 a.m. and finishes around 9 p.m. Although he tries to include a late afternoon rest, it isn’t always possible. He earns extra money doing handyman work with skills he acquired working in construction. His daughter, who lives nearby, is a source of support, and his 4-year-old granddaughter brings him joy.

When I asked Rick if he was happy, he didn’t hesitate. “Yes!” he said enthusiastically. “When I get up every morning, I think, ‘Let’s see what happens today.’ If I had to live my life over, I’d do it again.”

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