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One thing is that I can't see myself living in this town until I die.  If I had not moved my parents here 4 years ago we would have left here 2 years ago when some things in our life completely went off the rails.  I barely stomach it here most days.  I just have the sense that I want to go 'home' but that place doesn't exist anymore--in more ways than one.  I do like my  job.  I could support myself with this job and I am valued and it is flexible.  But I would much prefer to move closer to dh's job....which will not happen as long as both my parents are living.  

Our house is nice and in a very nice neighborhood.  And I have a pool on 1/2 acre.  I ponder if I would stay in this house.  We have an apartment that could be rented out for extra income so that is an option. Or if things were tight enough and I was widowed I could rent out the house and live in the apartment.  

Who knows though. Things can change in an instant.

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We had the best time. Really. My mom at 91-92 was so willing try try new things. She'd always been a person who "ate to live," but during her year here she came to love my cooking. I would show h

I dread it. I see my life as only a conduit to help dd14 survive living in society. I gave up my own life the day I took her in (she came to me at 5mo). It has been a bad day, so don't read on un

But sometimes, through no fault of their own, it is beyond the capabilities of an individual who is trying to care.  We cannot always know decades in advance who will be able to do the caring, for all

23 hours ago, Annie G said:

They’ve seen what caring for our parents has done to us. We absolutely wanted to do it for our parents but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been an enormous price to pay. It was HARD to care for his folks, and my dad is the only one left and he’s beyond difficult. It’s tough on a relationship.  
 

YES!!!!  I'm literally a shell of the person I was 2 years ago since caring for my dad - he is my difficult one.  Huge, huge toll!  Hope to find myself again one day :-). 

    

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I'm seriously considering not having preventive testing done after a certain age (which hasn't been determined yet.) I have very long living relatives on both sides, although I know lifestyle is a bigger factor than genetics in longevity. I helped care for elderly relatives at the end of life and I know it can be done well, but it takes so many people helping to pull it off. I don't want to do the "long dwindle." I'd rather have a shorter lifespan, higher quality of life and a quicker death than a longer lifespan, lower quality of life, and a prolonged deterioration.

I say that as someone who found out a year ago at 46 that I have a deteriorating spine, cord compression, bone spurs in the vertebra,  with related musculoskeletal degeneration.  I had major emergency surgery and there's nothing that can be done to cure the medical issues. Not intervening now means paralysis or worse. So for that I intervened.

My mother's favorite cousin, who she grew up with and remained close to, had what was obviously a tumor on the side of his face in his mid-70s.  He chose to not even find out what kind of cancer it was.  He got his things in order to move his recently divorced step-daughter in with him and his wife who can't drive to vision issues, and made sure she could access all his assets.  He died within a few months of the first signs of illness.  He opted for in home hospice care for pain management. No dragging it out, no fighting it medically.  I would probably get the diagnosis so I knew what to expect at the end, but not intervening has its merits for people who want that kind of option in later stages of life. 

My dad had a major heart blockages identified in his early 70s.  He's almost 80 now. That kind of blockage results in a massive heart attack where you show no symptoms then one day you're dead before you hit the ground according to his doctor.  Dad has consistently said he wants a quick death that takes him out instantly.  I still don't quite get why he had the blockages removed because it was an extremely high probability of dying the way he wanted.  At the same time, he should get to do what he wants with his own medical care and he can change his mind if he wants to. Last fall he was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer and was able to live independently and have it treated. My brother only had to help him out once when he got dizzy and fainted at the radiation treatment center. (I live in a lower cost of living area across the country.)   Yesterday's PET scan shows it's gone. So he's opted out of another option for a quick death, which is entirely up to him and none of my input is necessary.  But does he really understand that treating things that can be major and quickly lethal increases his chances of dying due to a very prolonged dwindle with low quality of life?

I don't want to spend years doing nothing and being miserable to delay the inevitability of death.  So that's the medical angle I'm thinking through.  Yes, I have a trust and legal documents about my medical wishes in place.

We're under contract to buy a second house that oldest and her husband will live in while they do their schooling. It's a hot market here in the Raleigh area with several tech companies moving in, so I think the growth will be sustained long term and the investment will likely pay off. We'll decide what to do about rental vs. selling when they've moved on. We're on track to pay off both that house and the one we're in early if we keep lining very frugally.  We're planting a permaculture food forest and veg gardens here which I'll do full time when youngest (15) is in college. I might raise poultry too like a few neighbors do. I'll learn to can. Husband won't retire unless he mentally/physically has to.  He's a software consultant/programmer who keeps current on his skills.

Oldest has serous mental and physical health issues, so she won't be caring for me. Middle is dual income no kids and wouldn't let me starve. She's married to a very high income earner who has a genetic condition that showed up early (early 20s) that his biological father has.  Bio dad was paralyzed for a few years with it when his nervous system was affected.  Who knows if SIL will be in that situation, so they're frugal and saving. Oldest and middle plan to avoid having children for those reasons.

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Both my parents are living at home and doing pretty darn well for being 89 and 88 years old. So, I'm hopeful that they've passed on some longevity genes to me.

Financially, we're doing quite well, but I always feel like you can never have too much - always hearing stories of some major medical thing happening and people end up bankrupt! But we've always lived below our means, so hopefully that will help us when our income becomes limited. We won't have a pension, but we have plenty in various retirement accounts.

Like others have said, I expected to be working much much longer than it now seems like I might be doing. I loved the job I had for the past 6 years. It was the only job I ever actually looked forward to going into work. I expected to work at that particular job until I died or could no longer work. But I was furloughed during pandemic and when I went back in November, it was a completely different job. And for various reasons, I felt strongly that I needed to leave that place. I took another similar position elsewhere, but it's very part-time, and just not the same as my previous job. And I really struggled with the boredom and lack of purpose during the pandemic, so the question of "is this what retirement is like???" loomed large. 

We have good relationships with our four kids which I'm grateful for. They have seen us care for elderly relatives, so I expect that is part of their makeup to do the same for us, if needed. The two oldest have moved hours away (from PA to FL) for medical residencies. They might move back to PA some day, or they might decide to stay in FL. So a big decision for us some day will be, do we want to move? Our two youngest don't like Florida; my dh and I hate the winters more and more. So, do we move to be closer to some children while moving further away from others?? Moving to a place somewhere in the middle will just put us in the middle of a place where we know no one. Not looking forward to making that decision. 

I have no grandchildren yet. But I assume there will be some one day. And I look forward to that new phase of life. 

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

Correct.  My comment was not a judgment on someone being unable to care for a loved one.  It was in response to the idea that she would be an imposition to her children. 

If only things were that clear!  My mother, with whom I had always had a good relationship, didn't feel that she was imposing on me.  For that matter, I was willing to care for her.  But caring for my mother landed me in therapy and caused damage to me and my children that may well be permanent.  I'm not convinced that it was the best thing for her either.

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I think about the future a good bit. My main worry is financial. I don't worry too much about the other stuff, because we can't do much about it anyway. But our retirement took a hit, along with some unexpected financial issues. I don't feel like we can do a whole lot about that either, but I do get concerned about it. We generally are not big spenders, though not as frugal as some. Dh doesn't plan to retire until 70, and if we make it until then, we plan to move closer to some of our kids/other relatives. We expect to downsize, though our current house is fine for an older couple, both in size and in type of house. It's just too far away from where we want to be. If it is just me, I'll try to find something pretty small and low-maintenance. I'd love to live in a walkable community, but I don't think there are many houses like that where I hope to live (close to one of our kids who has a larger home). If nothing major changes, that dc has a basement that could be turned into an apartment for one of us, if we need  to be where someone can check on us easily. I'd rather not do that, but we don't have long-term care insurance.

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I am a planner so I have lots of plans and together with DH, have a blueprint for our old age.

We hope to have our children launched by then and live life in two countries. The US and our country of origin. My parents have a small two bedroom flat which I will inherit. We also plan to sell our beloved house here and buy a two bedroom condo.

Much as we love our children and future grandkids to come and visit us, we know we will not live the lifestyle we have now of our parents visiting and living with us for months. DH and I accepted our inlaws living with us like that because we were raised in multi-generational  households and wanted that. The spouses of our children will not likely be, so we feel no obligation to live life that way nor do we have such expectations of our children. But we want them to visit us, but I do not think DH and I will be the kind of grandparents our parents or grandparents were. Very hands on, very involved in day to day life of grandchildren which included childcare.  

The flip side of that is, DH and I have been involved highly in the care of our parents as they age though our siblings are the main caregivers. But both our parents live independently unlike our grandparents. DH and I go back to take our parents to medical appointments, help during surgeries and participate more in the medical side of things on a hands on level. We do not have that expectation of our children.

We have a plan for DH to retire early. 

All this needs money, that is one of the main reasons I always work PT.

All this needs health and mobility. That is why we work out.

I also know to hold these plans loosely I had a plan for my younger self too, right down to the number of children I wanted. But life does not always turn out that way. So I know I must not get disappointed if they do not happen. I should live the life I have to the best of my ability and not let it cloud my happiness.

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26 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

If only things were that clear!  My mother, with whom I had always had a good relationship, didn't feel that she was imposing on me.  For that matter, I was willing to care for her.  But caring for my mother landed me in therapy and caused damage to me and my children that may well be permanent.  I'm not convinced that it was the best thing for her either.

I know things are not cut and dried. I do know I would do all in my power to care for my mom at home before putting her in a nursing home....nursing homes here are horrible.  Dh and I talk about it often and we would probably be able to handle it if she had her own 'space'.  A MIL's apartment or some such.  When they had to stay with us for 6 weeks after their car accident last fall it was VERY apparent our current set up would not work long term.  

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Honestly, I refuse to worry about it.  Most likely the amount of control we have over it is minimal, and most likely our family / community isn't going to let us starve.

What I do / plan to do:

  • Try to build a life that will be as low-maintenance as I can make it.  Try to be debt free, keep the house maintained / low-maintenance, make healthy choices, and keep my personal business in order.
  • Live in a community that provides access to important amenities for older people, such as a bus to the rec center and health appointments.
  • Try to have at least some good relationships with people who would hopefully care (and could do something) if I was alone and in need.
  • Have some lasting things that can hopefully sustain a decent quality of life, such as books, music, and musical instruments.
  • To the extent my health allows, I plan to try to go places often after I retire, such as the rec center, church, library programs, park paths, museums, personal care places, etc.  I believe that such activities will extend the health of my body and mind (and also contribute to others' health / happiness).

That is a good list and the refusing to worry about it. There are things in our control and things out of our control. I might end up in a wreck and paralyzed tomorrow or develop some debilitating disease. We are doing what we can and I hope I can be flexible enough to roll with things and make the best of whatever happens.

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At one time I was anticipating a life of financial ease, travel with my husband, maybe having a second house for family vacations.  Due to some decisions we made and things that happened, it's not looking so lovely, financially.  I also worry about having a great relationship with my husband, as I can see ways we are diverging. I find many of the things we used have shared taste in  - such as music, foods, watching tv/movies - don't work for me anymore, but he hasn't changed. I am sure we'll stay together, but I don't necessarily picture a blissful old age. Not fighting, just maybe being more separate if that makes sense. You won't see photos of us walking hand-in-hand toward the sunset, I think. 😎 

I do also worry about being a burden to my children but we have told them they are under no obligation to be our caretakers or ensure we live in the nicest place possible at their expense. My kids are just finishing college this year, and their own career prospects are not encouraging right now.  I don't love the idea of ending up in a medicaid-paid nursing home but if I do, I hope to have a gracious attitude about it. I work at not becoming a bitter old woman. My mother was very gracious till the end, though she was financially secure thanks to my dad's generous pension after working for the same company for 50 years. She still worried about money every day of her life, though. 

@BlsdMamaI really appreciate your comments here. Thank you for being so open about your life, and outspoken in your opinions. 

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37 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

If only things were that clear!  My mother, with whom I had always had a good relationship, didn't feel that she was imposing on me.  For that matter, I was willing to care for her.  But caring for my mother landed me in therapy and caused damage to me and my children that may well be permanent.  I'm not convinced that it was the best thing for her either.

Yes. It’s not always a good situation. I would have been able to be a much healthier advocate for my elder had there been a plan other than sudden rescue from a serious crash-and-burn. I have tremendous respect for all who willingly take on this role, because it does come with a cost. I also realize that some of you, like Bill, find it an enriching experience. But that is just not the case for many of us. I plan to make proper arrangements for care so my kids have wider choices about their future involvement. I hope that we can focus on quality time together in the last years. But dementia is a game changer and my plans must include care for that possible future. I don’t want my kids to have to be full time caregivers through that. 

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1 hour ago, Pawz4me said:

This is a big thing I struggle with, too.

Thanks for saying this- it really helps to know I’m not the only one struggling with this. 

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When I was in my early twenties, I helped care for my grandmother; driving her to appointments/everywhere, buying depends for her, etc. I even bought my first car with the requirement that it fit a wheelchair in the trunk. I'm now helping care for my father in law and expect to care for my husband and brother in law for an additional 15-30 years.

That to say, when I get old, I don't want to be living somewhere that's dependent on driving. I want an easy, very accessible metro system; not just a Dial-A-Ride to the grocery store or dr appts. I lived in NYC in grad school and would love to retire there to a small apartment. That, or in a back house of wherever my daughter settles (she's only 10 now). 🙂

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1 hour ago, Annie G said:

The only real issue is that due to his health he’s not as able to do what I can do so I mostly go at his pace. We’re working on fixing that because If I don’t push myself my health will suffer. For instance, he is pushing it to walk a mile at a slow pace.  I need to do 2-3 miles at a much faster pace.  I want to cycle as I always have but he struggles to ride slowly and for a mile or two.  So working on him feeling left behind and me feeling selfish for wanting to leave him behind. But we’ll work it out. We have talked and are getting there...

We're getting to this point, too. I kind of alternate walking quickly and farther with dd, and slowly and shorter distances with dh, but it's getting harder to balance his needs vs mine.

In a few years he'll be retiring. If all goes well, I have some major traveling planned: we haven't been farther than a family wedding in the next state since we were married more than twenty years ago. No airline travel since then, no vacations beyond a week at a state park. In some ways, that's been okay. I enjoyed the state park vacations! But first there were money issues, then I had elderly parents depending on me plus health/disability issues in the family which made (make) travel hard.

As children mature, some of these issues look easier to manage, so I'm looking forward to going places in retirement. If we could figure out health insurance to cover the gap before dh is eligible for medicare, he could retire now, which would be great. His mobility is slowly deteriorating, so sooner would be better than later. 

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55 minutes ago, marbel said:

I don't love the idea of ending up in a medicaid-paid nursing home but if I do, I hope to have a gracious attitude about it. I work at not becoming a bitter old woman. My mother was very gracious till the end

This is what I hope of myself as well. I have good examples in both my mil and my mom. MIL (93) is in a nursing home, because even at-home care became impossible due to her care needs. It was hard for her at first, and covid has been very difficult. FIL died a few months ago (in a shared room in the nursing home) too, so it hasn't been an easy go. However, she has become cheerful and more healthy in the past couple of months. The home expects to open back up to visitors in a couple of weeks, since vaccinations have taken place, and that will help her. I think the social interaction has been good for her as well; at first with the shared dining hall, then when that was closed, the caregivers. That had become minimal when they were at home, and FIL's dementia didn't help. She never fails to say how they are so good to her in the home.

My mom is 90, and lives in a MIL apartment in my sister's home. She had lived in her home for over 50 years, and alone there for 8, when she finally decided it was too much. We were so relieved, as none of us lived closeby. It was quite the job to clean out the house, but everyone, including her, was very relieved when it was done and the house was sold. Then she gave up her keys without argument when my sister asked her to, as she had passed out in a store when she was out one day. It does make me sad sometimes, because she is so very determined to not be a bother or interfere with my sister's family life, that I'm afraid she gets lonely sometimes and I'm too far away. But she has had a sweet attitude about the whole thing, even though I know aging hasn't been easy.

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I spend time every now and then thinking that I could end up (ETA) aging in place alone,  aging in place with roommates, aging in a different house/apartment/condo/townhouse with or without roommates,  living with a daughter, in assisted living, and/or in a nursing home.  I'm content with all of those scenarios.  Even adult children with the best of intentions can reach their limits and have to make choices they would've rather not.  That's life and I'm accepting it.

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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12 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I spend time every now and then thinking that I could end up aging in place with roommates, aging in a different house/apartment/condo/townhouse with or without roommates,  living with a daughter, in assisted living, and/or in a nursing home.  I'm content with all of those scenarios.  Even adult children with the best of intentions can reach their limits and have to make choices they would've rather not.  That's life and I'm accepting it.

I like that you’re thinking about multiple scenarios. That’s probably a really good thing to do. 
My sister lost her husband 11 years ago and her high school best friend lost her husband around the same time. They’ve lived together since. It’s far from perfect but it’s been good for both of them in many ways.  They’re nearing 70 and plan to go live near their kids next year...but it was a good decade together.

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This is especially difficult to think about having a disabled child who will never live independently. I fully expect I will be caring for him until my health no longer allows me to do so. I hope my other children will pitch in, both with him and with me, but I can’t expect that of them. Good group homes are very difficult to find and it is hard to think of entrusting a nonverbal, developmentally delayed child (even one who has physically matured, but is mentally still a child) to people I don’t know. 

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My mom lives in senior living. I am in process of moving her from independent living to assisted, while she is in rehab for a broken leg. She has retirement savings, very good LTC ins and private health ins. And Medicare. 
 

Even with all the help, it is a TON of work and worry to make sure she gets good care and is ok. Many older people need an advocate.
 

Her mind is fine - no dementia - she is herself.  But she’s exhausted by health issues and is happy to have a much, much smaller world now - which leaves lots for me to do.

Dh and I will not have so much financial provision, so I do wonder how we will do if we are 84 and physically failing. 

I love my mom and am happy to care for her, but it is exhausting and taking a toll on me in time and stress.

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I have no idea.  We have some life insurance and a small bit of retirement (causality of contract work for over a decade is no benefits and really the pay usually isn’t that great either).

If the economy can hold as is or improve - the house will be paid off and we won’t have any debts other than stuff like utility and medical bills.  But seriously the reality of our life in the United States is bankruptcy every 10 years may very well be the only way many people including us can ever cover the ever rising tide of medical bills.  I worry about that a LOT.

As for my ideal wants? 
I’d like to get a pt job in about 5 years. At that point I will only be homeschooling 2 kids, which is hard for me to realize is so soon, and in just 9 years after that, I’ll be done entirely with schooling my kids.

I want to travel. With friends. With dh. With or to kids. 

I want to be active at church and I’d like to afford to give more. I want to keep teaching in the catechist of the Good Shepard and continue my classes learning that. 

If dh and I can live to 75, that gives us slightly more than 25 years to go, with 14 of those years still home schooling the last of our children. I think that seems like a really short amount of time!!!!

  I want my home paid off and things done to keep it in good market value so that we can stay in it or or sell it to buy something smaller and more elder friendly (I have very steep narrow stairs, a sunken living room, and there is zero way to make my bathrooms wheelchair or even walker accessible.) I want to travel and enjoy time with my family and friends and go to daily mass and church activities, I’d like a small pretty garden that needs light tending and be able to go on walks.   I want to swim in warm weather every chance I can. I’d like to sit next to my husband or look up and laugh with him about something while doing all those things. And every day I wake up able to do that after age 75 - I’m going to be pretty damn pleasantly surprised. 

my parents did not die suddenly but they did die relatively quickly and they knew it was coming. Dad knew his heart was failing and he was on hospice for less than a month. Same for mom. Both died with me. I hope I’m more deserving of love and care than my parents were and I hope my kids is okay with being there for us in this brief capacity. If it’s a prolonged death, I hope to see my loved ones daily during those days but I don’t expect them to provide nursing care.  

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I'll be 56 this year as well. Although I work, dh is the primary breadwinner. He'll likely work another 10-12 years. My income just brings us extra travel money. Lots of it stocked up since we haven't been far in the past year. Our goal is to upsize in the next year, depending on a possible move to OH. And then downsize when we retire, moving back here if we've moved away. Or close to the kids, depending on where they are. Travel as much as we can until we aren't physically able. Probably one big trip a year and lots of getaways to the beach (a 2-hour drive, not a big thing) as the beach is my happy place. 

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7 hours ago, chiguirre said:

Our gun laws are our euthanasia laws. 

(This is my plan if I ever get a bad diagnosis. I'm not suicidal but I'd rather it be quick than the horror my MIL went through.)

I'm sorry your MIL suffered so.

Seeing someone go through that kind of hell at the end absolutely changes your thoughts on end of life. 

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You know, I was thinking about my MIL and my mom, and nursing homes. Maybe it is ignorant/naive of me, but I think the thing about a nursing home that would be the hardest on me is that I am an introvert, and I treasure my alone time. And the noise. That would bother me too. While my mom gets lonely sometimes, she prefers that to having people around all the time. My MIL, however, does enjoy the social life (to a certain extent). 

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7 hours ago, BlsdMama said:

This nearly made me vomit.  But I'm trying not to take it to personal...  I've heard my Dad say the same thing and he didn't mean it to hurt, but I pray he didn't mean it at all.  

We cannot pretend there is no value in suffering.  There is value in both care giving and being in cared for.  Humanness cannot be minimized to only doing things that make us happy.  There is an incredible amount of suffering in life and it is then that we learn valuable things, as do those around us.  

Be wary of saying this around your children.  It is a dangerous thing to present them with a solution to a hard life.  My dad said this my whole life.  I'll be honest in saying, it was one of the first things I thought of -a quick and easy trip out to Oregon.  Too bad I could only see about an inch in front of my face.  I would have missed out on some really good years after the diagnosis to help my kids through the diagnosis and begin to prepare them.

I used to believe this, and have been at end of life situations where this held. I believe in many cases, there is value in the caring and being cared for. Value in lives from birth to grave regardless of capacity. Heck, I still believe that, somewhere in me. I even believe most people with access to palliative care can have a good death. 

But some people don't. Some people are literally tortured by their death. And their loved ones are tortured alongside. And deal with the trauma of the death for a long time afterwards. This is how some people die. I wish I had known this; it would have served me better (and I could have served my aunt better) had I not gone into it armed only with my belief there is value in death.

 

 

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I think we will be ok financially.  We will be comfortable.  We will have to move, as the house we live in comes with dh's job.  We do have our house money in rentals right now, which we will sell when we need to buy a place for ourselves.  So, I know we will downsize.  I hope we can settle near at least one of our children, in a place warmer and more laid back than where we are now.  There is almost no chance I'll want to stay where we are--too cold, and too stressed out.

I would love a town where we can walk places--a college town would be nice or a city (I grew up in a city.)  I want enough space for family to visit.  I would love to travel, but don't know how likely that will be financially and bc dh has an allergy that makes travelling difficult.  I travelled a ton in my 20s and have lived in 4 countries, so that's not super important, it just would be nice.

We aren't big spenders, so I guess I just see a peaceful, laid back life of family and church.  We eat heathfully and stay active, but we can't predict our future.  Dh's super healthy, health food eating father died at 60 of cancer (only 4 months from diagnoses to death).  My far less  healthy smoking, diabetic, drinking, overweight father fended off cancer for 3 years and died at 77.  So, we know that there is just no telling. We will just do our best.

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I have a long time before we get there but I envision it being like my parents' old age is going.  They are early 70 and moved in with us so they didn't have to maintain a large house that would accommodate visits from their children.  They spend half of the year down south near my sister in a tiny ranch they own out right. In normal years many of that half of the year is also spent on cruises (I don't want to cruise, I'd rather travel in a different manner.)  The other half of the year is spent up north living in our house.  They will continue this until they aren't healthy enough too travel anymore.  

It brings them a lot of comfort and freedom now knowing that when they can no longer care for themselves they are already settled in with our family.  

I obviously won't rely on any of my kids wanting this set up and won't voice it to them until they are many many years into their adulthood.  But that is how I'd love for it to be.  Financially, we are saving for a very different retirement. I'd love for dh to be able to retire in his early 50s and am socking a lot of money away for that scenario.

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1 hour ago, Jaybee said:

You know, I was thinking about my MIL and my mom, and nursing homes. Maybe it is ignorant/naive of me, but I think the thing about a nursing home that would be the hardest on me is that I am an introvert, and I treasure my alone time. And the noise. That would bother me too. While my mom gets lonely sometimes, she prefers that to having people around all the time. My MIL, however, does enjoy the social life (to a certain extent). 

I too would not like the noise and the people.  I would much prefer a small apartment or a MIL suite where I could be alone. 

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I am hoping that I can stay healthy as long as I can. As others have pointed out, we only have so much control over that.  I exercise  4-6 times per week and maintain a healthy weight. I am sure I could eat better, but I don’t eat horribly.  I do drink alcohol. 

We should be okay financially.  We have always lived below our means.  We have no debt. We have done our downsizing/decluttering/purging.  Clearing out would be easy for ds if we both dropped dead tomorrow.  

I think it is tricky to know if and when one should give up one’s home and go to a group type place.  I would hope to be proactive about decisions like that rather than being in a crisis spot and I (or someone else) finding themselves in a reactionary mode.  

We only have one ds.  I have told him that I never expect to live with him.  However, I will likely want to be near him if I ever go into an AL type place or nursing home so that it will be easier on him to check on me.  I want to be willing to go where he is so he can be close by to make sure I am not being mistreated/neglected, etc. 

I do have a group of girlfriends, and we have it in our heads that we will all outlive our husbands and then we will all live together in a place with Jon Bon Jovi.  We haven’t told him yet, though. 😂

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I have no idea. We have prepared. We  have saved and should have have tons of money left if we die in our 90's. We have long term care insurance. We have no debt. Everything is paid off. We live on land, have generators, could live off the grid if necessary.  But Covid has taught me anything can happen. I know what I want it to look like. But our kids have no significant others and no plans to get any. Who knows if they will marry or have kids.  

I want to be a successful writer. I want to travel with my husband. I want to have some really good close friends and couple friends. I would like to travel with friends. I would like to spend a significant amount of time doing service projects and mission trips. I want to remain close to my kids.  I think it would be fun to have grandkids, but not essential. Whether any of that will happen I have not control over. 

I have risks for breast cancer and memory issues. My husband has already had a major medical issue out of the blue. Could happen again. 

I've quit dreaming and just adapt to whatever happens. I see no point. 

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Mostly I know what I don’t want based on how things went with my MIL and how things are going with my parents now. I don’t want to be someone who will not admit her limitations and refuses necessary help. This is fresh in my mind, as I am finishing up a hastily planned trip to visit my parents whole e next door to my sister, Just a few miniutes ago, I had to have a very, very hard conversation with my mother that I really wish didn’t have to happen. 

We have some intermediate plans, but I would like to eventually move to a nice assisted living apartment somewhere near the ocean. The ocean part is optional, but preferred. I would like my kids to be able to spend the ending days of my life just visiting and being with me, not so tired and worn down from caring for me. My mom desperately wants people (my sisters) to just sit and visit with her, but right now they see her demands (yes she is demanding and difficult) as one more thing to check off on a to do list. There is no energy left to enjoy just being with her. If my mom had or would make different decisions, then people might actually enjoy being around her. I find it terribly sad that she has driven away the people she would most like around her, her attempts to control everything have actually backfired but she can’t see it.

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17 hours ago, Spy Car said:

I was overjoyed to have my very independent-minded mother spend the final year of her life living with us in our home. We had a lot of fun. I will always cherish that time. I know she did too.

Bill

 

First time I ever teared up at a WTM post.

I'll never forget this.

 

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My grandmothers both lived until their mid-nineties, so I tell people I will live to 100.   I only really want that if I have mental abilities like they did.

Ideally, my husband and I would rotate around my four kids houses throughout the year, with some additional travel.   I don't need much personal stuff.  Just a bed, clothes, computer and books.    I hope to return to work soon to help fill the coffers and my kids have visions of me homeschooling their children.

We own our house, and like our neighbours and  neighbourhood.  Our house has a nice garden, I can see myself spending many hours out there, chatting with neighbours, going for walks.   I hope one of our children would want to stay to live with us.   The house would seem lonely with just the two of us.


I helped my FIL clean out his house and that encourages me to simplify the contents in our house. 

Being around older people is an eye-opener.  Losing autonomy will be very difficult for me.

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36 minutes ago, Alicia64 said:

First time I ever teared up at a WTM post.

I'll never forget this.

 

We had the best time. Really. My mom at 91-92 was so willing try try new things.

She'd always been a person who "ate to live," but during her year here she came to love my cooking. I would show her how I made many items the slow way from scratch and laughed that I often felt like someone's grandmother from the old world.  She started looking forward to meals--a lot--and would always ask enthusiastically "what are you going to make today? " I would hear her laughing with friends on the phone saying "I can't believe that at 91 I've become a 'foodie.' So funny!!!"

She'd always been a reader, but was frustrated that her eyesight was making reading difficult. So I got her the best gift I've ever purchased for anyone: a new iPad loaded with the Kindle app so she could blow up the text. I kid you not, the woman started knocking off books at a rate I couldn't believe. I was lucky to get two days to find a new ebook from the library.

To slow her down a little I started introducing her to a lot of the romantic era music that I've become enamored of myself in recent years. I set her up with records, but she especially enjoyed watching performances on places like the Berlin Philharmonic website. She liked that so much that we became "opera buddies" and would huddle almost nightly to view the streams that the Met has made available for free during the pandemic. Then, on her own, she'd re-watch her favorites. Norma and Carmen she watched three times each.

She even sat with me all the way through the nearly 5 hour  Parsifal by Wagner (whose music I adore, despite the man) and Wagner's entire Ring Cycle. One has to love a person like that. LOL.

We got really close. We shared a dry sense of humor and really had fun spending time together. I feel truly blessed that we had the time together. I miss her dearly.

Not yet a year since she passed. And she was with us when it happened, peacefully in her sleep, which was what she always wanted.

And now, I'm tearing up.

Bill

 

Edited by Spy Car
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25 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

We had the best time. Really. My mom at 91-92 was so willing try try new things.

She'd always been a person who "ate to live," but during her year here she came to love my cooking. I would show her how I made many items the slow way from scratch and laughed that I often felt like someone's grandmother from the old world.  She started looking forward to meals--a lot--and would always ask enthusiastically "what are you going to make today? " I would hear her laughing with friends on the phone saying "I can't believe that at 91 I've become a 'foodie.' So funny!!!"

She'd always been a reader, but was frustrated that her eyesight was making reading difficult. So I got her the best gift I've ever purchased for anyone: a new iPad loaded with the Kindle app so she could blow up the text. I kid you not, the woman started knocking off books at a rate I couldn't believe. I was lucky to get two days to find a new ebook from the library.

To slow her down a little I started introducing her to a lot of the romantic era music that I've become enamored of myself in recent years. I set her up with records, but she especially enjoyed watching performances on places like the Berlin Philharmonic website. She liked that so much that we became "opera buddies" and would huddle almost nightly to view the streams that the Met has made available for free during the pandemic. Then, on her own, she'd re-watch her favorites. Norma and Carmen she watched three times each.

She even sat with me all the way through the nearly 5 hour  Parsifal by Wagner (whose music I adore, despite the man) and Wagner's entire Ring Cycle. One has to love a person like that. LOL.

We got really close. We shared a dry sense of humor and really had fun spending time together. I feel truly blessed that we had the time together. I miss her dearly.

Not yet a year since she passed. And she was with us when it happened, peacefully in her sleep, which was what she always wanted.

And now, I'm tearing up.

Bill

 

This is such a sweet post. Thank you.  

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For some reason I feel quite certain that there will be legal euthanasia by my old age - I feel like we are really close in Australia, esp in some states. However, that depends I guess on the political cycle which moves between conservative and progressive here continuing to move forward. The problem will be making sure it's accessible to everyone and not something where it's one rule for the rich and another for everyone else, like most things.

@Jaybee my MIL has her own room, can order the meals to be brought in rather than eat in the dining room, has own little garden, so she can literally not see anyone all day if she doesn't want to. @Melissa in Australia she doesn't pay for it, it's govt funded (it's a charity but not religious). She's actually doing a uni course while she's there - intellectually fine, just not mobile and has a diagnosis of a life-limiting disease which is how she fit the guidelines, I believe. I am so so glad she got a bed there before covid because she would've been so lonely otherwise. 

Edited by bookbard
Actually I think I meant @MelissaLouise sorry!
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13 hours ago, City Mouse said:

I would like my kids to be able to spend the ending days of my life just visiting and being with me, not so tired and worn down from caring for me. My mom desperately wants people (my sisters) to just sit and visit with her, but right now they see her demands (yes she is demanding and difficult) as one more thing to check off on a to do list. There is no energy left to enjoy just being with her. If my mom had or would make different decisions, then people might actually enjoy being around her. I find it terribly sad that she has driven away the people she would most like around her, her attempts to control everything have actually backfired but she can’t see it.

This!  I would love to just chill and hang with dad, do a puzzle, etc.  But, he is the opposite of having a list of demands, in that he does nothing - won't even give me a grocery list.  All on me - all cleaning, etc..  And...in doing it all, there is no time to enjoy - especially when you are also taking care of your family and homeschooling.  Just not enough left in me to be super mom and super daughter.  But...hopefully when vaccinations are done, etc., I can hire out the cleaning part again and that will free up some more quality time with him.  Right now I clean toilets instead of doing puzzles.

Tough situation for everyone involved really!

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I’ll probably spend my senior years telling my dh to get off the roof and no you can’t fly a plane through the barn. (If you’ve ever seen the movie second hand lions, you’ll know what I mean. That’s the kind of old guy I believe my dh will be.) 

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2 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I’ll probably spend my senior years telling my dh to get off the roof and no you can’t fly a plane through the barn. (If you’ve ever seen the movie second hand lions, you’ll know what I mean. That’s the kind of old guy I believe my dh will be.) 

Mine too!  This made me laugh.

 

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I don't think about old age much, or have specific plans about how it should go, mostly because of my experience that things rarely go as planned!  I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just life.  We've had more major twists and turns than I ever would have believed possible in one lifetime, but It's forced me to really live in the moment and appreciate little things.  My dh and I have had opportunities to do some pretty wild things in our lives, and we feel like we've already lived a full life.  Anything extra now is just a bonus.  Our kids are all loving and responsible people and will make sure we're taken care of if needed, but they also know we don't want to extend things just for the sake of extending, and they know that we don't mind living in a nursing home.  (I know they'll make sure it's a decent one.)  I have no idea where we'll be in 10 years let alone one year, at this point...  And that's okay with me.  At least for now, we're set financially and I know that makes a difference.

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15 hours ago, Spy Car said:

We had the best time. Really. My mom at 91-92 was so willing try try new things.

She'd always been a person who "ate to live," but during her year here she came to love my cooking. I would show her how I made many items the slow way from scratch and laughed that I often felt like someone's grandmother from the old world.  She started looking forward to meals--a lot--and would always ask enthusiastically "what are you going to make today? " I would hear her laughing with friends on the phone saying "I can't believe that at 91 I've become a 'foodie.' So funny!!!"

She'd always been a reader, but was frustrated that her eyesight was making reading difficult. So I got her the best gift I've ever purchased for anyone: a new iPad loaded with the Kindle app so she could blow up the text. I kid you not, the woman started knocking off books at a rate I couldn't believe. I was lucky to get two days to find a new ebook from the library.

To slow her down a little I started introducing her to a lot of the romantic era music that I've become enamored of myself in recent years. I set her up with records, but she especially enjoyed watching performances on places like the Berlin Philharmonic website. She liked that so much that we became "opera buddies" and would huddle almost nightly to view the streams that the Met has made available for free during the pandemic. Then, on her own, she'd re-watch her favorites. Norma and Carmen she watched three times each.

She even sat with me all the way through the nearly 5 hour  Parsifal by Wagner (whose music I adore, despite the man) and Wagner's entire Ring Cycle. One has to love a person like that. LOL.

We got really close. We shared a dry sense of humor and really had fun spending time together. I feel truly blessed that we had the time together. I miss her dearly.

Not yet a year since she passed. And she was with us when it happened, peacefully in her sleep, which was what she always wanted.

And now, I'm tearing up.

Bill

 

You definitely cook like my old world grandmother 😃. I can attest to that.

This post made me tear up. I did not get to watch my grandparents leave this earth. They died within months of each other. During the end they were constantly sleeping and I would call every day. No video phone then, but my mom or dad would hold the phone close and I would say things about my day. What I ate because the first question they both always asked me was did I eat. I could only go for the funeral which I was so grateful for,

This past year though, I was brought face to face with the fact that I might not be able to go to see my parents if they die or become sick. I am also close to my inlaws. Living with someone for months at a time for a period of years does that. It was odd having family meetings with siblings of DH and I about what to do if anyone got sick, the kind of funerals we would have if it was non-COVID vs COVID. These conversations were upsetting and I am in tears as I am typing this. My parents and in-laws have the vaccine and I am on a waitlist. I hope DH and I get to see them again. 

I always thought the price I will pay for coming here is when my parents pass, I will not be there and I was mostly ok with that. After COVID I am not so sure. I hope when the time comes I will be given the blessing of being present there. 

I am sorry for your loss Bill.. Thank you for sharing your lovely mother and memories of her.

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I know I've posted a few times on this thread and none are upbeat.  I just want to apologize!  We are in the throws of caring for 3 elderly parents and it is so, so hard.  My in-laws, just recently (in the past 2 months), are in a big, big decline.  While they (FIL really) said never to Assisted Living, he is now pushing for it, but really it is past that point.  So...their thoughts on how this would go are not how it it is turning out, but decisions were made and so we all go on.

My dad, thank goodness, is status quo at least.  Praying he doesn't have a crisis because we are about at our limit for the time being.  He is downsized, in an apartment, and his house is sold.  So...the goal is to keep him going and happy (hopefully that will get better when vaccinated).  And...while he fought me moving, he is much happier without the burden of a house to keep up with and all the "stuff"  surrounding him that he never did anything with.  I'm happy that is off his shoulders even though it almost killed me 😋.  

My plans for aging were very different 2 years ago than they are now.  I had never had to deal with elder care for my grandparents.  My mom died traumatically and very quickly when she was 62 so there was no caring for her long term.  Having lived it the past 2 years, and living it now, has made me very aware of what I do and don't want for me (and DH) and what I don't want for my boys.  So...that will be the driving force behind all decisions made after the boys are out of high school - where we move, what type of house we downsize to, what "stuff" we keep, etc.  We will be focusing on the things that are most important to us and bring us happiness.  I know that, in the end, the "stuff" won't matter.  My ILs didn't get rid of much and now they are sitting looking at it all (they are still in their home of many years) saying what are "we" going to do with all this stuff.  Don't throw away the picture frames because those are expensive, etc.  Really...that is so unimportant now and that ship sailed a while ago.  They don't have any control over what happens to all the stuff.  This is what I've learned the past 2 years.  It is life changing.

And...now I won't post any more depressing stuff -- LOL.

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15 hours ago, Spy Car said:

We had the best time. Really. My mom at 91-92 was so willing try try new things.

She'd always been a person who "ate to live," but during her year here she came to love my cooking. I would show her how I made many items the slow way from scratch and laughed that I often felt like someone's grandmother from the old world.  She started looking forward to meals--a lot--and would always ask enthusiastically "what are you going to make today? " I would hear her laughing with friends on the phone saying "I can't believe that at 91 I've become a 'foodie.' So funny!!!"

She'd always been a reader, but was frustrated that her eyesight was making reading difficult. So I got her the best gift I've ever purchased for anyone: a new iPad loaded with the Kindle app so she could blow up the text. I kid you not, the woman started knocking off books at a rate I couldn't believe. I was lucky to get two days to find a new ebook from the library.

To slow her down a little I started introducing her to a lot of the romantic era music that I've become enamored of myself in recent years. I set her up with records, but she especially enjoyed watching performances on places like the Berlin Philharmonic website. She liked that so much that we became "opera buddies" and would huddle almost nightly to view the streams that the Met has made available for free during the pandemic. Then, on her own, she'd re-watch her favorites. Norma and Carmen she watched three times each.

She even sat with me all the way through the nearly 5 hour  Parsifal by Wagner (whose music I adore, despite the man) and Wagner's entire Ring Cycle. One has to love a person like that. LOL.

We got really close. We shared a dry sense of humor and really had fun spending time together. I feel truly blessed that we had the time together. I miss her dearly.

Not yet a year since she passed. And she was with us when it happened, peacefully in her sleep, which was what she always wanted.

And now, I'm tearing up.

Bill

 

What a truly amazing story. Becoming a foodie in her 90s is hilarious. Any chance you're a writer? Because this story with your mom should be written. It's too lovely. (And that she passed in her sleep is beyond cool. What a dream-way to move on.) ♥♥♥

Tearing again.

 

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17 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

I know I've posted a few times on this thread and none are upbeat.  I just want to apologize!  We are in the throws of caring for 3 elderly parents and it is so, so hard.  My in-laws, just recently (in the past 2 months), are in a big, big decline.  While they (FIL really) said never to Assisted Living, he is now pushing for it, but really it is past that point.  So...their thoughts on how this would go are not how it it is turning out, but decisions were made and so we all go on.

My dad, thank goodness, is status quo at least.  Praying he doesn't have a crisis because we are about at our limit for the time being.  He is downsized, in an apartment, and his house is sold.  So...the goal is to keep him going and happy (hopefully that will get better when vaccinated).  And...while he fought me moving, he is much happier without the burden of a house to keep up with and all the "stuff"  surrounding him that he never did anything with.  I'm happy that is off his shoulders even though it almost killed me 😋.  

My plans for aging were very different 2 years ago than they are now.  I had never had to deal with elder care for my grandparents.  My mom died traumatically and very quickly when she was 62 so there was no caring for her long term.  Having lived it the past 2 years, and living it now, has made me very aware of what I do and don't want for me (and DH) and what I don't want for my boys.  So...that will be the driving force behind all decisions made after the boys are out of high school - where we move, what type of house we downsize to, what "stuff" we keep, etc.  We will be focusing on the things that are most important to us and bring us happiness.  I know that, in the end, the "stuff" won't matter.  My ILs didn't get rid of much and now they are sitting looking at it all (they are still in their home of many years) saying what are "we" going to do with all this stuff.  Don't throw away the picture frames because those are expensive, etc.  Really...that is so unimportant now and that ship sailed a while ago.  They don't have any control over what happens to all the stuff.  This is what I've learned the past 2 years.  It is life changing.

And...now I won't post any more depressing stuff -- LOL.

Please do  not apologize for posting your story!  I think it is very helpful and very relevant.  Thank you!  

I have told this story before but it seems fitting here....my first husband's grandmother was quite well off.  Her husband left her enough money to last 'until Jesus comes'.  And she was a very lovely woman.  She first downsized to a garden home.  Then to assisted living....and then to a nursing home where she died.  In the nursing home I was shocked to see that she had a roommate!  But it didn't matter because she was very out of it at the end.  My grandmother, was financially destitute.  My mom took care of her for years when I was young....she never lived with us, but she didn't drive and was very childlike in some ways.  Sweet though.  Mom ran her errands etc.  Took care of her bills....made sure she had adequate housing.  (nice little cottage paid for by HUD)  Later, when my aunt was widowed she moved grandma in with her.  (without discussing with other siblings but that is another story) In the end, grandma died in the garage that my aunt had converted for her.  She had hospice helping, and family came and went freely those last few months.  

In the end it just doesn't matter how much money you had.  It really doesn't change much. (I know there is more here we are discussing such as long term suffering etc.....but both of these women died in their 90s after short illnesses-)

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2 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

What a truly amazing story. Becoming a foodie in her 90s is hilarious. Any chance you're a writer? Because this story with your mom should be written. It's too lovely. (And that she passed in her sleep is beyond cool. What a dream-way to move on.) ♥♥♥

Tearing again.

 

I'd add a coda to the story of her passing. Because--as I mentioned--she'd metamorphosed into a total food enthusiast (and ate with gusto) I got a little worried when one day her appetite seemed off. The next day she didn't want to eat. She wasn't sick otherwise, but I knew my mom well at this point. So I immediately called my brother and told him that I might be way off base, but I had the feeling that mom was going to pass. My brother and my mother have always been close, but due to Covid I was running a very tight ship. His job--which involved Covid response--had put him outside the bubble for physical contact. But I let him know that he was welcome. That I could well be wrong, but my gut told me she was getting ready to pass.

He dropped everything and got to spend the whole day out on our patio with my mom. They hugged and told stories and shared laughs. My mom passed that night.

I'd called her doctor just after making the call to my brother and expressed my sense that my mother was going to pass.  He was kind, but I don't think he put too much stock in my intuition. He did suggest that if I was really worried that I should take my mother to an ER. I let him know that the last thing my mother would want would be to die in a hospital alone. He got that and said I should check back in a few days. I didn't think we'd have a few days, but kept that thought internal. I'd already said it.

When I found her deceased, I of course called my brother. He and his wife and their two children (all of whom were very close with my mom) started making arranges to come out to my home.

I then bathed my mother. In my own "personal religion" washing a deceased loved one is the respectful thing to do. That act did cause a little consternation with the Medical Examiners, so they wanted a little look about to make sure she wasn't  a victim of foul play. The fact that I'd called her doctor the day before--which they confirmed--took the tension out of the situation and I felt the sensation of going from a potential suspect in their eyes to be treated like a good guy.

We all sat out in the patio. I propped my Mom in a wheelchair. Her hair fixed (the way she would have wanted it). Dressed in snuggly clothes and covered with a warm blanket. And the family all hung out. That was our "funeral." At one point I played the old Carter Family tune "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," which made tears flow all around.

As things broke up my brother expressed how grateful he was that he had the chance to say goodbye to our mother. I know what that meant to him.

All things considered, I could not have hoped for a better end. No regrets.

Bill

 

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My children know I will not be going to a senior living center. This has been made clear. Anyone who wants to bail on me as a family member, I will bail on too. If we live to an average age, I think we will be fine financially, barring off events, which do happen. I don't think my husband will live for our youngest to see adulthood. He has heart problems he was born with, but refuses to take care of himself. This means I will be alone and I have no desire to travel or anything. I just don't want to move out of my house.

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@Spy CarThank you for the sweet stories of your Mom. They are wonderful.

My mom had spent much of my adult life living far from me, but the last 2 years she moved closer (living in a senior apartment). I think she might have always been a foodie deep down but she never had the money or opportunities to be really adventurous. Anyway, during those last couple of years we introduced her to some new foods and she was delighted.

But the best memory is of the last time we took her out for a meal, to an Indian buffet. Oh it was so fun to watch her marvel over all the selections and try little bites of all these new foods. She went back and forth so many times so she could try everything, and kept exclaiming over how wonderful everything tasted. The workers at the restaurant were or at least appeared to be charmed by her enthusiasm. I imagine it would be hard not to be happy watching this tiny elderly lady obviously enjoying herself immensely. 

Of course we didn't know that would be her first and last Indian meal. (I may have made curry for her a time or two, but nothing like the real thing and in such variety.) It is a precious memory. 

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10 minutes ago, Janeway said:

My children know I will not be going to a senior living center. This has been made clear. Anyone who wants to bail on me as a family member, I will bail on too. If we live to an average age, I think we will be fine financially, barring off events, which do happen. I don't think my husband will live for our youngest to see adulthood. He has heart problems he was born with, but refuses to take care of himself. This means I will be alone and I have no desire to travel or anything. I just don't want to move out of my house.

That is dangerous and rigid thinking. And your kids are too young to be saddling them with such talk.

 

Edited by Scarlett
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7 minutes ago, Janeway said:

My children know I will not be going to a senior living center. This has been made clear. Anyone who wants to bail on me as a family member, I will bail on too. If we live to an average age, I think we will be fine financially, barring off events, which do happen. I don't think my husband will live for our youngest to see adulthood. He has heart problems he was born with, but refuses to take care of himself. This means I will be alone and I have no desire to travel or anything. I just don't want to move out of my house.

Gently, I think that approach is setting up a lot of stress for all people involved.  It's really rigid--you do this or else, I will only do xyz.  You all might enjoy each other more as you move into these years by having a less rigid view.  It's not bailing on you as a family member to not be able to do elder care.  My mom stayed in her own house a long time, but mobility issues ended up making it very very difficult  for her to thrive.  She is in a senior independent living place and is thriving.  She is doing much much better. Having seen what elder care did to her mother, she does not want to move in with any of us.  Our housing situations would make it very difficult (our family is in a parsonage and is not suitable for her mobility issues, dh would have to find a new job).

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6 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

That is dangerous and rigid thinking. And your kids are too young to be saddling them with such talk.

 

For sure. I have known a few people who were forced into promising a parent that they would never "put them in a nursing home" and it was horrible for all of them. I was so grateful my parents and in-laws never suggested such a thing.  I think it's abusive for a parent to extract promises or set obligations like that for their children. No one knows what the future holds. 

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