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Old 09-12-2011, 06:21 PM   #21
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Interesting thread. DW and I plan to stay right where we have been for 29 years. We have most of the bases covered - city living with lots of greenery. Shopping, restaurants, culture within walking distance. Public transportation and bike shares 2 blocks away. I probably need to think about redoing the master bath in the next decade to achieve W2R's suggestions. We are members of and volunteer with a non-profit dedicated to helping people in our neighborhood age in place. I just hope younger folks keep joining/volunteering to cover us when we need the help.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:30 PM   #22
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Damn it's depressing thinking about being a "limited mobility" person. Yeah, I know. Reality and all that. Still sucks though.
It can happen at any age. When I was in my mid 20s a woman who I had been madly in love with but broken off from was in a bad wreck and became quadriplegic. I visited her several times a week until she died from halothane liver toxicity almost 2 years later. (Someone fogot to keep up with her liver function tests during a long series of surgeries to reposition tendons so she could drive a modified controls car.) I learned so much about making do with reduced powers from her. She was truly inspirational.

Ha
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:38 PM   #23
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It can happen at any age.
It sure can.

Tonight I told DH we should rent a wheelchair for the day and roll around in the house and see if there are any potential problems. I know of one...we have a sunken living room. We'd have to build a ramp in three areas.

He looked at me like I have three heads. He's just not ready to think about things like that...
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:45 PM   #24
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It can happen at any age. When I was in my mid 20s a woman who I had been madly in love with but broken off from was in a bad wreck and became quadriplegic. I visited her several times a week until she died from halothane liver toxicity almost 2 years later. (Someone fogot to keep up with her liver fundtion tests during a long series of surgeries to reposition tendons so she could drive a modified controls car.) I learned so much about making do with reduced powers from her. She was truly inspirational.

Ha
Sure can my dear Ha. My MIL became disabled in her 60s after a stroke. She was a strong and vital woman before that tragic and unexpected event. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Meanwhile, live your life to the fullest - every moment of every day.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:51 PM   #25
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It sure can.

Tonight I told DH we should rent a wheelchair for the day and roll around in the house and see if there are any potential problems. I know of one...we have a sunken living room. We'd have to build a ramp in three areas.

He looked at me like I have three heads. He's just not ready to think about things like that...
You're thinking ahead and looking out for both of you. I know you two have been through some stuff. The kind of stuff that makes us think about the things we'd rather not think about. I suspect he really does appreciate what you're doing.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:04 PM   #26
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You're thinking ahead and looking out for both of you. I know you two have been through some stuff. The kind of stuff that makes us think about the things we'd rather not think about. I suspect he really does appreciate what you're doing.
Thanks Purron.....I imagine you're right.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:13 PM   #27
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Great thread Ha ! I have been given this some thought . The house we live in now would not be practical in old age . We do have an elevator but we have steps to the next floor and it really is too big too manage when we are elderly . I am kind of torn between moving now or waiting a few years . We will move to a one story maintenance free smaller house close to a lot of facilities . If something happened to my SO when I was older I would probably move closer to my daughter and maybe rent in Florida for the winters.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:46 PM   #28
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Damn it's depressing thinking about being a "limited mobility" person. Yeah, I know. Reality and all that. Still sucks though.
I agree. Those were my thoughts also.

Our house would not be a good place to live if one of us becomes physically disabled. However, with 5 cats and my DH's baby (car) plus our other 2 cars, I don't think we will be moving anytime soon. I have always figured that I will be the one to go first, but if I don't, it will be a nightmare trying to figure out what to do with his car and all of the stuff that he has in his garage.

My dream, would be to sell pretty much everything, and then live in furnished apartments for 6 months to a year in different big cities. You could really explore the city, museums, parks, etc. Who knows though, I might get tired of that and wish I had a place to settle down. I know that I would miss my relatives.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:44 PM   #29
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As long as you have your mind, you can handle all of the other problems associated with aging. When your mind goes, nothing else matters, except having someone who will take care of you even if you are not aware of it.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:15 AM   #30
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I started thinking about some of the mobility issues about 5 years after moving into my current house. Fortunately a shopping center was built a mile away with a grocery store, banking, small post office and a few restaurants. There is a bus stop at one of the entrances to my neighborhood also. I moved into a one story with only one step into the house, and wide enough hallways so I think I'm pretty well covered unless I end up in a wheelchair.

I could add a cement path in my back yard and raise my vegetable beds higher so I could keep growing vegetables. Since I have front yard maintenance included in my HOA, the front of the house would look unchanged. My back yard is mostly colorful shrubs, other than my vegetable beds, so little maintenance there.

The closest grocery store has a bank in it also, which would make banking easier too. I think I lucked out by chosing this neighborhood, not knowing it would be better than I had anticipated in case of lost mobility.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:25 PM   #31
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Our current condo is about 80+% ready for any serious infirmity. We redid one bath to make it roll-in ready. Turns out this was just in time. DW has some serious foot issues which makes scaling a normal tub difficult. Standing for a shower is difficult, so we have one of the cheap shower seats which is quite effective.

Our major backup plan (should one or both become seriously disabled) is to move back to the mainland where long term care is "affordable" ($3500/mo instead of $7000/mo). If it were just me, I'd be considering the 9mm solution, but I have to think beyond this selfish exit strategy since there are two of us.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:52 PM   #32
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Interesting thread, and I thought I was being paranoid when talking to DW about old age.

We have a huge house for 2 people but I can walk right out the back gate and find miles of trails to walk or run in. I get a kick out of some home maintenance tasks. Plus we are on the edge of a suburban city here. Today we drove into SF for the day and visited the DeYoung Museum plus it was a free day today in the botanical gardens -- that's enough city for us right now.

But maybe 10 or 15 years from now this will be too much. Should we give it up now? Probably we will wait until it feels right to downsize and then we will known the answer (I think). Hopefully the house will hold it's value, at least relative to other places. Maybe we will move to another place closer to downtown in this community. Cities are constantly changing and creating spaces for combined shopping/business/living -- maybe that will happen around here.

Or maybe I'll just "buy the farm" on one of those trail runs --- that will take care of that decision .
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:22 AM   #33
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Damn it's depressing thinking about being a "limited mobility" person. Yeah, I know. Reality and all that. Still sucks though.
I see that with DW's father. He's in the house he's been in for 40 years and while he did consider selling it and going to a community that offers continuous care, in his mind that equates to a 1960's nursing home. He had to put his father in one and he's (justifiably) terrified of ending up like that.

But the reality is that if it weren't for all the time DW spends there he'd have been forced to move a couple of years ago. Since the rest of the family isn't willing to face it we'll deal with the crisis when it inevitably happens.

But everyone sees things through the lens of their own experiences, and my mother's move to a continuous care facility worked out very well for her. All the home maintenance issues went away, she had a ball for eleven years, and it wasn't until the last six months of her life that she needed assistance.

So that's why I say that "when I can't mow the lawn anymore" it's time to let go of the house and do something like that. DW can't keep the house up by herself and I think it would be selfish of me to insist on staying until the end and let her deal with the resulting mess of complications.

Hopefully I'll get The Big Ache before I'm one of those stooped-over guys in a wheelchair drooling in my oatmeal.
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:43 PM   #34
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A very good friend of mine (now deceased) was a WW II wounded veteran who had been in a wheelchair ever since the war. He used a hand-control car to get around, and had all sorts of clever ideas of his own invention fixed up in his house to accommodate his situation. I used to visit him often, and always marveled at how it was possible for him to do whatever he wanted despite his disability.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:29 PM   #35
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I found out how elderly friendly our house was a couple of years ago when I broke my ankle. Up and down stairs on my butt. Showering was a real chore - even in my low shower base in the basement. There was nothing sturdy to grab onto to maneuver. Our house isn't crutch ready, let alone walker or wheelchair ready. Now I'm even a little squirmish on the roof taking leaves out of the gutters.
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:10 AM   #36
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does anyone have any idea about what it cost to have a revocable trust drawn up or a will for that matter?
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:53 AM   #37
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So that's why I say that "when I can't mow the lawn anymore" it's time to let go of the house and do something like that. DW can't keep the house up by herself and I think it would be selfish of me to insist on staying until the end and let her deal with the resulting mess of complications.
Remember a few years ago when a guy barricaded himself in his apartment with only dial-up Internet access and a credit-card account, and tried to live that way for a year?

That'll be spouse & me, only with DSL. If we can't get out of the house to take care of things then we'll hire entrepreneurial yard-care specialists and have the groceries delivered.

A shipmate helped me solve the stairs problem. His house has a ground-floor laundryroom. They ripped it down to the studs, reorganized the plumbing & drains, retiled it in travertine, and turned it into a wheel-in shower. When the time comes we'll be able to do the same to the back bathroom in our house.

However I'd much prefer to continue showering at the beach after a good surfing session.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:03 AM   #38
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That's what we want too, but we haven't found it yet (that we can afford). It would be so nice to be able to walk, or ride a bike to at least a few service.
Let me know if you do!
that sounds like what we are looking for in the next 3yrs or so.
(We also need to stay within 8 hrs of Atl.)
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #39
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We are soon to build our retirement house so have thought about this a lot. We did think about it in choosing the location. We don't live in a location where many things are close to walk to and public transportation is not good. For family reasons, we didn't want to relocate.

About 3 years ago I broke my ankle and was in a wheelchair for a few weeks which was an eye opener on accessibility.

Some of what we did:

1. We need some space and few restrictions due to pets so we found 1 acre of unrestricted land. However, it is within 5 minutes easy drive to grocery stores, pharmacy, shopping malls and hospital. My mom is in her late 80s and still drives in her neighborhood where she doesn't have to get on freeways. I am thinking that would likely work for us later on. Also, if I couldn't drive at all we could take taxis.

2. One of the things that was difficult when I was in a wheelchair was bathroom access and getting into rooms with narrow doors. The entire house is being designed with 3' doors with only a couple of exceptions. I plan to have a ramp in the garage so that a wheelchair could get into (or out of) the house with no help. When I had my broken leg I could get in my car, drive and get out of my car and to my office using a wheelchair but I couldn't get from my house to the car without help as their was no ramp.

3. The secondary bath is being designed with the toilet room handicap access and with a 6' x 4' shower that has no lip on the floor. The master bath will have a 7' x 5' shower with no lip on the floor and no door. The toilet room in the master bath is large enough for a wheelchair and could be easily converted to be even more accessible.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:33 PM   #40
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So that's why I say that "when I can't mow the lawn anymore" it's time to let go of the house and do something like that. DW can't keep the house up by herself and I think it would be selfish of me to insist on staying until the end and let her deal with the resulting.
Good luck. My parents are 89, living in a 3400 sf home they've owned outright since the early 70's. He gave up mowing a long time ago, though he could have done it himself until a few years ago. My overly fastidious Mom finally gave up and hired a maid last year. Though they realize they can't handle the house anymore, they won't move. My Dad says an apartment would cost $3000/month so it doesn't make sense. Of course he's looking at apartments on an exclusive golf course (and they both gave up golf several years ago) and hasn't bothered to look anywhere else. Even though they know better, so far they are going to rationalize why they can't move - their house, their money, their lives, prerogative of age...
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