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Old 11-21-2015, 02:44 PM   #41
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I wonder what you mean by "be a burden?"
FIL was a burden to DW by refusing to face the reality soon enough that he couldn't stay in the house as long as he did without substantial help from me and mostly her. At one point she was driving 35-40 minutes one way three or four days a week looking after him. When he couldn't drive she was the one taking him to doctors, grocery, etc. While she was grateful to have the free time to do this because that's who she is, frankly I was a bit resentful that he didn't take more responsibility for himself and make arrangements to move before he absolutely had no choice.

That said, he was terrified of nursing homes because his father was in one in the 1970's. Almost all are much better now and more heavily regulated because of past abuses. And FIL did have the resources to get into one better than the minimum standard. I have a far different view because of my mother's experience in a well run CCRC.

A cousin of DW's in FL has it even worse. Her parents are living nearby and her father has dementia, incontinence, etc. and all he other bad things everyone is justifiably afraid of. She is dealing with finding homes for them with meager resources - they should have made those arrangements a long time ago. What do these people think is going to happen? That they're never going to get old and feeble? That they'll get lucky and just pass away while asleep one night? That happens to a lucky few but more often it is far different.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:03 PM   #42
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If on-line discussions are anything to go by, this "seeming" disappears when old people live together in groups. Apparently they don't bother being as nice to each other as they are to little girls. Also, everybody has already heard all the stories, and/or lived them.

Oh well, age will come to us all eventually, and the sensible thing seems to be to surround ourselves with others like ourselves;, who get what we are going through; so we'd better get used to old people while we can.
They still tell me fascinating stories (I'm talking about people 20 years older than me, 87 to my 67). But I have NO idea what they talk about amongst themselves.

F's uncle told me utterly mind blowing stories about the underbelly of New Orleans in the 1930's, give or take a decade. Unfortunately he died in 2004. Every time we were to see him, I was dying to hear the next installment of his stories. If he was still alive to fill in the details, they could make a blockbuster series of epic films about it.

Maybe older people tell me these stories because they can sense I am interested? But then, if I had heard the story before I might not be so enthralled.

On the other hand, Frank and I tell each other the same stories over and over. We try not to, but we still do.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:07 PM   #43
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Put yourself in their shoes -which, God willing, we will all be in, one day.

You only have a short bit of life left, and you are supposed to spend it in THAT place with THOSE people Not while you can still get out of bed under your own power!

But I'm wondering...why did they have to be around the (forgive me, cruel term) "crazy people" while they were in their independent apartment? I thought the advantage of the"gradually descending" types of CCRCs was that, while you know the dementia ward is around the corner, you don't actually have to live in it yet.

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Being just 51, I may be a bit clouded about elderly frailty. But I did experience it with my elderly neighbors (both 86). For several years they had been planning a move to an independent care apartment facilitated with a nursing home. Last November they told me it was time. "You need to go on your own terms, before someone makes you go. Its time..."
I told her... You aren't going to like it and its going to be a big mistake. Fight it until you cant fight anymore is what I told them. Well fast forward 2 months as the house hadnt sold yet, and guess who is moving back in their old house? Yep, they returned to fight... Couldn't stand being around all the crazy people and didn't know who was sane or crazy is what they said. They have made it almost a year now since they moved back and are still making it.
I see myself in them....


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Old 11-21-2015, 03:14 PM   #44
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While there is no way I would want to impose on my son's life to the extent of actually living with him and his family or needing him to do something for me everyday, I would expect him to spend an hour a month, or so, checking my finances to ensure I'm not being ripped off and visit once a week if I'm in a home.

We're doing this for my MIL right now and it's not overwhelming for us at all. We'd be disappointed if she didn't allow us to help in this way.

I wonder what you mean by "be a burden?"
An hour a month online by my daughter from her home in Oregon would not be excessive to ask of her, I would think? On the other hand, there's a huge difference between that request, and moving in with her and her husband, or expecting them to spend hours a week with me. She is certainly NOT going to have to assume the duties of a primary caregiver for me. Different families have different cultural expectations of one another. This happens to be the way we do things in my family.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:16 PM   #45
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But I'm wondering...why did they have to be around the (forgive me, cruel term) "crazy people" while they were in their independent apartment? I thought the advantage of the"gradually descending" types of CCRCs was that, while you know the dementia ward is around the corner, you don't actually have to live in it yet.
When my mother was in the CCRC apartment she said there were some who were borderline - they could still live independently but were starting to "lose it". I never saw anyone wandering the halls who had clearly "lost it" and was carrying on a conversation with the floor clock.

Mom was pretty laid back about such things so as long as they weren't hurting anybody it didn't bother her.
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For the small minority, no kids, no spouse, what's your plan?
Old 11-21-2015, 03:17 PM   #46
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For the small minority, no kids, no spouse, what's your plan?

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Put yourself in their shoes -which, God willing, we will all be in, one day.



You only have a short bit of life left, and you are supposed to spend it in THAT place with THOSE people Not while you can still get out of bed under your own power!



But I'm wondering...why did they have to be around the (forgive me, cruel term) "crazy people" while they were in their independent apartment? I thought the advantage of the"gradually descending" types of CCRCs was that, while you know the dementia ward is around the corner, you don't actually have to live in it yet.



Amethyst

Part of the problem is "small rural" versus "big city". Those big city options aren't available in small rural areas. Most of us from a small town have no desire to ever move to a big city even for that reason. If you didn't want to go to daily to same local restaurant or cook, you had to eat with the captive audience. And all "group activities" were with those people onsite also. So in effect you were separate, but not really.
And ultimately....it just isn't home....


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Old 11-21-2015, 03:17 PM   #47
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I have a responsible adult son who is my POA, durable POA and executor. He lives out of state, but I know I can count on him to manage my finances if I were unable and to find me a suitable residence if I could not remain at home. That said, I hope that I am realistic enough to see myself slipping before some catastrophe would befall me and to book myself into a continuing care facility if hiring home care was not sufficient. There are some pretty nice places in my area, and I believe I could be quite content if I had my own room or small apartment. My son is a bachelor and if he remains one say 20 years from now when I am in my early 80's and he is in his early 50's I could also see proposing some arrangement with him whereby we might share a house provided there was separation in living space and I also had some hired help for things like personal care and housekeeping . We get along well, he is easy going and if he were agreeable it might work out. We have never discussed this last option so I don't know if he would be aghast at the thought. Of course I do hope he meets Ms. Right, gets married and has a family in which case I would not want a house share so as not to interfere.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:18 PM   #48
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They still tell me fascinating stories (I'm talking about people 20 years older than me, 87 to my 67). But I have NO idea what they talk about amongst themselves.
+1
I had two very dear friends who were both more than 20 years older than me. I took great delight in being around them, but alas they are both gone now. Both were WW II vets and they had wonderful stories to tell. If I heard a particular story more than once it never seemed like a problem because each retelling featured slightly different details.

I count myself extremely fortunate that they both seemed to enjoy my company as much as I enjoyed theirs.

I also feel very lucky that I have a great friend who is more than 20 years younger than me, and we have a very similar relationship.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:26 PM   #49
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Oddly, I have always loved being around old people, ever since I was a little girl. They seem so wise and have such interesting stories to tell...
+1!

I have always looked to older people, since young, as they always had such wisdom. Which is probably why now retired I am (even more) unhappy with where I live (until I move, soon)--over 50% of residents in my particular (extremely trendy) city are in their 20's and 30's, with everything that goes with that. I hang out with people older than me as much as I can.

I have no one. Sisters and brothers but will probably outlive them given my health is exceptional and theirs not so. I'm not at all worried. I've been extremely independent and self-sufficient since I was in my 20's. On extremely rare events, like a minor surgery, I had friends help a bit. I'll do so again should the occasion arise.

If I begin getting incapacitated in any manner I'll deal with it the way I always have--with a plan. Having almost died previously, I'm already aware of my ability to deal with declining health and pending death. Looking back, I'm amazed at how good a job I did dealing with every aspect, particularly given my young age at the time and the whole experience was so shocking and unexpected. I intend for any similar future events to be handled just as effectively.
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:13 PM   #50
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An hour a month online by my daughter from her home in Oregon would not be excessive to ask of her, I would think? Different families have different cultural expectations of one another. This happens to be the way we do things in my family.
Yes. There are different cultural expectations from family to family as you say. And I'm all for everyone leading their lives (and ending their lives) in their own ways consistent with their own cultures, beliefs, etc. In no way am I suggesting that the way we do things is the way anyone else should do things.

The way we're working with my MIL is fairly typical for both sides of our family. When she became unable to live independently, we educated ourselves on elder law through some reading and also a bit of professional help. Then we helped her find the best NH situation possible given her specifics. I felt she should have done more of this prep work herself while she was able, but she didn't. It wasn't too tough a process and, as a by-product, we learned a lot of useful information that will be helpful in planning for ourselves.

For the past couple of years, we visit MIL from time to time and DW monitors and helps with healthcare decisions. Recently this included a meeting with a palliative care team at the NH as her health has deteriorated and "comfort" is more relevant than "cure." DW's brother handles the finances although MIL has now switched from private pay to Medicaid so there aren't many finances left to worry about......

This amounts to more than the "hour a month" you mention. But it really hasn't been a "burden." There's a lot of space between one long distance hour per month and caring full time for sick, elderly parents in your home. We think we've found a comfortable (for us - I understand your feelings are different) arrangement.

We're hoping that if it's needed, we'll have a similar arrangement with our son and DIL. We would never want to require their help with life's basic needs. I've done my best to ensure that those services will be affordable within our FIRE plans. (Conservatively self-insured.) DS, who sees and understands how we are helping his grandmother without it being a huge burden, has volunteered to do the same for us if needed. And I'm laying down the plans so that there will be less for him to do than we had to do for MIL.

My only point for this thread is that you can have a child (or someone) involved in your elder care without that child ever spending a minute with you living in their home, changing your diaper, feeding you, etc. But it would be darn helpful, in my experience, if the child (or someone) would oversee finances so you aren't ripped off and monitors, even at arm's length, your care. And I suppose being involved in end-of-life decisions (monitoring that your documented wishes are being followed) would be nice too.

Stopping by with the grandkids once in a while would be a nice plus too!!
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:58 PM   #51
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FIL was a burden to DW by refusing to face the reality soon enough that he couldn't stay in the house as long as he did without substantial help from me and mostly her. At one point she was driving 35-40 minutes one way three or four days a week looking after him. When he couldn't drive she was the one taking him to doctors, grocery, etc. While she was grateful to have the free time to do this because that's who she is, frankly I was a bit resentful that he didn't take more responsibility for himself and make arrangements to move before he absolutely had no choice.

That said, he was terrified of nursing homes because his father was in one in the 1970's. Almost all are much better now and more heavily regulated because of past abuses. And FIL did have the resources to get into one better than the minimum standard. I have a far different view because of my mother's experience in a well run CCRC.

A cousin of DW's in FL has it even worse. Her parents are living nearby and her father has dementia, incontinence, etc. and all he other bad things everyone is justifiably afraid of. She is dealing with finding homes for them with meager resources - they should have made those arrangements a long time ago. What do these people think is going to happen? That they're never going to get old and feeble? That they'll get lucky and just pass away while asleep one night? That happens to a lucky few but more often it is far different.
Thanks for the specific examples Walt.

It seems like there is a bit of a consensus that a child (or someone) checking in on you via email for a total of one hour a month wouldn't be a burden. And that moving in with a child and he/she providing 24 hr life support would be a burden. Two extremes. That seems to leave the discussion with what are reasonable expectations (family culture dependent of course as W2R points out) for a parent to expect of a child, sibling to expect of a younger sibling, a friend to expect of a friend, etc? What's a "burden?" Or, another way, what level of help is reasonable to expect and would be defined as "burdensome?"

I've described what's going on with us helping MIL above. It doesn't seem burdensome, especially considering MIL's loyalty and helpfulness to us over the years. But it is somewhat intrusive. If we wanted to move away we'd be reluctant to, for example.
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:58 PM   #52
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This is a good topic. It is one most of us have to face eventually. For myself turning 46 in a few weeks, I am not too worried yet. However, truth be told sometimes we don't like our relatives, the few that are available to help out. That is a cold hard fact. I do not have a plan. I may never have a plan. My thinking now is I don't need one. That could change in the future.
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:28 PM   #53
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... I would rather go wander off into the woods and let the crows pick my eyes out than be a burden on anyone.
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...What I'd rather avoid is the possible situation, when living alone, that nobody is checking on me at all. I could see myself becoming unable to get out of bed, and just lying there starving to death and dying of thirst, all by myself...
Maybe you could join irishgal for a walk in the woods.
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:48 PM   #54
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My only point for this thread is that you can have a child (or someone) involved in your elder care without that child ever spending a minute with you living in their home, changing your diaper, feeding you, etc. But it would be darn helpful, in my experience, if the child (or someone) would oversee finances so you aren't ripped off and monitors, even at arm's length, your care. <snip>
Stopping by with the grandkids once in a while would be a nice plus too!!
DH is 15 years older than I am, so I expect to outlive him. My beloved only son told me years ago that he'd take me in if I was incapable of living independently. While his intentions warmed my heart, I don't want him dealing with my incontinence when I'm 90, if it comes to that and, now that he's married and has a child of his own, that's a heck of a promise to make for them.

They live 3 hours away; my plan would be to find a decent Continuing Care Community near them so they can look in on me but don't have to play cook, chauffeur, nurse, etc., 24/7. I saw my grandmother go through that with her elderly parents before she put them into nursing homes and she ended up having a heart attack during that time- which she ignored. They found out later that she'd had it after she had a second one.
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:51 PM   #55
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Maybe you could join irishgal for a walk in the woods.
That awkward moment when you are going to bury a body, and you find another body...
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:30 PM   #56
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My beloved only son told me years ago that he'd take me in if I was incapable of living independently............. that's a heck of a promise to make for them............... my plan would be to find a decent Continuing Care Community near them so they can look in on me but don't have to play cook, chauffeur, nurse, etc., 24/7. .
Everyone will be different, but my plan would be similar to yours. In fact, I'm in the midst of estate planning now and am incorporating "incapacitated" issues in with the death issues.

The attorney gave me a heads up on an issue I had been ignoring. Some of us will become incapacitated suddenly. There won't be a period where you feel yourself slowly losing competence. One day you're shoveling your driveway with little effort. The next you can't zip yourself up or remember how to open your on line brokerage account and move some funds around. Certain plans need to be in place before the stroke, car accident, etc., happens. Otherwise, we might wind up a true "burden" to the kids!
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:51 PM   #57
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Another possible situation to avoid is becoming completely loonie due to Alzheimers, and wandering around town, getting lost, getting mugged, and dying in a gutter from a blow to the head from someone who only wanted my wallet.

Dang, there went my retirement plan...
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:01 PM   #58
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That awkward moment when you are going to bury a body, and you find another body...
Yeah, I experience that awkward moment every single time.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:12 PM   #59
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+1
I had two very dear friends who were both more than 20 years older than me. I took great delight in being around them, but alas they are both gone now. Both were WW II vets and they had wonderful stories to tell. If I heard a particular story more than once it never seemed like a problem because each retelling featured slightly different details.

I count myself extremely fortunate that they both seemed to enjoy my company as much as I enjoyed theirs.

I also feel very lucky that I have a great friend who is more than 20 years younger than me, and we have a very similar relationship.
This is tough for me right now. For as long as I can remember, my Dad has had a happy hour every weekend. He's now 88 and most of the participants have been 70 or older (except me). Over the years, the group has dwindled, mainly because of death. The last participant of the group (besides me and Dad) has been having more and more health issues and his attendance has been sporadic. Most recently, it's been determined that he has lung cancer and won't be with us much longer. We're taking happy hour to his place tomorrow for one last visit. It's terribly depressing as its been something that I (and more importantly my Dad) has thoroughly enjoyed over the years and it's coming to an end. I hope my Dad can find some new participants but his social interactions are fairly limited these days. Mortality can be very cruel.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:45 PM   #60
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Right now my siblings are named as executors and have a POA, and I'd trust them (plus we all live relatively near one another at the moment). However, as we retire, I expect some of us will move away, and I'm not sure we will live in the same region. Plus, I'm the youngest, so the odds suggest I'll outlive them.

My niece and nephew are currently in college/grad school. I think they're good kids, but so far they've never held real jobs, so I don't know how comfortable they will be with financial planning tasks. I also don't think we're so close that they're likely to spend the same time that my siblings and I spent caring for our parents.

I would trust them with big health care decisions or to be the executor under my will, but I wouldn't expect them to spend hours each week with detailed care. I also expect I'd need to eventually move to some sort of independent/assisted living facility and likely hire professionals to assist with various legal/financial tasks.
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