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Old 05-14-2019, 04:58 PM   #121
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Don't know if this the right thread.

I'll keep looking for the article but the premise is that inflammation of the brain caused by cold sores (herpes) is similar to increased chance of shingles by having chicken pox. Both chicken pox and herpes fundamentally change
our DNA forever (at least until we kick the bucket). In the case of chicken pox, it increases the chances of shingles later in life. I've had both. Trust me, shingles is no joke. Imagine just air being painful as it touches your raw nerve endings exposed when your skin has blistered away. Not fun.

Back to herpes. One theory is that that the inflammation in the brain caused by herpes, and other brain inflammations, limits the neuron cleansing process that should happen every night while we sleep (removing some amyloid plaques).

(https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323383.php)

This cleansing process is vital to store memories in preparation for the next days memories. Dreaming is just to distract our brain from the cleaning process. Here is a good book "Why We Sleep"

"The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert--Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley's Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab--reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better." (https://www.ebay.com/p/Why-We-Sleep-...d=303140951706). I'm frugal, I checked it out as an eBook through my local library.


This talk tied everything together for me and explains a keto diet in the mix. I found it enlightening.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:21 PM   #122
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My parents both had healthy lifestyles. Dad FIRE'd at 55. He lived nearly 40 years in retirement. He regularly played tennis until he was 85 when a painful joint problem hit him. At 90, classic vascular dementia began. It was a gradual downhill for 4 years, though he always remained upbeat and uncomplaining. Then he had a serious stroke at 94, and lived for 8 more months but needed 24/7 home care after the stroke. Interesting fact: Dad's lifespan and his dad's lifespan differed by only 8 days.

Mom kept everything going while dad declined, still driving to the grocery store and pharmacy. I live nearby and helped out. I FIRE'd 2 years into my dad's decline. Mom was 93 when dad died. 5 months after he died, her own dementia began. Initial diagnosis was also vascular dementia, but after 2 years, the neurologist changed it to Alzheimers, though it is not classical Alzheimers. She wouldn't accept any help until she fell nearly 2 1/2 years ago and had 2 major fractures. She's had 24/7 home care since she came home from rehabilitation. After her dementia began but before she accepted home care, she phoned me virtually every evening, up to 5 times per evening, because she couldn't find my dad. That hell continued for nearly 18 months. Fortunately, her personality hasn't had any major changes, though things are somewhat kept under control with meds.

I wish my parents had moved out of their house. Even with 24/7 home care, I have to buy all of the food, pick up her prescriptions, take her to appts, pay her bills, pay the caregivers (and sometimes replace them), fix things or arrange to fix things in her home, handle her finances, and on and on. (My sibling doesn't do a damn thing, and we no longer speak as a result.)

My dad had a generous pension and as a result, with their LBYM habits, my parents amassed $$$ in retirement but the spigot has reversed with the home care expenses. Mom is 97 now and there's enough $$$ to keep this up until at least her early 100s. I suppose a reverse mortgage could be a possibility after that if her funds run out. But mom's quality of life has reduced to near zero. She's neither happy nor miserable. She sleeps more and more, watches TV, and reads and re-reads the paper. She has no short-term memory, and even her long-term memory isn't very good, though she still knows who everyone is. Her walking ability has become increasingly restricted. When her mood goes south (it happens occasionally but not constantly), she expresses her desire to die. I tell myself that if it gets to the point where she no longer recognizes me, then it's time for a nursing home.

I wouldn't want to live like this, and there isn't anyone who would be looking after me the way I look after her, if that is ever needed. I hope I have the awareness, means, and courage to end things peacefully on my own terms when and if the time comes.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:37 PM   #123
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When my MIL's dementia began to worsen, we investigated all the full-care nearby facilities (8 in all) within 15 min. street driving to our home. We winnowed the group gradually thru multiple visits down to two, and DH picked one as being the best "fit".

She was still in most ways "compos mentis". She could dress herself, make her own cup of coffee with cream and sugar, bathe herself, and enjoy a weekly seniors exercise class at the senior center. Loved to window shop but seldom bought anything. Kept in touch with long-distance friends and family every day by cell phone. Loved watching "Jeopardy" and doing her daily Sudoku puzzle.

There are over 50 different causes of dementia, some reversible and some not. Alzheimer's, as most know, is a specific type of dementia, but there are many others.

Standardized routines and social interaction are often helpful in delaying the worst symptoms - and this proved true with my MIL. She was 85 when we moved her to the facility. To say she was shocked to find she was considered "the young one" at her dining table, was putting it mildly!

Family commented to us they had not seen her so happy since her husband died. She took up bocce ball at age 86 and loved it. The food was excellent (we had a couple of family parties there) and the staff adored her. It's one of the top three seniorcare facilities in the state and their turnover ratio is extremely low (which counted heavily in their favor during our research).

She died unexpectedly and her passing was peaceful. We have kept in touch with the facility; we donate annually to their Employee Fund and to the Charitable Patient Care Fund, the last being for those residents who have outlived their funds but still require care.

We were just there today as we are participating in a focus group the facility organized to identify how it can anticipate future changes that will be needed as the WWII generation dies off and Boomers begin to need care.

While we were waiting in the reception area, a staffer pushed the wheelchair of a stereotypical 'little old lady' past us - very frail-looking, 90 yrs old if she was a day; maybe 75 lbs. soaking wet. We heard the staffer asking, "Now, would you prefer to go up to your room, or join the exercise class instead?"

"Oh, the exercise class, of course," the resident replied. She had a quavery little voice that exactly matched her fragile appearance.

We've known some people who died exactly as they wanted to. Others didn't. Either way, I don't see any point in being fearful about an unknown future. We did what we could to lower our risk profile, and ensure the surviving spouse won't suffer financially.

Beyond that, it's the future and luck - good OR bad.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:58 PM   #124
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I had a near-death experience at 47. I was in the ER with intolerable pain and suddenly, after hours of pain, I felt removed from all the cares and worries people have. I thought I was dying and felt “what the hell, I can’t do anything”. Fortunately it didn’t go to flatlining and reviving me. But it was strangely peacefully. As a result of this, I don’t fear dying at all. I fear pain, I fear dementia, but not dying. I think if I’m able, I will stop eating and drinking and die at the right time. Dementia doesn’t run in my family but I know that’s not guarantee.

What caused my near-death experience... after a 7 hour emergency surgery, tumors on both ovaries. They were huge and one burst. But they were not really malignant. I didn’t have chemo or radiation, just a lot of checkups.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:21 PM   #125
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I wish my parents had moved out of their house. Even with 24/7 home care, I have to buy all of the food, pick up her prescriptions, take her to appts, pay her bills, pay the caregivers (and sometimes replace them), fix things or arrange to fix things in her home, handle her finances, and on and on. (My sibling doesn't do a damn thing, and we no longer speak as a result.)
So true. I am in the same boat as you, although not at 24/7 home care yet. It's a full-time job, isn't it? Just arranging the doctor visits takes me several hours a week, and at least 4 hours per visit to actually go to them (1/2 hour to drive to parent's house, 1 hour to nag parent to get out of bed, get dressed, get going, 2 hours to go to the actual appointment and back, 1/2 hour to drive home). In addition, my parent is a hoarder in a 3500 sq. ft. house and we aren't allowed to clean (we're not good enough, don't do it right, can't bear to throw out anything eg expired medications, etc.). And parent doesn't/won't clean, doesn't have the energy, has better things to do (go shopping! for more stuff!). And I have to spend a lot of time in the disgustingly dirty cluttered house. Maybe I should start wearing a mask and coveralls when visiting lol.

Luckily I am retired, don't live too far away (20 miles), have a sibling who helps a lot but is still working so can't do much, and parent has a super duper LTC policy that will pay forever for about 8 hours a day of in-house caregivers or full-time assisted living. But I am resenting spending MY retirement taking care of PARENT's retirement needs. It's hard enough at my age (mid-60s) to do all my own housework and yardwork, so why am I also doing hers (or not doing it, as the case may be)? I dream of parent finally moving to assisted living so I can have some of my time back, not have to drive so far to visit, have time to take parent out to eat and do fun things in addition to the never-ending doctor visits.

I don't have kids so my plan is to do something like Imoldrnu did (my hero!) and my uncle did: move to a really nice CCRC when I'm 80-ish or when needed. I have LTC insurance and thank goodness, it really made a difference in being able to take care of my parent as parent can afford some caregivers for personal needs (I'm not good at that).
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:56 PM   #126
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My grandmother used to say “darling, there are a lot of things worse than dying”. As I watch family and friends age and suffer, I see just how right she was.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:20 PM   #127
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Rusa, then appoint a legal guardian to take care of things. I did this for my parents and a couple I am good friends with where they both had cancer and she also had dementia. It involves sacrifice. If you don’t want to do it then stop.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:54 AM   #128
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I have no such illusion. Given the longevity gene DW has, I will probably be taken care of by DW in my dying days. I worry about DW. I made a note that before my brain cells deteriorate too much, I will set up DW's LTC plan. She will get the best money can buy as long as I can help it.
Since you see the importance of LTCI, please, please apply for it ASAP. I was a LTC specialist in both my nursing career and in my second career, insurance. This second career was unintentional, but no less important. After my grandma’s care depleted her entire estate, I researched and purchased a policy for my mother, which is a daunting task I soon learned. So I became an insurance agent and helped her friends and then the general public choose an appropriate policy for which to apply.
You can only decide to APPLY; the insurance underwriters make the decision to offer a policy...or not. I believe you would be shocked at the number of younger people who are declined. Money is not saved by waiting either; rates increase based on attained age at application.
This insurance is complicated and even the best policies can be made nearly worthless by not truly understanding how to design properly.
I could go on for pages, so bottomline: if you are interested in LTCI, find a LTC insurance specialist to help you. If you decide that it is appropriate, APPLY immediately. One of the more difficult things I had to do was break the news to someone that they were uninsurable. This often turned their entire retirement plan on its head. We purchased our LTCI when I was 49 and so thankful we did.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:14 AM   #129
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I know of a couple ages 81 and 88 who bought a mattress and had it delivered to their garage. They made themselves a little bed, turned their car on and left it running, drank 2 bottles of wine, and went to sleep...permanently. I don't know anything about the 'why" they did this. Just that they left a note saying this was their chosen plan.

Until a better plan comes to mind, this sounds OK to me.

Helium is another option.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:20 AM   #130
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Helium is another option.
As long as the persons deciding their fate doesn't take innocent ones with them, let them decide the how and when.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:36 PM   #131
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I try to keep the word old out of my vocabulary.I am 67 and dress the same as I did when I was 30 and try to live in many ways like I am 30.As soon as you surrender it is all downhill from there.Discovered I had prostate cancer 6 months ago and am going in for 2 HDR Brachytherapy treatments the next 2 weeks.If it all goes well I will be playing with my 4 year old grandson a couple of days after each procedure.I asked him how old he thought I was and he said 6.My wife agreed
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:59 PM   #132
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So my health care POA is now very restrictive...i.e. in the event of dementia or other terminal illness, no antibiotics, period (oral, IV, etc.)
My Dad has been bed-ridden and uncommunicative for past 2 or 3 years (Alz for past 10 years). My Mom is still caring for him at home and so wish I had the foresight to have her put something like that in his POA 8 or so years back when they were updating them. She can't bring herself to not address the minor and not so minor issues and he is on tons of meds now and has had 2 hospital stays in the past 6 months. It is killing her now too but I can't convince her to let him go next time something comes up. I'm on the other side of the country and visit 2 or 3 times a year but can't influence her much by phone...

I will definitely be more specific in ours!
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:10 PM   #133
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I try to keep the word old out of my vocabulary.I am 67 and dress the same as I did when I was 30 and try to live in many ways like I am 30.As soon as you surrender it is all downhill from there.Discovered I had prostate cancer 6 months ago and am going in for 2 HDR Brachytherapy treatments the next 2 weeks.If it all goes well I will be playing with my 4 year old grandson a couple of days after each procedure.I asked him how old he thought I was and he said 6.My wife agreed
A 37 year old wardrobe?
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:24 PM   #134
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3more, so sad for both your parents. It would be a blessing for her to let him go. I think it’s important to know when it’s over.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:40 PM   #135
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I can only speak for myself: so far it has been considerably better than the alternative.


Yeah, right up until it isn’t. Just saying...
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