Who will care for us as we age?

Posted by georgette12 @georgette12, Mar 15, 2019

I am wondering what we older people will do when we don't have children who can help us

Very thought provoking question, @georgette12 I was my wife's caregiver during her 14+ year war with brain cancer. Now I am a widower and often wonder about this for me in the future!

I would never want to be a burden to our two children so I have no desire to move in with them when, or if, I need assistance in living. Most of the 'homes' here in our area are not the best and my parents, who made the decision to sell their home and buy into a graduated care community hated it and too late discovered that not all costs are covered, but the basics are, which often are not enough for what they needed at the time

I have also read several stories about how terrribly expensive nursing home insurance gets when you are actually at the age you need it the most.

Wish there was an easy answer!

What are others thinking?

Liked by susan2018

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@IndianaScott

Very thought provoking question, @georgette12 I was my wife's caregiver during her 14+ year war with brain cancer. Now I am a widower and often wonder about this for me in the future!

I would never want to be a burden to our two children so I have no desire to move in with them when, or if, I need assistance in living. Most of the 'homes' here in our area are not the best and my parents, who made the decision to sell their home and buy into a graduated care community hated it and too late discovered that not all costs are covered, but the basics are, which often are not enough for what they needed at the time

I have also read several stories about how terrribly expensive nursing home insurance gets when you are actually at the age you need it the most.

Wish there was an easy answer!

What are others thinking?

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My husband has mixed dementia. After reading Mike and Me, I would like it if he could live out his life here in the home he loves. We have 20 acres and he loves being out in the country. I just brought him home from the hospital 2 days ago and he was so confused and cranky in the hospital. Granted just being sick can cause that and he was also off his meds. I’m thinking that when he’s gone I’ll probably live with one of my daughters. My Grandma lived with my Mom and my mom lived with me. They both lived to just a few weeks less than 100. 👍

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@IndianaScott

Very thought provoking question, @georgette12 I was my wife's caregiver during her 14+ year war with brain cancer. Now I am a widower and often wonder about this for me in the future!

I would never want to be a burden to our two children so I have no desire to move in with them when, or if, I need assistance in living. Most of the 'homes' here in our area are not the best and my parents, who made the decision to sell their home and buy into a graduated care community hated it and too late discovered that not all costs are covered, but the basics are, which often are not enough for what they needed at the time

I have also read several stories about how terrribly expensive nursing home insurance gets when you are actually at the age you need it the most.

Wish there was an easy answer!

What are others thinking?

Jump to this post

I am one of those caregivers who is taking care of a household and my husband who is 17 yrs. older than me while he suffers from dementia at age 95 now. Before this, I had the privilege of seeing my mother thru to 99 yrs. The years have flown by and now I find my own health in a scary position as I am looking at serious surgery with a fusion of L4-L5. I am weighing and discussing what is possible for me as I live so far from my daughter who has stepped up to offer care giving services to both me and my husband until the time I get back on my feet. 6 weeks to two months? That would mean a temporary move to her house which I do not want to do but she wants to keep working at her part time job at an assisted living facility. It is a 3 + hour drive one way to their home from mine. Life seems to be a series of life changing decisions and we try to come to the best solution for those involved. I have pain meds at the moment that help me get thru each day but that is not living. I feel like everything else is on hold until I get the source of the pain taken care of. I will be losing sleep until we have made that decision. Even with surgery, there are no guarantees since my spine is a mess. Meantime, I will be getting a bone density test to see if I can be a candidate for surgery. I then, will need to choose a neurosurgeon in her area, if I decide to go to her home to receive the care she offers. Nursing home insurance would have been nice if one started it at a young age and paid for it over the years but yes, it is not something we feel the need for when we are young, and , for us,waiting until we are elderly only makes it too costly and out of our reach financially. Like cmael, I would like my husband to be able to live out his life in the home we both love. Now I just need to make the right decisions for us. I am thankful for all the advice, and support I get from those here and look forward to sharing when I can. Each day is precious and taking it one day at a time works for me.

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@cmael

My husband has mixed dementia. After reading Mike and Me, I would like it if he could live out his life here in the home he loves. We have 20 acres and he loves being out in the country. I just brought him home from the hospital 2 days ago and he was so confused and cranky in the hospital. Granted just being sick can cause that and he was also off his meds. I’m thinking that when he’s gone I’ll probably live with one of my daughters. My Grandma lived with my Mom and my mom lived with me. They both lived to just a few weeks less than 100. 👍

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Hi @cmael Glad you were able to bring your husband home! That is nice and it sounds like you have quite a lovely spot with lots of land!

My MIL had dementia and I remember that things were always extra difficult, she usually declined a bit, and was often crabby after any change in her surroundings, etc. Any type of confusion or change made her more confused.

My wife wanted home hospice for her care and we were lucky that we could do that for her, but I know many where their patient's situation made that impossible.

Wishing you the best and hoping the sun shines wherever you are today!

Strength, courage, and peace!

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@virginiatc

I am one of those caregivers who is taking care of a household and my husband who is 17 yrs. older than me while he suffers from dementia at age 95 now. Before this, I had the privilege of seeing my mother thru to 99 yrs. The years have flown by and now I find my own health in a scary position as I am looking at serious surgery with a fusion of L4-L5. I am weighing and discussing what is possible for me as I live so far from my daughter who has stepped up to offer care giving services to both me and my husband until the time I get back on my feet. 6 weeks to two months? That would mean a temporary move to her house which I do not want to do but she wants to keep working at her part time job at an assisted living facility. It is a 3 + hour drive one way to their home from mine. Life seems to be a series of life changing decisions and we try to come to the best solution for those involved. I have pain meds at the moment that help me get thru each day but that is not living. I feel like everything else is on hold until I get the source of the pain taken care of. I will be losing sleep until we have made that decision. Even with surgery, there are no guarantees since my spine is a mess. Meantime, I will be getting a bone density test to see if I can be a candidate for surgery. I then, will need to choose a neurosurgeon in her area, if I decide to go to her home to receive the care she offers. Nursing home insurance would have been nice if one started it at a young age and paid for it over the years but yes, it is not something we feel the need for when we are young, and , for us,waiting until we are elderly only makes it too costly and out of our reach financially. Like cmael, I would like my husband to be able to live out his life in the home we both love. Now I just need to make the right decisions for us. I am thankful for all the advice, and support I get from those here and look forward to sharing when I can. Each day is precious and taking it one day at a time works for me.

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Good morning @virginiatc First, I wish you well on your own healthcare journey coming up! I know when the caregiver needs care it can be a challenge! Caregiving is such a house of cards that when the smallest breeze hits it can disrupt the whole thing! It often did for us!

We were lucky in being able to meet my wife's desire for home hospice in her care, but I know there were days it was almost impossible for me and I certainly understand those who cannot make home care work. SO many factors at work! For instance with my daughter-in-law's dad who had dementia, his wife was simply too small to handle a big fellow with his limitations. The physics of it just made it impossible especially since he had the all too common period of combativeness that often accompanies dementia.

Keep in touch and let us know how your reviews go for your surgery! We will all be pulling for you and wishing you the best!

Strength, courage, and peace!

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Caregiving at home can be quite an experience even without the added dimension of Alzheimer's or dementia! My dad took care of my mother for the 10 years that she was diagnosed with both of these maladies before she passed in 1996. He did everything for her and I honestly don't know how he did it. He did not reach out to anyone for support and refused any offers of assistance. His life revolved around a short morning walk in the neighborhood each morning by himself before my mother woke up then spent the day caring for her needs.
Ginger

Liked by virginiatc

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Oh, how much I wish I was over my back surgery and able to take a walk like that. It would be heavenly! Bless your dad for his dedication to his wife. He must have been cut out for that, as it is hard for all folks to have the kind of patience it takes, even when they want to do it. Love enters the equation here too! : ) Thanks for sharing.

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@virginiatc and @georgette12 I just stumbled across this discussion and thought how my friends and I ask this of each other all the time! Developing a good support group of friends is all we’ve come up with, so far. What ideas have you come up with? And @virginiatc , how did your back surgery go?

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Thank you for tagging me on this conversation regarding support, present, future and the fear many of us feel. My husband is only 64 and now disabled and unable to work. We did not plan our future because we didn't know better at the time. I'm 75. We've been together 36 years. My 3 sons are from a previous marriage. As some of you know, my eldest son died by suicide. My 2nd son is a 53 year old single father of a 4 year old whose mother died. He lives in another state. My 3rd son lives 5 hours away and has never married but is not dependable in terms of support or help. My husband now has never had children or even been married before me. We are both only children. Circumstances are such that I'm the one who's working. I work in home health agencies as a caregiver for the elderly and people who can't be alone. Also working in Assisted living facilities. So I'm a caregiver at work and at home with a financial stress that is difficult to deal with. My own health takes a back seat to everything. I have support people in my life on several different levels, none of whom are blood related. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to find and keep support in one's life. But that's how I make it through each day.

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@georgette12

Thank you for tagging me on this conversation regarding support, present, future and the fear many of us feel. My husband is only 64 and now disabled and unable to work. We did not plan our future because we didn't know better at the time. I'm 75. We've been together 36 years. My 3 sons are from a previous marriage. As some of you know, my eldest son died by suicide. My 2nd son is a 53 year old single father of a 4 year old whose mother died. He lives in another state. My 3rd son lives 5 hours away and has never married but is not dependable in terms of support or help. My husband now has never had children or even been married before me. We are both only children. Circumstances are such that I'm the one who's working. I work in home health agencies as a caregiver for the elderly and people who can't be alone. Also working in Assisted living facilities. So I'm a caregiver at work and at home with a financial stress that is difficult to deal with. My own health takes a back seat to everything. I have support people in my life on several different levels, none of whom are blood related. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to find and keep support in one's life. But that's how I make it through each day.

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God bless you.

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@georgette this is something I think about a lot. Our families may be smaller than they once were and members are scattered across the globe. There is often no one to help other than friends or neighbors and if you’re like me, there is only so much you want to or can impose on them. And married or not, one of the spouses will one day be alone and in the same position a single person is.

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I did want to add to my long post from yesterday. Regarding support and friends and feeling not alone…the only way I've found that works is to be the person who GIVES support. When I was severely depressed and didn't want to live, I worked on a suicide crisis hot line. I've always volunteered or found employment working as a counselor/emotional support person for extreme mental issues, because I've always had extreme mental issues of my own, and still do. I'm looking into volunteering in suicide prevention and maybe starting a peer support group. So to receive the emotional support that I've always needed, I have found that when I give my energy to others who need the same thing, I get it right back. It's a circle.

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@georgette12

I did want to add to my long post from yesterday. Regarding support and friends and feeling not alone…the only way I've found that works is to be the person who GIVES support. When I was severely depressed and didn't want to live, I worked on a suicide crisis hot line. I've always volunteered or found employment working as a counselor/emotional support person for extreme mental issues, because I've always had extreme mental issues of my own, and still do. I'm looking into volunteering in suicide prevention and maybe starting a peer support group. So to receive the emotional support that I've always needed, I have found that when I give my energy to others who need the same thing, I get it right back. It's a circle.

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@georgette12 I really like your statement “when I give my energy to others who need the same thing, I get it right back” So true! How has this helped you?

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@susan2018

@georgette this is something I think about a lot. Our families may be smaller than they once were and members are scattered across the globe. There is often no one to help other than friends or neighbors and if you’re like me, there is only so much you want to or can impose on them. And married or not, one of the spouses will one day be alone and in the same position a single person is.

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I agree with you, @susan2018 This is a very complicated issue! In my wife's case, as she waged her war against brain cancer I was there as her caregiver. When I need care no spousal care will be around for me. She desperately wanted to keep her illness from 'becoming our children's issue'. I feel the same so again my options shrink again.

Friends, neighbors, and extended family all have lives of their own to focus on and who's to know when their own health may falter, etc. We moved into our neighborhood 17 years ago. Only one of our neighbors is the same today as they were then — in all directions. People are far more fluid and transient than they used to be. Society has simply changed. Growing up all my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. were within blocks of our home. Now there is not a single member of our extended family in that city and only two in the entire state.

It seems to me it is going to take society awhile to catch up with the changes that have occurred and keep occurring at an ever faster pace.

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