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How are you coping?

Started by luise.volta, April 19, 2017, 12:59:26 PM

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Things happens

Luise, At the time I think the choice of living arrangements you and your husband picked was right for you, sounds like a beautiful place.  And now when you move you will just start a new adventure. I also think you did a much better job with your hubby then you probably give yourself credit for. We all try to do the best that we can, times are different.

Just like with FIL I was more able body then I am now with mom. It killed me at first, but I realized I have help with her and to utilize that help. All the illnesses we have been though, hubby and I have learned a lot. Like we have everything in a trust so if one of us requires Long term Nursing home care, the other person won't be left a pauper. Have all our health proxies covered. When we moved 2 years ago, we kept in mind how this house will suit us when we are 70. We will be adding a garage on soon, and instead of stairs we will be adding a ramp, so down the road if we are in a wheelchair we will be covered and other things like that. I always try to look for a positive in everything, by taking care of our parents, we learned about lawyers, conservator-ships and everything else about the law and elder care. So when the time comes for us, we will have everything in place.

Marina - A lot of people do not want to take help, they were raised not to bother then children. We found this out when FIL and SMIL had Cancer, it was a year before they told us, because they didn't want to burden us. When we finally got it through their heads that they aren't a burden, then did they start asking for help. One thing I have learned from my different illnesses is that I have no problem asking for help. But then they all might be in denial, or her AC look at her as a burden, and resent having to take care of them. I sadly know some people like this, and some that only help because they will get a inheritance. Maybe you might look up some options that your friend might have, do they have a senior center where she is at? Perhaps you can get her interested in going and making new friends that are nearer. Usually they have buses to pick people up. She also might be depressed, and that will make her pain problems worse. But she is lucky to have such a good friend in you, also you might drop her a card in the mail, that might have a funny cartoon or something in it. Shows them they aren't forgotten.

Well I rambled on long enough :-)


Yes, I think a great deal of these complex issues have to do with the personalities of those addressing them...both senior and advocate. When we have the courage to move through and out of, (not past), head-in-sand...there are options to try on for size.

To me, at the moment, isolation would still be too hard. For others it might bring comfort. One thing I see on my campus walks, is the use of TV as a 'sitter'. I don't have a TV. It has never appealed to me. I'm more of an interactive person. I check Google News so I know what's going on...but I edit and select the stories I read. Head-in-sand?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Things happens

Well maybe moving to the big city you can be more active in things and places. I agree with TV, my FIL parked in front of it day in and day out. Only way to get him away from it was to take him out in the car. I do have TV but usually use it as a background noise, but I do like the do it yourself shows . I love learning new things.


I recently had a little taste of how it could be when I slipped and reinjured an old mountain biking strain in my thigh. I suddenly felt very helpless and alone! My DH was an hour away at work, my go to friends were all dealing with crises of their own, no neighbors available, not even the fire department. I had to slide on the floor to get what I needed (ice pack, pain reliever, walking stick, etc.) and couldn't take care of the simplest of chores for the rest of the day. Depressing (will I still be able to ride/walk/care for myself) and humiliating (what a dummy), not to mention extremely painful (10+)! I have an autoimmune thyroid disorder and lots of inflammation that I deal with daily, so any extra stuff I put my body through makes it take longer to heal.

My hope is that I will continue to eat right, keep up my yoga and other physical pursuits, and stay fit & healthy until I drop dead decades from now out in the garden or on a hike. However, one accident can change our lives in an instant. We just don't know. I'd rather be prepared. My DH feels I'm "summoning" bad luck by wanting to plan ahead.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


OUCH! My take after living 17 years in a Retirement Center is you are summoning bad luck when you don't plan. Just sayin...

Sometimes rationalization can be head-in-sand...justified.  :D
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Awww...you're going to be a Big City Girl!  Maybe you can revamp a remake of "Sex and the City?"  Hee Hee.

I think that's an awesome plan to be closer.  I know no one wants to think of ourselves as a burden to our family, but I also know that I worry about my parents being away and if they were 15 minutes away, I would feel better about being able to get to them and help if they need it.  So being closer will also probably give Kirk a sense of peace just knowing he can get there faster.

We've been totally crazy bonkers.  We listed our house and it sold in 24 hours!  Ok, great problem to have but DH and I looked at each other and said, "Well, now where we going?"  We had this glorious plan of listing the house (which we worked on two months first to get ready) and then start looking in case it sold in a month or two.  What's the saying about the best laid plans?  So it was a mad scramble for a week looking.  But, we did find our dream place!  It's a small mini farm!  3 1/2 acres, small, one level house, barn, chicken coop, goat area and goat house and detached huge garage.  The acreage is fenced in all the way around.  It is flat as a pancake and beautiful out there.  It's only about 10 minutes outside the City, so my commute will not be bad.

And it has a 125 square foot building in the back yard.  One of the prefab buildings that the man was using as an at home office.  Carpeted, walled, electricity, heat and air.  We can very easily add on to it (plenty of space) if we need to turn it into a small house.  For the moment, it will be my craft cottage, so we will add a sink and water to make it easier to convert later if need be.  We are very excited, but very busy packing, getting inspections and all the buying/selling junk.

So I'll give you guys your laugh for the day.  My husband is a lunatic.  Not like Charles Manson lunatic....like Robin Williams lunatic.  Tons of fun and crazy.  So we decided we needed to "name" our little mini farm and have tossed around names for two weeks.  Here's our final decision and a design I made to turn into a sign. 

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


We will wave as we pass, Pooh...you headed out of the city and me heading in! Even though everything is moving fast, it sounds like you're handling it. For me, there's a one-year waiting list! 'Sex and the City'? Humm...I got a new form to fill out at my dentist last week. One question was: Are you pregnant? My answer was, 'I haven't checked today'. (Not much laughter in a dentist's office, I have to do my part!.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


The end of my Mother's time was the most difficult time in my life, and I have had many difficult times. It was emotional and draining and sad for both of us. On most days I wished I could trade places with her just to ease her life. I tried everything from having her live with me, to having nursing care in house, to having her in assisted care. But she was paranoid schizophrenic so nothing really worked. I have no advice to give here except to say that sometimes life is very, very difficult. For myself, I hope I will just fall over one day, before I come to the point where I become a burden to society. I know what not to do, and that is to not let medical professionals know you cannot be independent- or off to the nearest nursing home you will go. And around here that is not pretty, they are much like the old insane asylums (unless you are very wealthy)! To that I would prefer a "Logan's Run" scenario, with the age bumped up a little of course! I do not think the government should take away our choice to die if we are ready and willing or have made the decision when we were of right mind. Sometimes it is more humane to allow that choice than forcing someone to linger in pain, or without a mind. IMHO


What a heartbreaking situation. You are one strong woman. From what I have seen a good, Group Home is a great improvement over even the best nursing home. However, here in Washington, they are private pay and many require DSHS. There is also plan a called COPE that offers in the home assisted care...if...the person is aware and competent. Some are but many have dementia.

Longevity presents a lot of issues that early death used to circumvent.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Kate123, though it was very difficult, I hope you take some comfort in knowing that you did the best for your mom looking out for her well being, even though it was not "perfect."  I would hate to think of being in the situation where strangers/social workers would be in charge of making decisions on my behalf, even with a medical directive in place.     


Thank you both. Yes I know I did my best for the time, however in hindsight I would have done things differently. But you don't know what you don't know. Yes assisted living is available and I know of one that is fairly cheap for what they offer (private room in a very nice facility). But if medical oversight is needed a nursing home is required (law??). I have yet to see a nursing home that I would want to live in if I had a choice. It is a very scary road we follow in the end- and the worst of it for me is the not knowing what may be. I have always been a planner, and have always planned for years ahead. But at some point it all goes to chance. Not trying to be negative, but it is a reality. You may get lucky and be fairly healthy in old age; or you may have a stroke. My father had a heart attack at 48 and died instantly. I hope I am so lucky (but older when it happens), rather than take my mothers path that is. On a daily basis I do not think about it much, but every now and then when I see someone suffering in old age I feel I should take some action to prepare in some way.


June 04, 2017, 08:02:20 PM #26 Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 08:17:35 PM by luise.volta
I think a very important factor is having several advocates, if possible. The Advance Directives are important but I think a person who no longer can handle self-care and has to move to a nursing facility, no matter how highly rated, needs someone who sees her regularly and observes what is being done and not done. When my husband's dementia brought about the need for him to be in a locked facility, I put him in the nursing home on the retirement campus where we lived. I saw him every day and even though the facility was highly rated, there was neglect that I would never have spotted if I just visited once a week or less. Like you, we were planners but we didn't think far enough ahead to consider when one of would be gone and the other wouldn't have that kind of support. For that reason, I am moving to a HUD apartment in the city, which is not my preference, love living up in the woods. However, I want to be where I can call my son and he can be there in 15 minutes and I want someone closer than that on a daily basis. I choose the place I did because a very close, almost-daughter, lives there and will be on site. She wants to do this and is good friends with my son and his lady. It isn't foolproof, but the time to look closely and take action, it seems to me, is when I am still living independently in a little HUD studio and at 90, still able. We are all in agreement and I'm on the waiting list. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

not like the movies

I like your plan. Up until 4 years ago my husband and I had all four parents living. Then suddenly we had a cascade of death among them, something we always feared. First my father, a week later my father in law, followed by my mother in a few months and then mother in law. We lost all 4 parents in an 8 month period. In between our parents deaths, we unexpectedly lost my sister's husband. He was only 57. It was a very difficult year. I can't imagine how we would have coped in they did not all live so close. My folks were in a very good assisted living home but as you say we kept a very good check on them. We were there several times during the week and always on the weekends when we were not working. My in-laws both continued to live in their own home they had for 50 plus years. They were close to us as well. It gave us all peace of mind we were minutes away. The dads were both 90 and the moms were in mid 80's. I agree it is so important to keep loved ones close by when the aging process accelerates. There were many changes that happened quickly and the close proximity allowed us to respond accordingly. Plus it was a very joyful time of life for us all as we cherished spending the looming limited time we realized we had with them. So many wonderful special moments and memories together.
When you pick up a stick you get both ends!


What a huge amount of loss to be able to find full of love. Amazing!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


September 18, 2017, 08:19:13 AM #29 Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 11:17:14 AM by Stilllearning
Here is some reality!