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I hate being surrounded by "old." These are my "not old" years..............but I might as well be old myself - prematurely because I'm living it. :(
Anyone else feel this way sometimes?

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Well done Vstefans that surely is a batch of honor. i am lucky if i can get up a short flight of stairs with the Neurologist beating me from behind and the nurse walking backwards in front of me to catch me when I fall.
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Yup.. I'll be 54 on the 16th and I live like my 93 yr old Mom..

I get up at 5 am, eat dinner at 5pm go to bed right after Mom around 7:30...

I watch stupid game shows and spend way too much time at Dr offices...

I feel your pain..
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Congrats Vstefans,,,you are an inspiration...especially since I have been to the doctor and got a colossal chewing over high blood pressure, high blood sugar, weight, stress, stress, stress.....thanks for sharing. We all have put the old ahead of whatever chapter of life we should be in!

Curtain....I like your analogy of an upside down pyramid scheme....the greatest generation really had it all...the ability to be self made people in an era of fast advancement in education, careers and business building. Most never had to caregive AT ALL. My parents did not have to caregive for any of their parents. In fact I can remember how put out my mother was taking care of her mother for a whole week after a hospital stay.

I guess my point is we have to do whatever we can to treat ourselves better physically and mentally. Grab whatever sunshine, joy and enrichment that is left to us for our own older years. Cheers!
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Congrats Vstefans! Sounds like you can beat back the "old" taking over your life or at least go up the stairs really fast to get away for a while. I agree too there is something terrible in the timing. To me it's a combination of at least the following factors: people live longer now in worse physical and mental condition than they ever have before, modern diets cause numerous chronic health problems that don't end life but disable, the current older generation has expectations of their children that don't make sense given modern times but maybe did make sense years ago when the elderly had only short periods of debilitated old age and one income could support many people.

Susan, yep totally agree about the shape of that pyramid and the efforts of the younger generation feeding into the older one. Up to a point that doesn't seem crazy, but it seems it has gone too far. I am struggling to stay financially afloat just to support myself and yet my mother thinks nothing of trying to manipulate me into doing errands for her. Errands that cost me working hours that she doesn't (and can't) pay me for. She simply does not want to pay people to do things and if I refuse she just does without or even puts herself in danger. I'm worried things are going to come to a very unpleasant crisis soon.
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Don't worry, Glad! You are already ahead of everyone in the moving marathon! And, you are winning! You deserve a medal too!
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Yea VStefans. Pretty soon we'll be able to say we knew you when. Ariba!
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Vstefans! You can do that? Amazing, and congratulations!!
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Congrats Vstefans! Great job! I wouldn't even want to try.:(
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Caregiving and watching a parent age and die really ages you too. Some days I can be happy go lucky and sing the "if the whisky don't get me I'll live til I die" and plan on working another 20 years (I'm 58) and other days, mortality and endings are all that's on my mind. Something bad changed with this generation - timing of having children, diabetes and obesity, who knows what else, and messed us all up thoroughly.

On the plus side, I did a "Climb For Air" event for Lung Association fundraising - it was climbing 38 flights to the top of a bank building downtown here - and I made third place in my age group! I exercise but am athletically non-talented and I can't even remember that I have ever won or placed in anything athletic at all in my whole life, so that was a great shot in the arm for me. I will cherish that silly little finisher medal forever! Try to do some little thing for the first time whenever you get a chance and it will make you feel younger. I'm cheering myself up just writing about it. :-)
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Curtain, I can identify with that. I'm not 50 yet myself, but have already lost my father and my mom is already in a nursing home. When they were my age, they were still very vital and active, going on road trips, Dad was working full time, they had children to take care of and they visited their parents a few times a year (they lived 600+ miles away) - but they never had to caregive their parents. My paternal grandfather died when I was 13 or 14, my grandmother when I was in my 20's, and my maternal grandmother passed away when I was in my 30s - but all of them either died suddenly or were placed in a nursing home - neither of my parents ever had to caregive their parents at all.

You're right - it seems like some weird pyramid scheme - but the pyramid is upside down. The narrow point of the pyramid is our parents, not having caregiving responsibilities, and the wide part is us - caregiving our parents at an age when we should be doing the empty nest thing - or close to it - and instead finding ourselves back in the caregiving game again, but for our parents, not our kids.
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I'm not even 50 and I feel ancient. I feel like my life from now on is already locked down with ever increasing obligations that there is no moral way to walk away from. My parents at my age were in the heart of their working years, and had parents who were still alive and HEALTHY who were of help to THEM. It feels like some sort of scam somehow, pyramid scheme gone wrong.
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freqflyer and marialake, I understand. As mom and dad decline,
I have given up so many things to care for them.
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LOL Windyridge!

Until my mother passes, the only thing I will be driving is a big ol' handicap conversion van, complete with a heavy-duty lift and tie downs for her wheelchair. Such a hot ride.....

On the upside, no one can miss me coming down the road, and I think I can safely drive and park any boat now because I've driven a land yacht for years.
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Well, lucky for you Flyer they don't make Oldsmobiles anymore. But I could see you in a wheelchair accessable mini van with the fake wood on the sides. Now that's a hot ride!
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I know I feel old. I am pushing 70 and this morning did my usual once a week volunteer work at the hospital which I have been doing for over 20 years now.... in the past 7 years this time at the hospital has become my "vacation" because I can't go anywhere and this is my escape.... yeah I know, escaping to a hospital???

Like others had mentioned, when my parents were my age there were looking for their next big home as they were retiring to the Washington DC area as there is so much to do here. They had so much fun, learning the subway system and visiting all the museums, and visiting all the sights. And travel, my gosh it was have suitcase will travel.

Now when I look in the mirror I see this very old person who has put on weight... like what's up with this extra stomach weight !!! Now when I buy clothes I find myself buying animal prints from the mature clothing catalogs. If I trade in my Jeep for an Oldsmobile lock me up in the tool shed.
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Maria, I don't think you're ungrateful at all. Maybe a bit selfless, but I don't see that as a bad thing if you are happy. Some of us aren't so happy with being selfless, so it makes it harder. I would like to have a lot more life that is mine alone.

I don't understand the way it is now. I know a lot of people in their 80s. Half of them were there when the spouse was ill, but I don't know anyone who took care of their parents. One of my mother's favorite things to say is "When I was your age I was doing this or that." I have the standard answer: "At my age you weren't taking care of your parents."

I know a woman who is about 70 and wheelchair bound, but otherwise healthy. She has been in the wheelchair since she was middle aged. Her daughter gave up her life to stay home with her mother -- no marriage, no kids, no job. Sometimes I wonder why the woman let it happen. If my daughter had tried to stay home with me, I would have MADE her leave and get on with her life. I'm sorry, but I wouldn't be that important for my daughter to sacrifice her life for my convenience. I don't know the family dynamics, but from the outside it looks like total narcissism on the part of the mother.

My mother is a strange case. She thinks it is the obligation of the daughter to care for her mother. I don't know where she got the notion. She had 7 brothers and sisters who did not feel this way. My mother feeling that way is very self-serving and makes me have less respect for her.
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You have every right Maria for a sad moment... vent away!
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Folks, please don't think I'm ungrateful.
I miss my husband and the dreams we still had. I know it's not "why me?
but rather why not me."?
Was just having a sad moment and appreciate having a place to actually discuss it.
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In 2010 I moved my inlaws into my house and became caregiver. Dementia, Pnemonia, incontinent etc. In 2012, FIL passed away so I just had MIL who had become totally bedbound. In 2014 my own mom (dementia) moved in .... so I had 2 again. Eight weeks ago, my MIL passed away so now I'm down to just one - my mother. All of them had fun lives into their eighties. And they had their spouses into their eighties. Travel, etc etc.
I was 59 when my husband died. We were still both working full time and desperately fighting his cancer. I started taking care of the oldsters a few months after my sweet husband died. I am now 66. From age 59-66 I've been surrounded by "old." No travel, no fun years for me.
Thank you for allowing me to vent and to feel sorry for myself.
I'm grateful for the wonderful years I had with a terrific husband and kids but
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I was reflecting today that when my mom was my age she had two teenagers in the house. My life and my focus is about old age, dementia, health care and end of life issues. Hers would have been worrying about her kids and their schooling, and my dad was very active in farm politics so they had an active social life. I often feel I am old before my time.
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To quote a line from one of my favorite shows, "...I feel about as old as I'm ever gonna get...." (Margaret Houlihan - M*A*S*H)

I sure do feel that way, some days. When I've gotten up early to work for an hour or two before going to see Mom at the NH for a bit, back home to work the rest of the day until late evening, when I go back to see her again, then back home to work some more until I fall into bed....that "old" feeling really comes into play.
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Maria, I'm right there with you! We have my FIL living with us, and I sometimes resent that he and my MIL got to fully enjoy their own 40's, 50's, and 60's, and even 1/2 of their 70's enjoying their lives and retirement doing exactly what they wanted, yet here we are , weighed down by his 80's, and stuck living an old life here in our own home! We eat what He likes, and don't often get out together and when we do, it's only for a couple of hours at the most. We got stuck up in the PROMISE, after he badgered us to "come live with us, should anything ever happen to his wife". Well of course she passed away, it what older people with serious illnes do, and we ended up with him, and of course his 2 siblings are worthless in helping, and are completely absent. So, such is life! There are days when I so badly want to find a way out of our situation, but then again, he is his Father, and I will support my husband's choices, and if there comes a time when the Old Man needs more help than we can provide, he'll have to go to a skilled nursing facility period, and I'll help him with that too! Some people are meant to be carers, and some most definitely are not, and I guess we were, having done this now for 12 years, but YES, I do think of all the LIFE that we have missed out on because of this!
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Yes I completely understand Maria.

I too feel surrounded by "old".. my life revolves around my elderly parents first , my job (full time work from home), my elderly pets (dog is 15 and I caregive for her too).

Sometimes I go out to the park or a restaurant and just look around and others lives seem so different then mine.. my life is seems so narrow now. My lunches and dinners are spent listening to dentures clicking and stories being retold over and over, walks spent very slowly walking my parents or my elderly dog.

When my parents were my age.. their lives were so young and vibrant. They went on exciting vacations, spent weekends camping, they were surrounded by their youthful kids and grandkids. They didn't have to "slow down".

They say you aren't old till you let an old person in... hmmm.. I think I need to let a young person in to chase out all the old!
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Maria, I feel like this all the time. My mother's house is in a neighborhood where the median age is 29. Almost everyone I see is young enough to be my grandchild. And they have their 2-3 children. So I go over to the senior center to be around more mature people. Most of the people there are 80 or more. It's one extreme to the other, and both make me feel old.

The life I live is my mother's life. People may say that I need to get out more and meet people my own age. This is much easier to say than to do when a woman is 63. It's not like we can go hang out in bars or need to attend more college classes with kids young enough to be our grandchildren. The 60s are an age group where people are still working and going home to their spouses after work. They don't hang out at senior centers, parks, or bars. They do go to grocery stores and work out in their yards.
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Me too Maria and it is a prison sentence of its own at times isn't it but old is a state of mind so keep that very young! Think how sexy young fit men look and the good thing is that you can tell them too and they don't take offence because they don't realise you actually mean it!!!!!!!
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If my husband were alive, I would be able to share my "youth" with him. But it's just me and mom...............
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Mom lives in my house so it's not her "old house" that bothers me. It's the old person lifestyle. I'm living an old person lifestyle to accommodate her but I'm not that old yet! These are my remaining "not old" years but I've got the old people smells, noises, walkers, depends, crazy talk, boredom, mushy foods....... can't stay out past 5 pm (lol) lifestyle.
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claret? clear out ...although claret would be good if I drank alcohol!
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Marialak I don't feel at all that way ....now! We have just moved and I have done a massive and I mean massive claret and I was utterly ruthless. I kept photos all of them but put them into a new album. I kept pictures (most of them) and put those into collaged frames or albums. I kept all her music and put it onto a mp3 player

I got rid of old clothes she never wore despite her telling me she did, Ornaments that gathered dust apart from some very valuable ones. I did keep all 20 cuddly toys but they are on the top of the wardrobe. I binned every part set of cutlery and crockery in the goodwill bin and bought 1 new set of each but I made sure they were something she would like so nope all good here. And I open the windows every day to let the old air out and the new in too. Feeling very proud of myself.....No if only I didn't need cupboard space for mounds of pads pants, wipes, wet wipes, towels etc
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I had a fire at my home 1.5 years ago. Talk about getting rid of things! Then a move 450 miles away. Talk about downsizing! Then rent a house half the size of the one on the market. Talk about downsizing, giving stuff to kids, donating to Goodwill. Purging! After four years of caring for my mom and hubby and being surrounded by old every day! It was hard, but I am grateful, now, for that time and that I had the temperment to do it. My sibs certainly would not have!
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