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Given your experience as caregiver.
I have noted several things about my mom's behavior, diet, etc. and wonder what may have contributed to her situation. She is from the Depression era, an epic hoarder, ate tons of processed food (meats and cheeses), ate no vegetables and didn't read, exercise or do puzzles, etc. She was also overweight and had non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

As I read and learn more, I am cutting down on processed meats and cheese and I am making sure that I exercise both physically and mentally. I know that I cannot prevent this if I am in line for it, but I figure it can't hurt and maybe I can mitigate or delay it.

I'd be curious if anyone has 1) seen similar behaviors or characteristics in their loved ones that may have contributed to their dementia and 2) if this has truly changed you as a caregiver. If so, what?

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Jeanne, you sound so much like me. It is so tempting to stick my head in the sand. All the best laid plans can't keep up with the rising cost of things.

I haven't been feeling my best lately. I believe that 99% of it is stress. So I am starting into gentle yoga. I've ordered a dvd. They are also offering a class in yoga every week at our local senior center. I'll have to get a pair of good pants for that -- no, not the kind that show off my pudgy butt. :)

Instead of fretting over if I have enough for the future, I'm going to stop worrying so much and concentrate on not killing myself with the stress I've been feeling. I have some savings and social security, but who knows if it will be enough? And who knows what the stock market will do? I'm in the same boat as Jeanne when it comes to LTC insurance. It costs so much that it would make me poor now to provide something that I may not even need later (or wouldn't be enough). Perhaps it would be more wise to save that money and hope it would grow.
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jeanne,
a person with hepc isnt supposed to drink any amount of booze . ive abstained entirely for several long stretches in my life . at some point it becomes a QOL issue .
its like ; YAY im sober and rather proud of my accomplishment buy FN YAY im sober and it blows .
my diabetic mother totally sympathized with why i reached for booze -- she understood cravings .
aside from that subject , ive been around enough fading and dying elders already to learn that the greatest indignance they can suffer is being herded around and told what to do and when . i resolve to make sure my wishes / self determination is lawfully ( or otherwise ) respected lest everyone on the care teem get a trach job with the same beard clip .
that seriously worries me . i wont have control taken from me by mental midgets half my age .
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I think that caring for my husband with dementia for ten years and now participating in the care of my mother has changed my attitude somewhat and confirmed other beliefs.

My dear husband early in his disease lamented, "Is this what I ate so carefully for for thirty years? Is this my reward for all my exercise? Why couldn't I have died suddenly, of heart disease, like all my brothers? Why must I suffer through years of losing my mind?"

The experience humbled me. I realize the limits to my own control. I will try to manage my diabetes and hope to avoid the ravages of complications, but I will not sacrifice my pleasure in food totally to some distant and possibly unattainable goal.

I took out a long-term care policy for what seemed at the time a reasonable amount, but which now will not be enough to support me in a care center if/when that is needed. And I have no money to increase it now. And if I had enough money to either increase the insurance or take a nice trip, I think the trip would win. I am SO glad that I did fun things with my husband and with my mother while we could, even though that means I am financially harder up now.

"Seize the day" has become a stronger impulse for me, and prepare for tomorrow has receded a bit in importance. There may not be a tomorrow, or it may be very different from anything I could prepare for now.
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I'm with Cwillie...LOL My parents saved all thier lives, always said they would never have to live with me... until they did. Hubs and I planned for a set of parents to have to move in.. bought a too big house (thank God) and here they are. Luckily we can afford some home care ( as hubs lost his job a few week ago. ) and the folks have the ability and wish to help us out if things get harsh. Did they HAVE to move in here? Yes from a care taking standpoint.. dad has ALZ and mom is too frail to care for him alone. No from a money standpoint.. BUT they don't want to go to a home or "give all thier money to a home". We are now at the point that Dad may need MC. As for me.. I find I am drinking more and smoking more some days... No time to exercize and too cold now anyway. I am taking more vitamens and trying to keep an eye on my "indulgences", and get some time away with friends. But really.. I figure if it happens it happens. And my daughter will do what is best for her.. hopefully put us somewhere decent.. but then again.. I am keeping my parents here aren't I? So I guess the best laid plans can go butt up! I just hope I can remember where I put the dang pills before it is too late!
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Behaviors...no. But have I changed my plans for the future? You bet.

I plan to have things in place so that if and when I reach the point of needing care beyond what I can do for myself, I will voluntarily place myself into assisted living or a nursing home, provided my mind isn't gone by that point. I have already told my daughter (the only one I've discussed this with) that I will *not* have my children caring for me in their home or in mine, after what I've already gone through with my own mother - and I'm only 2 years into caring for Mom and she's by no means completely out of it yet. But even so, she requires so much care and following around to make sure she does what she's supposed to do in the bathroom, takes her pills, etc - I already know I don't want to put this burden on my own kids. They have lives to live and don't need to take care of me. I will take care of myself until I am no longer able to, and then I will enter an assisted living facility. I plan to leave a living will document in place as well, stating that if I become incapacitated, she is to place me in a *good* assisted living or nursing home facility.
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I plan to eat, drink and be merry and hopefully I will drop over dead at a party at the age of 80 the way my uncle did.
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My parents are in their mid 90's and still live home alone.... so they must have been doing something right. Neither of my parents have dementia, just routine age decline with my Dad having very slight memory loss... they walked 2 miles every day for 30 years up until they were 87 and 91. I think the walking was the major help to keeping them more fit and their brains clearer.

My boss is 80, he doesn't look a day over 60. He was a squash player for decades. I think, again, keeping fit has helped him.

I use to be active, was a gym rat, did a lot of hiking, it felt great... but that stopped 6 years ago because I no longer had the free time due to issues with my parents aging.... now I am over-weight, I am too tired to exercise, lucky if I can walk around the block, and I feel so old :(
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