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I'm only 40, but watching my Dad and enduring the hardships that come along with caregiving has TOTALLY influenced how I will handle my own aging.


1) I'm kinda afraid to "get old". As I watch the residents at the AL, I have often thought to myself, "God, PLEASE take me before I end up like THAT"


2) I have seriously "upped" my retirement contributions and want to make sure I really have a plan in place for "getting old". I'm paying down debt and praying that I will be a "hip" senior.


3) It's official: I won't get married or have children. I don't have the time or energy to date, and I don't want place an adult child in my situation. 40 is too old to have children in my opinion because there would be no one there to help them in the event that I got old, and having a parent that's old enough to be your grandparent just isn't fun... or fair to the child.


4) Since I have no children, I would plan to move into an IL (like where my Dad is) in a HEARTBEAT. If I play my financial cards right and save properly, I hope to be able to find a nice place with a duck pond and shuffleboard, but I would NEVER burden anyone with caring for me.

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Pam, thanks for the laugh about selling your husband.... [snort]. Why is it that our fellows don't want to move into something more manageable. Do they think they are losing a personal war when they do that?
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I always planned to sell housezilla to help fund my retirement,, but hubs swears he hates all my moving ideas. MAybe I will sell him...LOL. My dad left me some funds when he passed, and I have decent retirement and both hubs and I should get SS... If moms money holds out I will be ok financily.. but I don't count on anything these days. My biggest fear is getting ALZ. I always say I just hope I remember where I put the pills.. My daughter is my only child, and I don't want her to feel the anxiety I feel most days with mom living with us,, and her games... I want her to remember the great mom she remembers now
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I do not want to age to be elderly and not sure what age that may be....

I am 52.

I lost everything in divorce and caregive for my elderly parents.

Not sure how much time I have left to live - but I want to give myself a tiny window of hope for a few yrs through a job potential I have coming up. Should I land it, I want to move, try to save what I can and give back to myself and adult kids as I have lost some yrs with them.

My family is not happy I am entertaining this of course - but I have to remember all I learned here and listen to myself as I am the one who lives in this experience. Not them. Their view is nothing like mine and my experience caregiving. They really cannot know unless they did it for their own parents. And they have not. A few days here and there is not the same as FT as I have been doing for 5 yrs.

I sure do not want to live long and not afraid of dying as much as missing out on watching my children grow into their lives. I missed a lot of that post divorce.

I am afraid of living in pain and loss of mind. Of having no one to be there for me as this has been the case most of my life. Of being reliant on a system as opposed to a loved one. How would I ever put my kids through that? I can't. I also have seen what state run facilities are like and I would rather be gone from life than live in one.

Truth is, I have nothing to prevent me from ending up in such a place - so I want to take this job should it be offered and try to believe life has something for me beyond not being appreciated or wanted - being the butt of their unhappiness as well as a punching bag for that frustration...and being the scapegoat of siblings.

I am afraid either way I turn - but I have to try and go for it. To hope even if it is a small window of opportunity until my own time calls me home.

Living to me, is scary. Dying is not as much so.
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CNReader, it's great to know that I'm not alone (or considered "selfish" as the non care-givers tell me).

122?!?!? No thank you. I always find it interesting when people say how much of a "blessing" it is to be of advanced age. Is it?!?! I would say yes, if you are of reasonable health / state of mind, but I often wonder if some of the people I witness in AL are indeed happy or simply suffering until the end. I don't think I personally want that.

I, too, have mixed feelings about having an "older" Dad. I love him because he's my Dad, but he's been legally blind all my life, so that added a dynamic, and he was never the "cool" old guy. He was just... old. My poor baby brother had it worse... he was 9 years younger than me, and people always mistook Dad for his grandfather.

I also question whether I need to seek help about my views on aging because the average outsider would probably view me as a monster.

I'll say this... Halle Berry had a baby at 47 and Janet Jackson had one at 50. That won't be me... besides, their Nannies can take over when they are too tired to care for the kids. HAHAHA!
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Upsetsister49 what great insight and preparation! I'm still renting at the moment, but plan on looking for a home soon. It's interesting that I'm already considering something "flat" in the event that I will need it in the future. Isn't it interesting how watching others' struggles changes our own outlook?
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Hi Tinyblu,

I'm in the same boat as you. And I, too, am scared about getting too old. Tonight, I was reading about Jeanne Calment who lived to 122 years old. She outlived her daughter and grandson and had no other living relations. Went into a nursing home at 110 years old. All I could think was, I don't think want to live that long.

After caring for my dad till his passing, I am heartbroken about this final phase of life. I honestly don't expect my nieces or nephews to care for me. I don't think it would be fair. And like you, I feel like its too late to have my own child. 40s is too old to have children. My dad waited till his 40s and it was hard to have an older dad. I still cherish having a dad for as long as I did, but it wasn't easy.

For myself, I guess I'm going try and make sure I have enough funds. I also want to make sure I have all my paperwork in order. Mentally, I feel I need to do some work about how I will accept getting older as well.
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I'm 67 years old. I spent 6 years caring for my mother who died in May. I came from a very dysfunctional family and there were many problems with my brother over money. I think the dysfunction in my family was part of my decision to only have one child. I do not want to be a burden for him.

I have lived very frugally since my divorce 25 years ago. I've purchased an older home in an area that I liked several years ago. I moved to the house last fall. Since then I have been upgrading things to accommodate aging. I am a diabetic with neuropathy in my feet and lower legs, so mobility is a little bit of an issue. I've had my bathroom redone with a walkin bathtub, elevated toilet, hand rails, etc. I have a section of my kitchen counter lower so that I can sit to do food preparation. My next major item will installing a stair climber chair.

Other things I've done is purchase nursing home insurance. I maxed my pension plan contributions. I have delayed taking Social Security so that my payments will be higher. And I am still working. I'm lucky because I'm clinical psychologist, so I can schedule groups and individual therapy sessions on my own time. I limit how many clients I have at one time and only work about 15 hours a week. Right now I am doing group sessions for caregivers being paid by the local Council on Aging. I will probably continue working for a few more years.

I have made my plans and notified my son. He is aware of what I have, how I want things handled, etc. I don't care about living forever, but I do want quality of life.
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Caregiving has taught me

1) Life is unpredictable. It is what happens while you are making plans.
2) Do it while you can.
3) Quality of life (whatever that means to individuals) is more important than longevity of life.
4) To avoid deciding is a decision.
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Tinyblu.... Hey kid [well I am 30 years older than you] , and I was thinking the same way you were, moving into Independent Living like my Dad did.... the apartment was so nice, I wanted one for myself :) And having staff come in to do housekeeping and linen service sounded great, and to have someone else doing the cooking, even better.

I, also, want to the hip elder. Even at 71, I still have my eye on getting a Jeep Wrangler. Not sure if I want to take the doors off and slide back the roof before leaving the house, but it is there if I want it :) Oh, I hope I could still climb up into one.

No children here, either, nor siblings. So I have to watch my pennies, always been fugal all my life, so it shouldn't be too hard. Live below my means has worked well.

But I have noticed age related decline. My energy disappeared, I've looked everywhere and just can't find it. Also noticed when I type, my hands are typing different words then I am thinking, like what's up with that??? And some days the stairs feel like Mt. Everest.

As for getting married, I tried it for 20 years, it was pretty good, but we went off in different directions. You never know who you will meet around the next bend. Like a fellow from your high school days who had a mad crush on you but was too shy to even say hi.
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I am 65 and so far I am just fine. Now bear in mind, when I do get dementia I won't know that I have dementia and I will still say I am just fine. I will tell you all about my husband, that he is deaf and his eyes don't work and neither does his memory. But as for me, I am just fine.
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