AmyGrace Asked December 10, 2017

Anyone worried watching their spouse age and getting a bleak picture of the future?

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Hubby is 80, still quite active, strong, but he is partially deaf (seldom wears his hearing aids) and will eventually lose his sight due to macular degeneration in both eyes. I have a bad back (I can see problems for me in the future, a hip break, limited mobility) We have a 9 room house. Its getting to be too much for me to keep up. I'm trying to get rid of things in anticipation of getting out of here and into something easier. He just keeps on as if we can live like this forever. I try to pick up, keep the house neat, organize and put away his stuff that he leaves on counters, bookshelves, tables, all over the place and he gets mad. He won't even try to downsize. All I see is some day he will not be able to see, and I will have to figure out what to do with all of this - including a street rod, a basement full of power tools, and junk of all sorts. What if I am not well enough to do this? I have seen so many of my older friends end up overwhelmed because health caught up with them long before they were able to downsize. My children are thousands of miles away. I have no other help. I just can't stand the clutter and the overwhelming pressure of all the stuff!

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AmyGrace Dec 15, 2017
No, he is a good man and I love him. He is just stubborn and a procrastinator but that is not a reason to move out. He is like a lot of seniors, unwilling to accept that limitations due to age are going to happen when you least expect it, and that the time to plan is now, not when they happen and the burden falls on one or the other spouse to do it all. T
The people who plan ahead, get into a home or condo that is low maintenance, no stairs and easy to navigate are able to stay independent much longer than those that cling to the house (and things) they had when they were 40. I see that in my neighborhood where the homes are 45 years old. The original owners (both widow and widower) who stayed into their 80's had homes that have depreciated due to lack of maintenance and updating. I personally know 6 people who ended up selling their homes for $100k less than market value of an updated home right next door. Every one waited too long, were desperate and needed assisted living so they had no choice but to leave and sell in a hurry. They did not see how their home deteriorated and almost all their possessions ended up in the dumpster.
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meallen Dec 12, 2017
I'm not married, so this advice might suck. Can you afford to move into a little apartment with enough room for him and a small amount of necessary stuff--few books, his clothes, that sort of thing, and just wait him out?
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AmyGrace Dec 11, 2017
Yes, he gets the shots in both eyes. One eye went really fast and the doctor is using a $2000 drug for that one but thankfully insurance pays for most of it. It has improved his far vision a lot but his near vision is still bad. He uses a magnifying glass and got a big computer monitor and has the brightness so high I can't even look at it. He turns on all the lights (he installed LED's in a lot of areas) and it hurts my eyes something terrible. I know he can't help it and I just turn them out when I go into the room.
I see our future old age looming as not so nice if we can't move in the next year or so. It is driving me nuts, stuff in several rooms on every counter, shelf and he gets mad if I move it. "Leave it - I know where it is - I'm going to do ....... with it" except all the things he is going to "do" eventually stretches out for years and it's still there in corners and on top of every surface, bookcase, filling closets and drawers. Its gotten so I don't touch certain rooms.   When he gets around to "cleaning" he puts it all back.   I can't stand the clutter which keeps us in this house.
He won't accept that, at 80,  he will not use all this stuff and he has lost interest in a lot of it anyway.  Most of his time is spent on internet forums or reading.  That's ok, normal, but its time to accept some day is not going to happen to get rid of a lot of this stuff.  Our house is too big. I'm exhausted trying to keep up with the indoor upkeep and cleaning, up and down stairs carrying laundry baskets with a really bad back.   Most of his physical energy goes into the necessary repairs and yard work (that he won't pay anyone to do although we could) This isn't good for him  (that  energy could be used for hobbies if we didn't have this house) .   He shouldn't be power washing, leaf blowing, carpet cleaning, etc.
I'm going to hire someone to clean for me a couple times a month but no one but him can get rid of the clutter.
I just watched my best friends diverse themselves of 45 years of very expensive furniture, collections, etc because they are moving 3000 miles away.  They couldn't give away all the beautiful things they must leave behind and plan to call the junk man.  So sad that we spend a fortune on material things that become meaningless, we can't take with us and never face it until its too late.
Sorry for my rant.  Christmas is almost on us and if I sound very negative its because I get really sad and depressed, frustrated this time of year.  Mom is gone, my children live far far away, we have so little family now and I worry a lot.
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freqflyer Dec 10, 2017
Hi Amy, regarding your hubby's macular degeneration, has he tried the new shots that go into the eyes to help with that disease? My late Dad was having those shots when he was 94, and he was noticing he could see better. Guess maybe it depends on what type of macular degeneration, but it might be worth looking into.

I really believe many who have trouble seeing, they don't want to move. They have the current floorplan imprinted in their brain so they could find their way around even in the dark. They just know where everything is.... so a move would disrupt their whole way of finding things. I want to move, too. But my sig other refuses, big time.

My late Mom refused to move from the house that she and Dad shared. Mom eventually became legally blind, but she could find her way around the house, cook, clean [somewhat], laundry, etc. I even noticed when I use to bring in the groceries, she was zipping around quickly [like The Flash] putting things away before my Dad tried to help. Dad would just put things anywhere, thus Mom wouldn't be able to find it later on.

I also need to clean out the basement of power tools, I have no excuse, that workbench and everything on or near it is mine... my Dad taught me how to fix things even though I was a girl, thus I would gets Dad's hand-me-down tools whenever he got new ones.

Have you tried telling hubby you are thinking of hiring a 1-800-Junk type crew that is coming in to take away some of your own stuff, and since you are paying for a half a truck, is there anything that he [hubby] wants to toss out so the truck doesn't go away less than half empty.
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JoAnn29 Dec 10, 2017
Don't u just love stubborn husbands. I do have mine considering an apartment but we r still here. I am 68 and he is 71. I am lucky, he cleans up after himself. Me, I keep my house straightened up but now it needs a good dusting. Maybe your primary can talk to ur husband about his health concerns, bluntly. How his eyescare going to progress and that with ur health problems too, he needs to realize you can't do it all. I have a almost deaf husband but his was a childhood accident. Having it later in life is a big adjustment. Maybe husband has no idea how to use his hearing aides. I know my Mom never got used to them. The digital need to be "tweeked". They don't always work the first time. My husband prefers over the ear. The in ear ones gave him headaches. My Dad had health problems but never considered Mom having her own. He thought she was there to waitvon him hand and foot. Really, what does your husband need tools for if he can't see? Start getting rid of your stuff. When cleaning out ur closet look to see in his what he wouldn't miss. Does he really need those 20 yr old shirts and shoes. That overcoat he doesn't need because he no longer wears suits. Did ur kids leave stuff behind? If so make a list of who's and what. Email them each a list and tell them if they want, come and get by a certain time. If they want shipped, they pay for it. Otherwise, you will call someone to pick up or throw away. There r organizations, like the Salvation Army, who will pick up stuff in good condition.
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