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What I've noticed since finding this website, is that MANY people on here are baby boomers like me. When did it become 'normal' (or maybe it's just me) to worry about other boomers dropping dead when they live alone? Take my neighbor for instance, he's been widowed for 3 years maybe and REALLY close to my age. I was asking my husband last night, how would I know if he fell and broke his face or something and needed 911? I think about myself even though I'm in pretty good health for a boomer, I'm alone every other day while my hubby is away working. What if he came home and found me dead in our bed? When did THAT become normal to think about?? When did it become 'normal' (or maybe it's just me) to worry about other boomers dropping dead when they live alone? I think about my sister-in-law who's barely younger then me, alone while my brother-in-law is gone for a week at a time. What about her dropping dead alone in her house? Oh my gosh, when did this happen? When did I get so old to have to think of this stuff? Who on earth thought of this stuff when they were in their 20's? Well anyway I was just wondering if anyone else besides me have these random weird thoughts. I tell ya, getting old is NOT for sissies.

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LILLI:

"That is a myth started by generations that came after us" made me wonder who actually sponsored those illuminating forums I attended. ... And you're right. Seeking to help the youth of today prepare for the future, they used the so-called failures of past generations. A few of the panelists were wealthy, local and State-government, self-described Baby Boomers so easy on the advice they could sell a fur coat to a polar bear in mid-July. ... And I bought a couple. ASSuming they were authorities on the subject, it didn't take long for me to be sold. I was such an idiot! ... Anyway, thanks for the heads up.
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Nancy: do you think losing your Mom not too long ago shifted you into this mode? Just wondering.... I often think about what I will feel like once my Mom is gone (lost my Dad years ago.) Will I feel like an orphan? Will it automatically shift me into being an "elder" of the family? Will I worry more about the future?
I agree with your Dad. I try every day to live in the moment. I think that you can do only so much planning, then life just comes up behind you and says, "Boo." So why worry about things until they arrive and you can actually do something about it.
Like I said before, I cannot remember my parents being stressed out over such things when they were my age now. They just did their thing and did not have the time to over analyze as I do.
Caregiving has definitely messed with my head. I am trying to "get a grip" and not let it color how I feel about myself now.
Btw, I still look at the cute sailors...some things are still working. ;o)
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What started me thinking of this was that it seems like so many people on this website are of the 'boomer' age bracket, and they're taking care of their parents.
Maybe it's just because of the internet that is giving us access to people beyond our own 'neighborhoods' that is highlighting the care taking age group. Ed is right about one thing, and that is my husband and I are ill prepared for retirement at our age. But who thinks of these things when you're young? How did we become old in body but still stay young of heart? It literally snuck up on us I think. Every year here in Portland the Navy ships come up stream during the Rose Parade week. When I was 18 or 19yrs old my girlfriend and I used to go down to the ships and look at the sailors. What's not to like about a man in uniform?? Nothing. Anyway, (I did strictly 'G' rated stuff mind you) but I was asking my husband the other day, how is it that the sailors stayed so young and I got so freakin old? So that's my only explanation of this age thing sneaking up on me. I wasn't looking. Just like when I think about my mom being gone. Not possible, she was supposed to live forever. Maybe it's like my dad always says, "Get your head out of the ether bag'. ha
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Very well said Lilli, I am coming up on retirement age and they keep moving it up... I have worked all my life and will have nothing to show for it... thank God I am still able to work and just save every penny I can....Maybe there will be SS for me, maybe there won't... and yes, the younger generation needs to stop blaming and get active in all the things they are whining about.... thanks for what all you said... and my son will run a million miles away before he takes care of me, so I am stressed about this, but will face it when the time comes... hugs to you....
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Ed, as usual, a very thoughtful post and point of view. I agree that the boomer generation has very high expectations about the world we live in. Our groups spans many decades so early boomers may have different views than those of us who came a little later. Regardless, our hearts were in the right places.
I have to disagree with one point. We are not a burden on the taxpayers. That is a myth started by generations that came after us. We worked hard, paid into the system, and now the system is pulling the rug out from under us only because we are great in number. They keep moving back the official retirement age, reducing SS and Medicare benefits. In addition, we are the first "sandwich" generation. Many of our fellow forum members are taking care of aging parents (because we get NO help from a government structure that our parents paid into), raising children and putting them through college, and sometimes even taking care of grandchildren. Young adults continue to move back home and freeload off their parents. That does not sound like a group that is bleeding the system. If anything we are giving the government free labor and shortening our lives while we are doing it.
I say that if you paid your way all your life, paid your taxes and contributed to the welfare of all citizens, then when you need help, it should be there. If younger generations are bummed out that they have to take care of their aging boomer parents, then they need to pitch in and lend their voices to change.
I guess I am tired of hearing that the boomers are spoiling everything for the next generation. We live in a youth-worshipping era (that probably started in the '60s). But if we do not work together for change, history is doomed to repeat itself......just sayin'
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NANCY:

I can't speak about boomers everywhere, but the ones I work with avoid discussions about planning for their demise, let alone much long-term planning. Sandra once told me "I set out to heal the world, and leave something for the children I was supposed to have. ... Now all I have is this job. No man, no savings, no kids, not even a place to drop dead. I did nothing."

I guess all this baby boomer talk became "normal" a couple of years ago, when I signed up for all kinds of forums on how to manage aging and end-of-life issues as we age. One thing I learned is that most Baby Boomers were among the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve -- and did something about it --, but are generally in a state of denial regarding their own aging and death. To make things worse, they are leaving an undue economic burden on their children for their retirement and care. Although many tended to think of themselves as a special generation, this group, in my opinion, is a mere microcosm of what's happened and continues to happen in Aging America when you don't plan for the future.

It took me a while to actually sit down and plan the rest of my life. Before that I used to say "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery," "Don't worry about the years, they come and go as they please," "What matters is the here and now." The sad part is that it took a car crash that left me comatose for 2 months for me to get my life together. I'm 51, own my home, have a couple of nest eggs that I don't touch at all, made sure my sons got a college education, and stay away from golddiggers. In a nutshell, I'm a very lucky man in a world where poverty and homelessness lurk around the corner.

From a governmental standpoint, I guess Baby Boomers were supposed to make the world a better place but instead are slowly becoming a burden to taxpayers and everybody else. Which probably explains why Sandra has that long face of disappointment M-F. ... Instead of fighting, she keeps hopping from unemployment, to the PA office, to "greener pastures" in the hopes her lot will improve. What she doesn't want to understand is that in order to rise above her problems and have an impact in someone else's life she must have the willingness to get better instead of trying getting over and expecting fame and fortune to fall on her lap.

Nancy, I don't care if you're a Baby Boomer. Your posts help me keep it real, and laugh when I need the spark for the fire that is my day. Meeting you in this forum has been a complete privilege because it reminds me of how priceless honesty can be in a world that demands it but doesn't know what to do with it when you give it to them. I don't know about anybody else here, but you sure have made a big difference in my life. Thank you so much.

-- Ed
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I've done that with my car keys,, getting frantic because I was going to be late for work, and they were in my hand the whole time...guess as long as we can still find our way to this sight, we will know we are not alone...
And Lilli, going out with style is my new mantra....
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I was driving home talking to my sister on my cell phone. That was when you could actually TALK on your freakin phone still. Anyway, she and I chatted for about 15 minutes before I pulled into my driveway. After I shut off the car I started getting my stuff together to go into the house. The whole time I'm talking on my CELL PHONE, I'm searching frantically through my purse, car etc looking for my stupid phone!! I was so afraid I'd left it somewhere. Now that's bad. Funny, but bad. ha
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Heh, heh,....naheaton and ladeeda....you crack me up....."death by chocolate...."

When I think of the bizillion things I have to remember for myself, Mom, and my work....forgetting that my glasses are on my head doesn't seem so bad.

But I have to agree, I'd rather go out with a bang than a whimper.....
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We are going to die anyway, might as well have some fun imagining fun and good ways to go...Death by chocolate has got to have some merit to it, and like I said, we may as well make it memorable for others,,,,
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Ladeeda, if we're going in that direction, I say I'd like to drown in a vat of chocolate after sneaking in after hours at some candy plant. If I won't remember sneaking in then at least let it be death by chocolate!
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I can barely concentrate on living, much less worry about dieing..and I am sure I will go out in a blaze of embarrassing glory, like taking a nose dive on the candy isle at Walmart, my pockets full of stolen M&M's that I didn't remember stealing, that would be the day I choose or forgot to wear underwear, or the underwear is in my pocket with the M&M's, dirty underwear I'm sure. It will be ugly but very memorable..
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naheaton, I am going through the same dang thing. Some I blame on my meds, some on getting older, some on possible attention deficit disorder, and some on having too much on my mind. Don't much like it at all.
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And what's with this, can't remember anything anymore? My husband thinks they're putting something in our water to make us more forgetful (he wishes) when did that happen? With my mother-in-law forgetting what I tell her every few minutes, I feel like I'm living in the twilight zone. When did this become 'normal' behavior to walk into a room and have NO idea of why you're there? How many places can my hubby set his stinkin' eye glasses down and forget where he put them? Give me a break already. Is this all part of the getting old thing, or are our brains so busy with busyness that we can't remember anymore?
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i have heard that people talk about dyin al the time , sure enuff they get thier wishes . my bro always said one day at a time . dont worry about tmr . make the best of it today , yesterday is history .
i always count my blessing that i am able to get up and move around . even count my blessing that i still have my back , ow ow ow .
yes if anything happens to my hubby i am too screwed , guess i ll have to find me a sugar daddy ! NOT !!! lol
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If anything happens to my husband I'm screwed, cause he's the sole bread winner in our family. I don't even want to go there! ha.
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One thing I do know is I don't wanna live to be so old i can't do much of anything. Maybe that's wrong but it's how I feel. I see obits all the time for people in their 50s and 60s and younger. And then there are the ones who live to be 104 or something. Nothing makes sense to me about it. I don't read them very often since Mom passed. I know it's not good to obsess about anything. But yes, Naheaton, I think of stuff like that. I worry that I might have a stroke or get into a car wreck or if something were to happen to my husband or another member of my family. I was with my MIL when she passed and with my mom but asleep when she passed. I think care giving and going through the death of a loved one definitely changes you. Death becomes so real.

love,
miz
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I don't know here... Don't you know enough about your own health to know the odds of whether or not you're going to drop dead suddenly? Anyone can get killed anytime -- trip down a stairs, hit by lightning, traffic, etc. -- but to dwell on that?? If anything, caring for my parents (who never did anything right concerning their health, and are now paying for it), has shown me that I'd better eat right, exercise, and pay attention to my health!

Beside, what can you do it if it IS "your time" to keel over dead? What I fear most is being half-dead. A maiming injury or stroke...

With all the other worries in our lives, I don't worry about my own death. I'm doing all I can to prevent that, and if that's not enough, I can't worry any more once I'm dead, can I?

..Getting back to worrying about the icky "surprises" I find in their laundry... I'm fine.
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After my mom's death my sister and I worry about our dad falling or dropping dead when he's alone at home. Us girls are the ones that think of this stuff, I guess it never occurs to our brother. Sis calls dad every single day to check on him, and when she can't reach him for an hour she sends me to find out is he's okay. I live within a mile of him, so I'd have to be the one that finds him dead. I tell her thanks a lot! This I understand since he's 85 stinkin' years old, but wondering about keeling over at my age? Lilli I think you might be right, it may be the whole care giving mode I've been in for a few years now that makes me think of this stuff. I can't call every single person I know that's my age and living alone, that is not practical I guess. I just wondered if anyone else who's in the 'boomer' age bracket thinks of this stuff.
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i just hope i die in bed sleeping . that way im not hurting anybody . my biggest fear is i drop dead while driving ! or drop dead while carin for pa . lord ! i pray that it doesnt happen , told lord if he is to take me just wait till im in bed sleeping .
my 22 yrs old nephew went to work one morning and parked his car and shut it off and slump over and died . natural causes they say ,. i just glad that it didnt happen while he was driving .
i know i ll be strong and keep going and prob outlive everybody , just my luck :-) ..
if youre worried about the neighbor u shall go everyday and knock on his door , i bet he will apprecaite u lookin after him .
keep us caregiver strong lord . xoxox
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I've been wondering the same thing too. I keep thinking, "I'm too young to feel so old." I have figured out that it is a bi-product of caregiving. I have been "steeped" in elderly things for so many years that has given me too much awareness. When you are constantly bombarded with hospital visits, advocating with medical staff, doing paperwork, and all the other "nitty-gritty" elements of caregiving that is all you know. So you start to feel old before your time.
I keep thinking that I need to rejoin the "living." My parents did not dwel on these things when they were my age. They were vibrant, active people who never expressed a worry about aging or death. But, then again, they haven't gone through what I have. My Mom has many more serious medical problems than any of my grandparents.
I think the key is to engage in activities that have nothing to do with aging or caregiving. That's my plan for now.
Also, we have to remember that we are living in a much more "youth fixated" culture than what we were raised in. Even though we are living longer as a society, rampant ageism treats people, who are only in their 50s, as "old." And it has a seriously detrimental impact on employment, entertainment, social interactions, etc. (just look at the cosmetic surgery industry) Ageism isolates and seems to be last acceptable form of bigotry.
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