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Oh my gosh, I sure hope not. I am hoping that the next generation after our elderly parents are taking notes because retirement and slowing down seems to be coming at us at a fast clip.

At 68 years old, I know I am not quite ready for a retirement village this year even though they look very inviting. Currently I can hire people to do the yard work, do repair work, and cleaning people as I am becoming lazy because I am too tired physically and emotionally dealing with my aging parents who still live in their own 3 story single family home.

I know I want to be around people of my own generation, not stuck in a neighborhood as nice as it is with nothing in common with my neighbors.... I don't want my neighbors to feel they have to watch over me when it snows and feel they have to shovel my driveway, or bring up my newspaper, or bring up my rubbish barrel.... I don't want to depend on others to get my groceries, or take me to my doctor appointments, or take me shopping, etc.... and I don't want to feel alone if my mate should become ill and is no longer at home.

I am so glad I have been fugal all my life, started saving money when I was 5 years old and had my own saving account. I plan to find the best possible retirement community that money can buy and enjoy my life. Not be an emotional burden on others. I have learn so much what NOT to do from my parents.

Today I gave my parents a booklet on a 5-star retirement community that I know they can afford. Dad said that will be good in case they need to move in the next couple of years.... HELLO... you are 92 and 96..... move in while you can enjoy everything the place has to offer. And maybe for once I would get a good night sleep instead of laying away worrying about them.

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We are not like our parents in many ways. Their parents were cared for at home, but died in their 60's. They were much younger as caregivers, plus women stayed at home. We are now in OUR 60's and in many cases both working full time jobs. Our parents are still alive and approaching 90's. We are simply too old to care for them!!! Yet they cared for their parents and they fully demand we do the same. What do you tell them? " Sorry mom and dad, you just lived too long." ??
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Pam, I liked what you said "We are simply too old to care for them!!!".... great line. I need to remember that. I also wish my parents would realize that I AM a senior citizen myself with my own health issues, aches and pains. Heck, I could need help for myself next year. Then what? I got to remember that line, too. Maybe that will be a wake up call, an *ah ha* moment.

Shakingdustoff, in my area this 5-star retirement community is great, they have independent living buildings with a choice of 20 different styled condos, some condos up to 2,000 sqft.... then if the time comes you can't care for your self, you can move into what is called "Continuing Care", which is part of the same complex, and you still have access to all the amenities if you are mobile. The group that owns and runs these complex is Erickson Living, which also in some other States.

I don't want my significant other's daughter have to be on an elder care websites, at midnight, looking for help or to vent her frustrations.
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My parents had to deal with dementia type issues with their parents when they were in their 40's.. and they only kept them in their home for a short period of time.. probably not more than a month. Both my moms dad and my dads mom ended up in a nursing home.. with another sibling paying for it. They only visited them a few times from what i remember. They were both in nursing homes in another state.

By the time they were my age (early 50's) both their parents had passed away and their kids were grown and moved away.. and they were having a great time. My dad retired at 55 and my mom at 62.. they are now in thier early 80's. Up until the last couple of years they have had an awesome retirement.. traveling, playing, relaxing..great health. I don't see that in the cards for me.

Also.. I have no kids so when I get to be their age.. i won't have anyone to give up their life for me.. i will be on my own completely. I am realizing that i need to have a plan and be more organised so I know where i want to go when the time comes.

Lol at the 96 year old who is going to wait to move into a retirement village.. someday. I feel for you freqflyer .. you are at the age when you should be retired yourself .. and planning for your own old age.
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Next week I am seeing my Elder Law attorney to finalize my Will/Trust, POA's, and what ever else I need. My significant other is doing the same thing.

Trying to get my parents to do something similar is like pulling teeth. They have a Will and POA's but the paperwork is very out of date, and the Will will be a probate minefield if not changed to a Trust, and if the POA's are not updated.

I am hoping the past 48 hours will be a wake up call for my parents, then again, maybe not. Dad [92] was taken to ER by the EMT's when he fell backwards on his driveway and banged up his head. Yep, driveway, they are still in their single family house.

Anywho, Dad had to stay overnight at the hospital. Today I told Dad I shouldn't be making decision for him as I am not his medical POA, Mom is.... but my Mom [96] has lost most of her hearing and most of her eye sight from age relate decline. She didn't come to the hospital because the walk from the entrance to Dad's room would have been too much for her.... and you couldn't get her into a wheelchair, my gosh someone might see her.... [sigh]. Only then did Dad realized that it would be very difficult for Mom. He agreed he needs to see an attorney. I am keeping my fingers crossed that will actually accept an appointment with an Elder Law attorney, something he should have done 10 years ago.
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Sorry your father fell; is he okay?

Sometimes it takes a frightening incident to be a wake-up call to get the estate plan in order. I know it's still hard for me to work on mine and my father's. Sometimes the contengencies and "what if" scenarios become so complex I get lost and can't think clearly.
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GardenArtist, thanks for asking about my Dad. He's home now but still a bit loopy from whatever medicines he was given. He thought he was staying in a hotel for 3 nights, instead of a hospital room for 1 night. Got to admit, our regional hospital is like a hotel, swans made out of hand towels in the rooms, fancy menus, even the food is very good :)

This estate planning is quite the learning experience !!
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FF, I completely agree with you about wills and POAs and the importance of keeping them up to date and, well, relevant really. But I have a little smile on my face - you'll know you've done a better job of it than your parents in twenty years' time when you remember (and can be bothered) to update them!

Sigh. I really, really hope to avoid my mother's main mistakes. But I am quite confident that I'll make my own instead...
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Yikes I'm an idiot - meant to add, wishing your Dad a full recovery from his accident.
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i built a home 15 yrs ago with an effeciency apartment in the basement . i figured eventually one of my sons and their family could enjoy the nice little house upstairs and i could live out my years hanging out in the basement . i dont think it was a bad plan and either way building a little house was an equity building move that i dont see how one could go wrong on . my oldest son and girlfriend have been taking a strong look at this scenario for quite some time . in my case what some people call caregiving , i envision as care - leaving me the hell alone . i reckon the battle will be when they take my cutting torches away from me .
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Hope your dad is recovering!
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Thank you all, Dad is almost back to his old self.... I just hope he is now using his walker instead of his cane.

Ever stand up too quickly from a sitting position and start to feel lightheaded? That happens to most of us one time or another. According to a Cardiologist that checked on my Dad.... with an elder, it takes longer for that person to start feeling lightheaded because it takes the heart a longer time to pump blood throughout the body.... for Dad it took 3 to 4 minutes for that to happen, so down he went. She said if you feel lightheaded, lay down, do NOT sit down, otherwise you will feel lightheaded once again. Learn something new every day :)
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Swans from hand towels? Wow! Do they have massages too? French milled soap? Essential oil therapy? Can I go check in for a respite?

Seriously, I've seen hospitals upgrade their menu selection to provide an actual choice, just like a restaurant. But I've not yet seen real towels - just the paper ones.

Anyway, glad your father is home and okay.

And thanks for writing that estate planning is a learning experience. I hope those who want to go the DIY route will think twice - this planning is definitely not for anyone to do alone - it's much too complicated.
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We all have these thoughts. You're 68. You say, "I'm not ready..." By the time you're "ready"? You won't recognize it. Sixty-eight years old is not too young to start planning your future. The median age in most retirement communities is much younger than that.

Hopefully, you have someone in your life you trust who can help you make these kinds of decisions. When it's time for a retirement community . . . when it's time for assisted living with an eye toward full-blown nursing home. If you don't plan (as your parents haven't), then you run the risk of being the burden to others you don't want to be.

I wanted mom to sell her home and buy the one next door to me. "No, I'm not ready." Well, she's ready now, five years later. She has to live with me or go to a nursing home. Had she lived next door, she and her significant other of 47 years (yeah, 47!! Lived together 12) could be living together and getting by. As it is, he's alone, and she's here with me.
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MaggieMarshall, you are so right, when we get older we might not recognize it. My significant other and I will do a 5-year plan, and revisit that plan throughout the year, and see if we need to make changes. Hope we remember where we filed it :)

I have already started on donating/tossing "stuff".... been shredding paper left and right, it's amazing the stuff we tend to keep. Mom and I have been after my Dad to thin out his dozens and dozens of 3-ring binder notebooks, as he likes to keep newspaper articles that he cuts out, or articles he finds in magazines, etc. My gosh, around his recliner at their home, it looks like a file cabinet threw up :0

I bet somewhere in my parents house they still have an old 1960's encyclopedia, I know they still have one from the 1940's but heaven knows what condition it is in being in an attic for 30 some years.
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FF, if your father has any magazines from the 1940s, they might be worth something. I'm surprised how many old magazines are listed on Craigs List, although I don't know if they ever sell.
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GardenArtist, now that is one thing I wished my Dad would have kept, old magazines. I love seeing the advertisements of that era, even though some were very sexist.

I have an old National Geographic Magazine dated June 1934... there is an ad for Hamilton Accuracy watches.... it shows 3 young adults, two males and 1 female... one male says "I'm taking up aviation" in college.... the other male says "I'm headed for law" after graduating from law school.... the female says "I'm going to get married" after college.
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Maggie, your points are well taken. I'm almost 70 and still feel young (except when I garden or run caregiving trips) and have already drafted my initial EP (ignoring my own advice and just doing it myself instead of going to an attorney, but my assets are very limited). Still, it's hard to think about growing older and becoming more fragile and limited.

FF, AAARRRGH! I know that was the norm in those days, but it still is irritating. However, let's remember how much progress has been made and jump to 2014 and think what a womans aspirations could be:

I'm going to law school, then run for judgeship, with the goal of eventually sitting on the Supreme Court.

I'm going to medical school.

I'm enlisting in the military and want to fly combat aircraft.

I'm going to run for elected office.

I'm going to be CEO of my own publicly held corporation.

I'm going to do what I WANT TO DO, whether it'll be a home maker, mother, caregiver, nurse, teacher, doctor, lawyer....and IT WILL BE MY CHOICE.

And lest someone interpret my thoughts as critical of stay-at-home mothers and housewives, that's not the intent. What is the intent is that we make the decisions for ourselves and don't let prejudices and traditions constrain us.
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NO! in 30yrs ill be 78! In great health and still travelling around the world i just have to learn how to save enough now to be able to do that then. Ive no kids so i should be a rich old lady???
I aint going to end up like my mum OR dad although dad had a good life he was selfish so why wouldnt he have had a good life! Mum was unhappy her entire life and made some serious mistakes that brought her where she is today BUT she was a good mum despite it all at least she can be proud of that!
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Hmmm. In 20 years, I will be 96. At that age, my mother was living in a very nice 2 bedroom apartment, with a swimming pool, in a good area, had her health, help with shopping, and cleaning etc. That would work for me. Three years later she was in an upscale ALF, though no swan towels, but with a very good staff, in a great location, a lovely big room with fireplaces, books, and so on. That would work for me too. However, now, another 3 years later, she is in a geriatric mental hospital resisting treatment and will be released to a closed unit somewhere in her city. That will not be my fate, I hope. She has provided well for herself in terms of pensions and investments, so lack of money is not likely to be an issue. I believe I have done the same. If she did not have a personality disorder she might well have accepted treatment and still be in her ALF. It is sad.

Right now, sig other and I are in a house that is larger than I need, though he would fill it (major pack rat tendencies and too many interests) and I must hire someone to do deeper cleaning once a month or so. I don't mind doing the surface cleaning. I also must toss stuff and have done so at intervals, but it is time to toss more. The less there is around the easier it is to keep. I am still sorting out some of mother's things that I brought here from her first move, and setting up files for her finances and so on. I did not anticipate having to do that at my age.

GA -I still have goals and want to take a small business course. Sig other has one as a side interest, and I help him and would like to learn more abut running a small business. Unfortunately mother's needs have taken up too much of my mental space this past year for me to do it. Hopefully that will improve.
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The SBA used to have small business courses, as I remember dealing with accounting, marketing, etc. I don't know if they still do, or whether they're free. Sometimes local communities have similar courses, but it's hard to know whether the instructor really has any experience to share. I've taught in community ed courses and know that it's easy for someone to be a teacher if there's a need for the subject.

I'm rooting for you - go for it!

Maybe I'll think about starting a business making swan towels for AL facilities. I think that's a great touch!
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Thanks GA. There is a good about 8 course program at the college here which has been running for some time. It is for credit and includes accounting,marketing, business plan, payroll etc. I have already met with the coordinator (who was my boss for the last few years I taught at the college), and been approved to enter. The courses are run mostly online which suits me well and you can go at your own pace. Some of the courses would be repetition of things I already know, (I taught basic Excel, for example) but that's OK. You can always learn something more. There is also good opportunities for contact with local big business which could expand our business.

Altogether it would be a go, if I can get mother settled somewhere where the staff can handle her. She is in a geriatric hospital right now and they are trying to get her "settled". She has never "settled" in her life - always one crisis after another due to her personality disorder and now there is dementia with paranoia mixed in. Hopefully they will get meds into her one way or another and find her a decent facility. I vote for two weekly injections whether she wants them or not. Her quality of life without them is getting worse. Without meds there WILL be more crises. Recently she went on a hunger strike for a few days. I didn't worry about it. I knew it was for attention (narcissistic supply). She thinks they are blowing smoke into her room to make her demented. Before it was that they had removed her sex glands to make her demented. Her story of how it happened was quite convincing. When she started telling people at church about the sex gland removal, and also had a few sessions of feeling suicidal, the professionals started to act. I hope if I get that way someone will take charge of me!!!

Swan towels for AL facilities sound good to me. :-D
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Emjo, you've certainly done your homework, and you certainly have some challenges with integrating schooling with caregiving. The college course sounds like a good option, especially since you can proceed at your own pace.

What did you teach?

Sorry to learn about the difficulties with your mother's placement. Sometimes it takes awhile; sometimes it takes longer and sometimes it's more difficult.

It sounds like a very draining and unsettling experience for you.
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Oh, another thing I hope I won't be doing in 20-30 years is having the house so warm. When visiting my parents this afternoon I thought I was going to melt into a puddle if I stayed there another minute. It's like walking to a giant hot flash :0
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FF, When my mom was in IL, we got her a clock that also measured temperture. Her apartment was regularly at 87 degrees! I had her doctor tell her how bad that was for her bp, but she liked to feel "toasty". Anyway, now in NH, she is grateful for airconditioning and wears sweaters everyday. go figure.
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You hit the nail right on the head - we are seniors ourselves and too old to care for them. Mom is in independent living (which helps somewhat because my sister and I don't have to live with her - which would definitely cause divorces for both of us). So, she gets dinners and a safer place to live. But I do the grocery shopping, running around, repairs to minor stuff, finances and laundry, change her bed, etc. My sister cleans and we take turns with doctor appointments. Last week Mom stood on a chair and pulled the drapes down. I had to go to four stores to find the right rod, and then go over and stand on a chair myself to try to fix them. So, back to my comment - we are too old to take care of them like they need it. I run around for her as she always needs something, and I run around for me and my husband and home, I work part time and I shop for her, I shop for me. I go over there, she stresses me out, I do stuff there. I'm tired! I have health problems, more than she does. I love her, but I'm tired!
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I'm feeling extremely preoccupied with cycle-breaking right now. Be like my mother? Not if I can help it. But can I help it? And what if I'm actually worse?

Read Christine Lawson's book about Borderline Mothers in one sitting. Head in hands. And mother is getting extremely twitchy since the mental health subject came up for discussion earlier in the week. It's not about blaming, it's about understanding; but given her probable make-up try getting her to believe that.

And to complicate matters younger daughter (chip off the old block) is back home for a week or two. She's in fine fettle and the last thing I want to do is bring her down.

Who do you go to to get clear, simple answers about what to do???
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AmyGrace, one time I asked Dad when the times comes when he needs a Caregiver to come over to take care of him and Mom, and he calls an Agency which says they could send over a person BUT this person has zero training in caregiving.... doesn't know how to take blood pressure readings or listen to your heart.... doesn't know CPR.... doesn't like to cook... couldn't lift you if you fell because of a heart condition... hates to drive..... and she is pushing 70 years old.... well, Dad would you want that person to help you??? Dad said "of course not".....

Well, Dad, that person described would be me.

I seriously believe that our parent(s) still think we are 25 years old with the same energy of a 25 year old..... OMG, reality check, that ship had sailed a few years ago.
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GA - in terms of what I taught, I was very eclectic. Taught Physiology and Anatomy to nurses for years and Grades 12 and 10 Biologies. Then morphed into teaching basic computer literacy (Word, Excel, Power Point) along with the Biology - had fun with that. Then they recruited me to teach a lower level English (grammar and writing skills) which was a fun class so I ended up with Biology, Computers and English. They had assigned me Gd. 12 Chemistry, in my last year but I decided to retire. Mother's needs were too great and I was 73 - well past retirement age. Didn't care for that chem. course either.

Yes, the ups and downs of the last year have been draining and unsettling. Dealing with mother is usually more difficult rather than less. I am finding that the geriatric psychiatric hospital staff do not understand Borderline Personality Disorder very well. Oh dear, they will learn.

FF - I think they think we are bullet proof. NOT!!!

amy - sounds like you need some regular outside help. What you are doing is too much.

cm - where do you go for answers? It seems you are finding some in that book by Christine Lawson. Don't even try to get her to understand. I don't think your efforts will pay off. Sure you can help it. You won't be like her... Answers about what to do? Post more specific questions re cycle breaking, if that is your main concern. (((((hugs)))
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Oh my gosh, I never knew how complicated it is to put together a Trust, POA, yada, yada, yada.... needing names of the chain of command if the first person you elect on your medical POA dies, who is next, and then after that, and after that. I come from a very small circle. I've run out of names because some names I wouldn't want to use because they themselves are dealing with love ones who are quite elderly or who have dementia/Alzheimer's :(
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Wow, I am peddling as fast as I can to spare my kids the anguish of what I am dealing with. The stress of caregiving will likely do me in way before 20 years however. If however I do make it, I have written my 80 yr old self a letter about how to behave :) and given it to my oldest to give back in 20 years. I feel very resentful that my parents/FIL NEVER took care of THEIR parents and had a wonderful retirement. Guess who was taking care of Grandpa then???!!!! When is it OUR turn?
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