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I have been caring for my mum as her live-in-caregiver for exactly a year now. I own my own condo which I locked up when I moved in with my mum. One of the thoughts that I think about the most is .. who will look after me when I need care? I am almost 53, single and have no children. It scares me a bit knowing I don't really have anyone to watch out for me or my care when I am old, yet still living at home. Does anyone else have these worries?

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Wow- I think about this everyday. I was the guardian for my Uncle but it helped him out a great deal before that. I also spent a great deal of my Mom who was 89 and had health issues but lived in a great deal of pain because she had severe artheritis in every part of her body.I tried to be supportive to both of them because I did not ever want them to think they were alone. I come from a big family but they don't all share my ideas or feelings about being there for any one else. I lost my Uncle in May and my mother less than a month later in June. I am really afraid of who will care for me. I am single with no children and my siblings would not help me out much. I have considering finding myself a nice little elderly friendly place to move to someday. I am 59 but have to keep working so it will be some time from now but if I find this place I will be sure to let you know!
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I have this problem too. I'm a bit afraid but I think I'll have to have really good friends or just one friend to trust. I won't have enough $$ to go into a "community" and I think that's the only problem. Too bad we don't live in a country that values people all through their lives and helps them live when they get older with pride and comfort. But the whole society would have to be reorganized and today we seem to have so many people (and lawmakers/lawdestroyers) who are extremely selfish despite their professed religiosity and contempt for those who aren't like them. We need stronger government programs not further destruction of our "safety net'.
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Last night, I had to drive myself to the emergency room due to a kidney stone. Only good thing is that I didn't have to worry about not having someone to take care of my parents while I was gone. Just a little taste of what's coming, I guess.
Going right now to drink some more water :)
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There is no comparison between caring for children and an elderly parent(s). Having children is a choice, caring for an elderly parent is a duty out of love and respect for the aging process. The care for an elderly person is completely different than caring for children. Elderly people have had a lifetime of independence, caring for themselves physically, emotionally and financially. Then they lose that independence and being the caregiver of someone who is losing the independence that they have always known, is emotionally and physically exhausting and challenging.
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That's the best solution I've heard so far. I love Willie, saw him last month in concert. He is not stopping until he falls over. He golfs every week, has a black belt, runs/walks on a regular basis and has a wife, 7 kids, and enough money to have people take care of him 24/7.
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I'm going to find Willy Nelson and smoke with him and get me some braids going on, tye dyes and listen to a lot of Grateful Dead.
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I find it ironic that so many people worry about being a burden to their children. It's unfortunate that getting old and needing help is considered a burden. If our children needed help or became disabled we would be there for them no matter what we had to do. For myself, I have one child (living), who would probably stick me in a county nursing home and visit twice a year, their would be no option of my living with her family or her with me. On the other hand, my mother is 85, has Alzheimer's and is in an assisted living, my sister and I take turns visiting her every other day and I consider myself fortunate that I have this time with her. Granted, other people are doing her care, I work full time and she can't be left alone. She is not a burden, she also didn't ask to get old or have Alzheimer's.
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To answer your question is yes I have fears about being cared for in my very elderly years. Yes I faced those fears by planning financially for the future, but living for today. I am not a custodial caregive, but I do help my mother with driving her to where she needs to go and providing meals she would not normally make for herself. I also worry about my three adult children wanting to help take care of me when I do not want that for them. I want my children to enjoy the good in life and not be hindered with responsibilities of caring for me. Who knows, I could die before I would need to be cared for. So, basically I face my fear knowing life is too short and just enjoy each day as it comes.
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stevensmom.. I understand your fears .. truly. That is why I hope you won't "shut the door" on having someone you don't know care for you in the future. I'm not from the states, I'm from Canada. Everyone is cared for financially when they need to go into a home but it is that in between stage that I always worry about, I will need care at home before I need to go into a care facility or if my memory goes will I forget to turn off the oven or forget meds. Things like that, I try not to worry too much about the future but I think it is important for all of us to think about it and make as many decisions as possible in advance.
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Sorry, Macada, I didn't make myself very clear. I should have said YOUR question was Have you had to face your own fears about who is going to care for you? and MY answer was yes. I just want to keep this thread going because I need support in dealing with my fear of having no one there for me. I want anyone and everyone's thoughts and support and I don't care about caregiver/POA labels. Thanks everyone!
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stevensmom .. yes, I know what the question was.. I was the one who posted it.
As for the definition of "caregiver" I am very familiar with what a caregiver is. I have been a geriatric caregiver for almost 30 years, long before I was caring for my mum. Doing banking, and looking after financial matters is not a caregiver. It is a very important duty and it is very helpful but it falls more into the category of POA.
I think my question that I posted PROVES that there is fear about not being cared for because there is such a range of emotion on this topic.
I hope when the time gets closer, you will reconsider and allow "strangers" to help bathe, dress and provide meals for you. This is what they are trained to do and there are many caring individuals out there. I remember years ago my mother always said she would never burden her kids with having to care for her and she wanted to go into a home but then when the time arrived last year, she was more than happy to allow me to care for her. I am more fortunate than many on here as my mum is in a position to pay me a salary. I would not have been able to be her caregiver otherwise, because I have to make a living .. I have no spouse.
Even if my question about having to face your own fears about who is going to care for you doesn't provide all the answers, I hope it will get people thinking and planning for their future!
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Macada, in my opinion, any time you give care to someone, that makes you a caregiver. Just reading through the list of things you have had to do for your parents is exactly my point when I say, even though right now I think I will have the financial resources for later in life, I won't have the emotional resources. I don't have someone to take care of me physically and I don't want strangers bathing, dressing, and feeding me. I don't want to be alone in a nursing home.
I really don't believe in taking my own life, although I've already been thinking of how I could get enough pills to do it painlessly. I don't think I would ever go through with it, but I don't want to suffer, either.

In my case, I guess the main issue is whether or not my son will outlive me. Since he has Down Syndrome, his life span is shorter than normal according to what I've read. Unfortunately, his chances of having dementia at an early age or having a blood disorder later in life are both pretty high. So if I can't be there for him, and he can't be there for me, who will be there for both of us????

Please, let's keep providing support for each other. The question was "Have you had to face your own fears about who is going to look after you?" The answer is YES.
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i lose sleep over it some nights. Having a 11 yr old daughter now ....is no gurantee she will do right by me. I'm scared sh**less. Im going on 48 and my dad is my job. When hes gone i'll have to do everything on my disability check. Freaking out some days. Good topic macada!
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I never want to put my kids through what my mother put me through.. I have already told them I want and choose to be in a nursing home,, lock me up and throw away the key.. I can't imagine them trying to raise their family with me on their back,, heck no.. I want to leave them with a good memory.. right or wrong that is how I feel..
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Who said you were not welcome on this site? I am the one that posted the question and nobody seems to want to stick to the topic, apparently a large percentage of people want to commit suicide. That is not what my question was about. I just wanted to find out if there were people out there who had the same fears about not having family members to care for them.
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Wait a minute. If you caregive, in any capacity, either on the premises or from afar, you ARE a caregiver and you are welcome on this site. Vent, share, whatever you want, you are welcome. I've been coming here for over 5 years, my parents have passed...so now my experiences or opinions are no longer valid because I no longer give them care? Excluding someone or saying they aren't a caregiver isn't fair, kind or compassionate.
I have kids but who is to say they will outlive me or my husband for that matter. I'm going to be as prepared as possible, that's all I can do. I'd sure consider a move to Oregon.
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I have no idea who will care for me when I get to old to do for myself even though I have a daughter and husband. I'm 55 and have already started having joint problems. I haven't been able to work in 5 years, don't qualify for disability so have no income of my own. I also don't have a decent retirement savings either so I don't know what I'm going to do about my future needs. The best thing I can think of at this point is to get my mother in a nursing home and off of my back so that I can work to overcome my issues and get back to work. My mother would use me until I'm about dead and still want me to do more. I know this from past experience when my dad was sick and needed care. She has abused her body and now needs care but that doesn't mean that I should sacrifice my health and life for her since she has lived her life as she wanted. It's time for me to take care of myself whether my family calls me selfish or not. They are not the ones breaking their backs to take a care a woman who will not help herself. She doesn't even want to comb her hair or feed herself she wants it all done for her. Her arms and hands are broken either.
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dragonflower.. what you were doing was not being a caregiver that was being a Power of Attorney. Not only am I my mother's Power of Attorney but I am also her live-in-caregiver. I locked up my own home, gave up my employment, have given up 90% of my social life and have moved in to care for my mother. Meaning: I am here in case she falls. I assist her with bathing and dressing. Give her medications, prepare her meals, do her grocery shopping, I am her punching bag when she needs someone to lash out at, I take her to her Drs. appointments, those are the list of things a caregiver does, not to mention all of the POA duties on top of that.
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Macada:
Being a "caregiver" does not necessarily mean that the person has to live under your same roof. I lived 3 states away from my elderly father with dementia and realized it would be less traumatic to put him in assisted living in the region where he grew up, in his own state. However, I had to single-handedly take care of everything - his finances, his medical coordination, his legal papers, his house sale, give away his possessions, etc. Because he already had some dementia when my mother suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack, I also had to take care of all of HER stuff in addition. It was, in some ways, actually MORE work to do all of that than it would have been to just move dad to where I was living. So, I was most certainly a "caregiver" even though dad was not under my roof - and it occupied a lot of my life for the last 3 years of HIS life.
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Hey, Eddie: I'm with you on that one! Also, I think that assisted-suicide-by-choice should be an option for everyone after 80 with no shame or legal ramifications.

If medical science continues to artificially extend our life expectancy, who is going to care for all of these 100+-old persons? Who will foot the bill? I know it sounds heartless, but there will eventually have to be strict rationing of healthcare to the very elderly, because it is a poor use of resources (for example) to give a kidney transplant to a 90-year-old when there are not enough kidneys to go around to the 30-year-olds who need them.
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Dear KYCaregiver:
I also have no children - by choice, in my case. I get angry at people who bring a child into the world "so there will be someone to take care of me in my old age." That's a horribly selfish reason to give birth! There is no guarantee that the child will outlive you or that they will be responsible enough, or healthy enough, to be able to take part in your elder care. I agree with Macada....pre-planning is the best option for us. If we live long enough, we ALL get to the point where we can longer take care of ourselves.
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Yes, over the past year since my mom went into a nursing home and has Alzheimer's. I have had to grieve for her, do all her financial work, and worry about what will happen to me if I am in that situation. My mom had 5 kids but my sister and I do almost everything. I have two children, but I know that if I were in my mom's condition, they could not really take care of me and lead a life. I am looking into long term care insurance but you have to be healthy to get it! And it is expensive and you have to pay it the rest of your life. What if I don't have the money to pay the premiums when I am older? It is a difficult situation. What if your mind is too gone to take matters into your own hands?
It is only going to get worse as the baby boomers age. Good luck to us all.
I guess the best you can do is to see an elder lawyer and plan the best you can.
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In this forum, who hasn't? At 53, I'm already thinking about moving to Oregon during my golden years. Rumor has it there's assisted suicide. My sons recently asked me whether I'd like to be buried or cremated. I told them neither. They gave me a "stuck-on-stupid" look. I said I'd like to be recycled. As an organ donor, whatever happens to the rest of my carcass doesn't matter. Columbia-Presbyterian might pickle some of my parts for posterity and wannabe doctors to play with; and the City of New York might use some as fertilizer.

As I said in an earlier post, I don't want to live past 80. Any longer than that would be just ... wrong.
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I have also planned and have enough money to take care of me, but I don't want to go through what my Mother is going through. Here is this 92 year old, once-vibrant woman who had her own business, raised 4 children and is now dependent on 2 of those children for everything. She sometimes cries because she can't remember how to do something as simple as turning on the dishwasher and doesn't know why. She gets confused and doesn't know why. Can't remember something from minute-to-minute. She just sits and says, why has God left me live this long. It's time for me to go. We are kinder to animals than we are to people.

I do not want to go through that. I've been single w/no children all my life. Being that, I've seen how you don't realize the dementia is creeping up on your. After Mother dies I'll take all the trips I've wanted to take, but delayed them. I'm now 66. Last year I had a cardiac stent put in and I know it was from my smoking. I quit and am in great health now. However, when I'm about 75 I'm moving to Washington or Oregon, both of which have legal assisted-suicide, with my friend who is also single w/no children and been super moral support for me through this. I'm going to start smoking again and refuse a stent and hope I die quick of a heart attack, plus we are going to buy guns to shot each other, I think God will understand.
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Hey, Captain, can I send you a Christmas tree and about 300 ornaments and decorations? Maybe some Tupperware? How about some decorative vases and planters? Please! My mom has a basement full of stuff that we've been trying to get rid of for 5 years. She says she is moving to independent living when she is 80; she's 78 now, but is not willing to let anything go. Each time I go for a visit, I try to "liberate" a few things by telling her I know someone who needs them.

I hope we can keep this thread going, because I am also in the same situation of having no one to care for me. I'm not so worried about where I'll live, etc., but who will be there for emotional support? I don't want to end up alone in a nursing home, but I have an adopted disabled son to live for. He lives in his own supported living apartment, but I am the only family he has, too. Peace and good wishes to everyone....
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Not easy, even if you have kids. After we've been caregivers, we know what a burden it can be. My daughter already told me that she plans to look after her dad (we're divorced), and my son is recently divorced and trying to get his own life together.
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Debralee.. you sound so angry for someone who is not caring for their elderly parent(s) This is a forum for people who ARE caregivers to their parents and/or husbands. How is it you feel you are a sandwich generation child if you are not caring for your parents? That's what sandwich generation means. Perhaps your anger is actually guilt for not making any attempt to be a caregiver I don't know, but I still am confused as to why you are even commenting on the Agingcare forum if you have no intention of being a caregiver.
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My siblings all died young. I'm left to take care of my Mother. Yes, I feel it is my responsibility. She took care of her Mother. No one else will. It's hard because I'm out-of-state, disabled, and poor. She doesn't have a lot of money either. I feel we should take care of one another because no stranger in a facility will nor can give the kind of (emotional) care one would need or desire.
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Will definitely not commit suicide. God will work out a plan somehow.
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Why do people keep thinking having adult children are the key to taking care of them? I am a sandwich generation adult child. I raised my children and saw my parents enjoy their early senior years. Why should I not enjoy my early seniors years? My parents did not have to worry about caring for their parents, their lives were not not prolonged by modern medicine. Should I have to sacrifice what I worked so hard for to care for my elderly parents? All I want is to be able to enjoy the life my own parents were able to have in their early senior years. I am fed up with hearing the sandwich generation has responsibilites for their elderly parents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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