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After reading about all the problems everyone has with aging parents, and other relatives, I wonder about the plans people are making for themselves. I didn't find this site until after my parents and in-laws were gone. Could have used it then, especially with my mother-in-law.
My husband is now who I am taking care of. But I worried about both of us since our closest child lived 6 hours away. So, we packed ourselves up, moved 6 hours to our closest child, and moved into the independent living section of a retirement community. As the need arises, we can move to areas with more services. Our children will not need to worry about what to do with us, worry that we will fight a move to assisted living or want to move in with them. They can rest easy, knowing we are well cared for and safe.
So, what are your plans for older living?

It makes me happy to hear people are being realistic and responsible about aging and making plans. One thing I have learned in helping to manage 4 people over the ages of 84: you can plan all you want but if you don't execute the plan before dementia sets in, your plan may not come to fruition. No one "plans" to have ALZ or dementia.

1) make sure you have a local, trustworthy person as your durable PoA who is at least 10 to 20 years younger than you. Review this arrangement every few years.
2) get yourself tested for cognitive changes every year or at the first suspicion of something amiss -- don't put head-in-sand -- deal with it!
3) ask your children if they actually want you to live near them and will be willing to provide the eventual increasing help (don't assume). What will they be doing about their other set of parents??
4) execute your plan BEFORE you think you need it. No one sees the dementia line ...it's invisible.
5) make sure you move into a community that has a continuum of care so you don't have to worry about moving (and accepts Medicaid!)
6) make sure your kids are "released" from the emotional stress and guilt of providing all your care. Even so it will impact them.

This is my plan. I applaud all of you planners!
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staceyb2 Dec 6, 2019
Great points Geaton, we still need to redo our wills, now that we have liquidated our biggest asset, our home, and we need to do our POA's and Living Wills too, Soon! We did do and pay for our cremations earlier this year!
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After taking care (and then losing) of our 4 parents through many years long of horrible illnesses, downsizing them into smaller and safer living spaces, and caring for my FIL in our home for 13 years till he passed of Cancer and dealing with the horrors of (their) old age diseases, we decided to to get a jump start on downsizing ourselves and sold our longstanding family home. We want to lessen the impact on our 4 children and get through the process while we still had the good health and strength (haha) to do it ourselves.

We sold our home this past February, and bought a manufactured home in April. It was a difficult, having only just lost my FIL the previous year and still grieving, getting settled back into a life with only my husband and myself in the picture, getting rid of the many years of accumulation that you always seem to "hoard", especially since we both had enjoyed "collecting and accumulating, lol! We finally did it!

Still, we are happy with our new place, it is in a beautiful 55 and older park, and I just just Love living here! We bought our place outright from the sale of our home, had money left over to invest, we have newer cars, a classic convertible to enjoy, zero bill's, except for the rent on our Mobile home plus the usual monthly utility bills and can now live fairly economically without touching our savings and can sock away money each month, and after raising 4 kids, that is the first time we could ever say That!

Hopefully we have relieved our children from the burdens of panicked downsizing and figuring out what to do with parents until the next phase of life, putting us into Nursing home, but at 59 & 64, I hope that is a long way off yet!

Our plan was to downsize, live more simply, travel while we still can, not to be a burden on our kids to the best of our ability, and I believe we have done just that. It has been an exhausting year, I will say that! This next year (and there after) is ours to do as we please, now that we are settled in.

I will say the I feel free for the first time in forever! I highly recommend it before getting to the panic state, BTDT!
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Once upon a time, I foolishly looked forward to golden years of travel and adventures, once I was no longer obligated to others instead. No more!

I just turned 63.

I love driving. I'm a good driver. Excellent record! BUT, the minute I no longer need to drive others - or my record becomes even slightly less than A+++ - I plan to give up my license and my car. Better to give them up years early, and turn to Uber/Lyft/senior transport, than to make others worry (or make them responsible for carting my butt around).

I also plan to go into a facility as soon as humanly possible. And, except for (maybe) some facility-provided "field trips," stay on campus at all times.

All of my above plans were inspired by the anxiety-provoking antics of others who grew old or disabled before me. I will NOT put anyone else through anywhere close to similar trauma.
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 10, 2019
I get that.
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You make a good point. But as with all points in America, much depends upon "The MONEY" and how much of it there is.
Those of us who have saved diligently, have been lucky in good jobs and wise real estate decisions, may (or may not) end with enough money to protect ourselves in our old age. That means our children are saved a lot of grief, and are themselves protected. I shudder to think that with the disappearing middle class, those indebted for college educations that often are not even providing a decent enough job to pay them off, never able to purchase that "starter home" what the future will be.
But now here we are. If we have saved (and my brother with a lifetime of working as a Waiter and buying/saving wisely, has ended with enough to provide for himself his remaining years) then we are safe and can make the decisions you (and he) have made. If we are poor, we are quite doomed. Doomed to poor care at what the state will provide for us, doomed to landing on the doorstep of children who do not wish to be caregivers.
So I think our plans are dependent on what money we have. Sadly. We can all recognize as we near the time the slippage in our hips, our knees, our minds. The questions remain as to what funds we have to address the facts.
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Jo123456 Dec 7, 2019
I agree, but I fear that many of us may outlive our lifetime of savings and preparation due to inflation.
We are blessed, as so far my husband have what we need for ourselves, but other family members are not so fortunate.
Nursing homes and in home assistance are so expensive that (were I to return to my good job, I could not support in-home of one family member care by only aides.
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Warning:  thread drift.    I was speaking with someone yesterday about grandparents, parents and children bonding   More specifically, grandparents and parents teaching 1st and 2d generation children about life, about basic skills in life, about survival methods, learning skills not taught in school, etc.   In order words, probably the way our parents grew up, learning from their parents.

I think that our focus on caregiving (including mine) has set aside these critical generational interactions and bonding experiences.    So I've tried to set aside concerns about my own older life issues and focus on what I can share with the younger generations, especially on the gardening, needlework skills, and other basics that many people don't even think of these days.

My self concern isn't lessened; it's just not dominating, and given that different mix of focus, I feel less threatened about older life.

Still, I'm downsizing, adding more grab bars, studying how I can limit carrying heavy things up and down stairs, etc.    I'm trying to make it an experiment in DIY knowledge, with old age adaptations being part of expanding my sometimes flat learning curve.
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We are planning on moving to a retirement community that offers the Plan A type contract of continuing care. Every year, we go on the open house tours offered in Lancaster county, PA. We have researched Fee for Service contracts and Continuing Care at Home contracts. In the last year, we auctioned off most of our furniture, sold our larger home and moved to a smaller home we own 1/2 block from the facility where we placed my mother (97). Our next step is to stay overnight in the unit we are planning to purchase and place our deposit to get on the waiting list (anywhere from immediate to 2 or 3 years). Currently I can walk 1/2 block and spend an hour every morning attending to my mother's personal needs. I am preparing myself to be able to visit my mother once a week to manage her ongoing care, if our apartment choice becomes available before my mother passes. Will it work as I planned? I have no idea, but I know we are going in the right direction. I know I will worry about my mother's care, I do so now. I worry about my own health as well as my husband's health. I just want us to be in a position that will allow us to go forward into the next stage and not burdened with unresolved issues that can handled now while we are able to make our own decisions.
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Check myself into IL, with a in house step up program. Most likely 1,000 sq ft, upscale self pay. I plan to start looking around in 10 years, I will be 82.
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I've already moved next door to family in a single level home with all kinds of aging adaptations. Since I'm retired on disability and taking care of Mom, I already have housekeeping help (currently at his request from my 15 year old grand-nephew) and some in home respite hours for Mom. I plan on aging in place with hired help until I need daily support with ADLs or more transportation help than the family wants to provide (hopefully at 75-80) and then moving on to an AL retirement community. I will move on immediately if I get any cognitive impairment diagnosis.
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Jo123456 Dec 7, 2019
Wow !
I am 75 and live near family.
I care for my husband who is doing pretty well and my brother who has ambulatory difficulties and cognitive/self care needs.
How did you get the in home respite and what do they do ?
Is it 24 hour ?
It sounds like you really have everything planned out.
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We recently purchased a vacant lot near my husband's family, about 300 miles west of where we live now. The lot is half the size of the one our house sits on now, so we can cut down on yard maintenance. I've drawn up plans for a handicapped-friendly 2-bedroom home that's just large enough for us and an occasional overnight or vacation guest. We may or may not have sufficient equity in our current home to help pay for the retirement home, so I'm saving every penny I can toward that new house.

I'm also researching elder care services in our proposed retirement town, including transportation, meals, long term care, etc. so that we can remain as independent of my husband's kids as possible (my son lives near us now, so he won't be in the picture when we move). I'm also educating myself on Medicare, Medicaid, and other financial and health care planning for elders. Laws change, of course, so I'm trying to stay on top of all developments.

In the meantime, I'm getting rid of The Stuff. It's like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon, but I manage to get a tiny bit done every day.

I feel as though we're "a day late and a dollar short" in making these plans, as Hubs and I have both been through a couple of marriages and have had to start over financially a few times, but we're doing the best we can, and at this point I'm pretty confident (God willing) that we can achieve our goals.
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Reply to PeeWee57
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I live in Australia and we have excellent government support which aims to keep people in their own homes as long as possible. Yes, there is a long waiting list for some people to access the services, but this is due to their remote living rather than a lack of government funding.
I have already been assessed for Level 2 funding, which means 3 hours of housework each fortnight, the lawns and garden tended, supply of many types of aides such as a walker, outside railings, bathroom railings, ramps and all the rest. Being full aged pensioners, neither my husband nor I contribute a single cent to these services,
When the time comes the government will pay for carers coming into the home to shower etc, we can access meals on wheels if we wish now, could be driven around town if we wished (we are both still very good drivers) etc.
Although we are sitting pretty for the time being, we are gradually offloading all our ''stuff'', mostly through selling online, so that our children do not have to attend to this often difficult task after we pass away or go into permanent care.
We are learning from my mother's experience (she is now in a memory care unit, has advanced progressive dementia) that family looking after family becomes an onerous task, particularly for carers who are ageing themselves. (I am 70, my mother 93).
We never want to subject our children to what my siblings and I have had to put up with, simply because our mother was too stubborn to even consider an aged care facility despite her obvious need.
To summarise, we could not wish to live in a better country where elder support is concerned and welfare generous (don't believe what you hear from whingers about it not being sufficient). We are realistic about our gradually failing health and would prefer to be the ones to choose where we spend our twilight years, rather than the responsibility be left to our children.
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losingitinmo Dec 13, 2019
Wow, Shezza -- Australia seems lightyears ahead of the US on elder care... but sadly, I think I'm too old to immigrate!
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