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I am in a church group and they give great support. My two best friends are not much help. One is moving from Md to Wisconsin. The other is severely disabled and needs a hip replacement. So other that someone to talk to, she cannot be of any help. The other depresses me that she is moving so far away! I will miss her so very much. My husband needs help doing everyday chores of living yet he is strong and looks capable. He cannot carry on a conversation and is little to no help around the house. He needs to be guided in everything. Having no one to talk to. My confidant, my protector, my decision maker are all gone. I never know if I am making right decisions about household stuff, money problems, etc. Everyone says get help, but that takes money. I really want to lean on someone, but there is no one. My two daughters are not close, so I can't even confide in them. I don't want to sound like a whiner to them. I feel so alone!

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HI Waman,
I'm sorry that your friend is moving so far away. That seems to be the last straw for you since you could confide in her.

Many communities have a senior commission though it may have a different name. They provide ways for seniors to make friends and have outings. Often you can get some good advice there, as well. As mentioned, your Agency on Aging may be able to help.

I know you told your husband you would never put him in a nursing home, but the time may come when you must. If that happens, don't feel guilty. You have already honored the spirit of your promise by providing care this long.

For house problems, Angie's list does sound like a good idea. I haven't used it but I've heard good things about it.

For legal advice, you can see if your State's Attorney's office has some pro bono help (free).

For company, other than church and your senior commission, the Well Spouse Organization helps many with online friendship. The WSA can be found at wellspouse.org.

I hope that you will keep checking back at Agingcare for friendship and tips, as well. Let us know how you are doing.
Carol
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lonliness? wth is that? ive been alone for 15 years, wanted in two states and NOT wanted in the other 48..
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wamnanealz, something that has been really helpful to me is Angie's List. It cost $35 a year to join if I remember right. I get on Angie's List anytime I need some work done around the house. It helps me choose the best and avoid the ones that we can't afford. We had a couple of fiascos around here when my mother was in charge of making decisions. She doesn't trust my judgment, but she trusts Angie's List. It's funny, because she thinks Angie is a woman that I call up with my computer who tells me great wisdom about household repairs. :)

Water damage is a particularly sore spot when it comes to huge expenses. It will be worth your money to get on Angie's List and pick out the best company. My fingers are crossed that you had flood insurance. The costs are huge.

You are in a position that many women find themselves in. Men traditionally take care of maintenance tasks, leaving the rest of the family without a clue. Just think of it as a new adventure of learning things. You're going to make some mistakes, because you're human. I just hope none of the mistakes are too costly... or they are covered by insurance.

As for the loneliness -- I think we're mostly all lonely. There is nothing like a sickness in the family to make everyone stay away. My mother had two friends and a family of 6 plus inlaws. Now I'm the only person she has. Everyone else is too busy, too far away, or just absent. If I want company I have to go out to find it or call them on the phone. I also come here and it makes me feel not so alone. I'm grateful for AgingCare.
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Hi there,

I am so sorry to here how alone you feel. I can relate somewhat because I am a single girl who has been taking care of a disabled mother all alone for the last 4 years. I purchased a house so she could stay with me, having no idea how expensive, time consuming and overwhelming it could be. My health started to deteriorate to the point where i have been unable to work for 6 months (and I'm only 35 years old). With all the pressure and months of counseling, I decided (very reluctantly) to let go. I am not sure how old you are or your whole situation, but for me, it made the most sense to move my mom into independent living. (she's moving in two weeks). The idea the meals made and not worrying about any maintenance has lifted an elephant lift off my chest. If you are able to afford independent living, it's worth it for peace of mind. Also, you will have a lot of companionship. All pluses to me. I hope this helps :)
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I hope you have tapped into your Aging and Adult Services. There are day care subsidies, Meals on Wheels, and sometimes you are eligible for a caregiver to visit and help several days a week. If income for you is an issue, these services are often free or very cheap as they are on a sliding scale. It would also give you an opportunity to go to the local Senior Center alone and find some companionship and probably others who share your burdens and concerns. There are lots of helping agencies who will allow you to take a break and you should use that to find social groups and get some exercise if you can.
Laughing also helps. Watch funny movies. As an aside, I write a comedy blog for caregivers called "you just have to laugh...." website: cathysikorski
You are welcome to read for a chuckle! Best regards.
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wamna, you call the insurance agent who handles your homeowners' insurance. He / she will be a huge help to you.
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Hi All, Thank you for your posts. It is interesting to hear that you and I have found that we are not living the lives we imagined. I was working so hard, I didn't really imagine anything for right now.

Recently I decided that I am going to try to get up each morning and say "I'm lucky" to have the challenges and blessings in my life. That I know life is a puzzle and even the challenges are here for me to solve them and I'm trying to enjoy the challenges as well as the good times.

As I am reading your messages I smile with familiarity. What motivates us to get up, get dressed and get going? I left a corporate job, where I wore nice suits and jewelry and had my hair done, to care for my mom. She always got dressed up for her doctors and any tall man no matter who might come around. She wore lovely pastel sweaters and then toward the end I noticed she would wear stained slacks. In retrospect, that's when I knew something was really wrong.

For me these days, now that Mom's gone and so is my job, I struggle to find a reason to get dressed nicely. I love wearing jeans and no earrings and I still put on a bit of eye makeup. Also, I pay to have my hair colored. Why? Where am I going that anyone cares?

Well, my kids care (they are grown young men now, living far from home). They probably care the way I cared that my Mom put on those pastel sweaters and clean slacks.

The other day a dear young friend of mine, who I am blessed to know, invited me to see a show with her. She showed up in a raspberry sherbet colored coat, with over the knee boots and grey and black checked leggings. She is tall and slender and lovely inside and out. She had just had her hair cut and blown out that day. A few weeks earlier she told me I should wear my Mom's beautiful scarfs, so that day I put one on and my friend complimented the scarf a million times. I felt like her mother, and that was OK. I said yes to the invitation, and had a chance to get out of the house. We took a bus to the show and on the way home we had to stand the whole way. It was great. My step tracker told me I walked 6,000 steps that day!! I think it was the potholes.

It's an odd time of life. It's a potentially wonderful time. While I'm sad because I miss my Dad and Mom and I'm not sure who I am because I left my job, I could also say... I'm happy because I'm free to reach out to others, to walk in the sunshine, to join a friend at a show. I'm trying to look on the bright side, every day. Trying to find my way in this strange new time of life and it's OK. I hope over the rest of my years that I can find a reason to wear my jewelry and maybe some day I can have the wrinkles removed with a face lift. Most importantly, hopefully I will find laughter and friendship and ways to help others. Maybe someday I will find a raspberry sherbet colored coat to wear in the spring.

Today I'm going to try to smile and greet every passer by. I'm going to try to compliment everyone I can (in the grocery story and the post office), I will send a note to each of my sons and I hope I will make their day a little brighter.

I'm planning to think about and dwell on the positive things in my life and I will say to myself, "I'm lucky".
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I'm guessing you may be in Maryland since you said your friend is moving from there. I just spoke to someone at the state's department on aging at (410) 767-1100. She said if you call her with the name of your county/city, she can get you phone numbers and information of people who may be able to help.
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dear fellow alone. i feel as you.i am now 73 years old, (i never saw old age coming) all my life i have been a go getter, worked hard. raised 3 chrildren and life.i do know exactly how you feel.when my husband passed away 7 years ago it happened very quickly with no warning. i had also just lost my youngest son in the navy, he had come very late in life and was a loving child, doted on by his sister and brother, so of course he was a very happy, lovingperson. it all seemed to come crashing down at once. but daughter and her family had moved to showlow, az. and sent me the paper so i could send resumes to az. i wanted to be near her, but the job i had of sixteen years, i wanted to make sure i was employed if we moved to her.well. after all this i fell apart, could not eat. sleep or work. lost, lost lost.my son called my daughter and they came and got me, bringing me into their home. i literally walked out the door taking nothing and came to their home.since then i live in a back room they allowed me to be built on the back of their home.as til it was completed i slept for a year in a recliner chair. they had no other bedrooms.yes its true you can go to church and being here i really have no friends. alone ////most of the day and even when they get home. their tired.its very hard to meet a true frend and share. i find all my strength in the lord. but on this earth i need a friend to share with you your
needs, thoughts and all/ perhaps together we can come up with some positive things.i would like to know how things are going daily for you. what can we offer and share to make life a little bit brighter. sometimes just saying it to another person lifts a load. thanks for hearing a portion of mine, please let me hear from you. its beautiful here with pine trees, like living in a forest haha. be well
your friend polly lange.
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I actually have the insurance adjustor in the crawlspace right now! He is going to pay some of the costs. The team from Guardian is here too starting work today! I hope I chose the right company! Captain, you are a trip!
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