Dad is 83 and mom is 81. Mom suffers from dementia (as did her father), and dad can’t see anything, can’t hear anything, can’t remember anything, and can’t find anything.

What preventive measures can I take NOW to prevent those things from happening to me when I reach their age (I’m 57 years young?)

On a side note… my wife is 17+ years younger than me and I promised to be there for her last breath (should of thought that one out?) She’s watching my parents decline (my sister and I share their in home care), and I don’t want to be like them at their age with my wife only 65+/-, you know? I have to start proactive measures right now. Thanks. Timothy

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We live too long. Accept death instead of prolonged treatment which will not improve the quality of your life but may only make you an emotional and financial burden.
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Make plans now.
Tell your wife that you do not want her to care for you.
That if it comes to the point where you need care that you will move to AL or MC what ever is appropriate for the level of care that you need.
If you can afford it look into Long Term Care Insurance.
At some point look into Community Living for both you and your wife. As long as there is a Continuum of care available it would make any transition easier for both of you. You can enjoy retirement, not have the upkeep of a house, eliminate many bills that come with homeownership. And know that if either of you need care it will be there.
AND one thing to do now is...if you taking care of your parents is taking time away from your time with your wife and family then maybe it is time to move your parents to AL or MC.

And one last word, I have this hanging by my computer this is a partial quote...

I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with you. And then I spent the rest of your life with me.

Never make promises that you may not be able to fulfill and never make anyone promise you something that they may not be able to fulfill.
You never know what the future holds.
What you can do is tell each other that you will care for each other as best as you can as long as you can safely to do so.
Helpful Answer (22)

Now would be a good time to visit places in your area where you can live when you can't keep up your home anymore. You might not need them for 10 or 20 years, but at least you'd know what you like and don't like in such places. Some people want a lot of socialization. Others don't. There are so many varieties of independent living and assisted living. I'd suggest choosing a place that offers stepped-up care; i.e., you start out in independent living, maybe in your own separate house on the grounds, and when you need more help, you move to an apartment and then to skilled nursing or memory care. This way if either you or your wife have a health issue and need help, the other one can live an independent life and there's always going to be someone to help both of you, whatever the difficulty. Save your money! It costs, but it's never too early to plan financially for one of the major circumstances of your lives. Several people that I know who did this sold their house and other assets in order to afford it. Their kids were very grateful not to have to take them in. So was the surviving spouse.
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Monica19815 Dec 2022
This is a great idea. My husband is 8 years older than I and we started looking when I was 55. Found a place we like and put our intentions in as soon as I turned 62. We may have to wait a few years to get in but I will use that time to get rid of stuff (90% my husband's!) in our way-too-big house. My own two kids live in distant states and I will be on my own if my husband pre-deceases me. The place we chose has continuing care and I can move from cottage to apartment to assisted living to nursing care all in one place if needed. And I certainly won't be bored or lonely as I age!
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Lots of answers re: what to eat, what vitamins to take, what drugs to avoid, how and how much to exercise, what hazards to avoid. But remember old age and/or death come to us all.

I'm 80. I no longer listen to much of this. Most of this advice comes from young people parroting what they read in popular magazines or from self-styled "experts". Having worked in a health profession for many years and observed many people, my only medical advice would be: CONTROL your blood pressure and/or your blood sugar if a doctor advises. Try to avoid falls or accidents. Most other health advice is secondary. Don't obsess about your health.
Develop the ability to find the humor in everyday situations. There are many when we look around (maybe you can even laugh at yourself, sometimes)

Cultivate the activities you enjoy. Try some new ones that are not physically demanding. You will have time to share more with your wife. Take advantage of it. Keep in touch with old friends and make NEW friends whenever and wherever you have the chance. ISOLATION is the the most debilitating feature of old age, but don't count on family to provide all your care if there are options.

Keep an eye on community resources, senior living options, even care facilities, their costs and requirements. These may change frequently, but planning ahead is wise. Consult an elder care attorney, have him/her help write a will, (even if you are only middle aged, it can be changed later). Make wise investments that can produce cash even on the short term if needed.

Old age is something we can't live through. But we can make the last years some of the best in spite of it all!
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of course you know the usual things:
-enjoy your life
-have fun

just kidding…
i mean, we all know the usual things:
1. eat healthily
2. exercise
3. get your papers in order (POA, will…). leave as little mess/chaos for other people.


4. be surrounded by kind people (mean people will wear down your health). WHAT you eat, and WHO your friends are, is just as important. eliminate unfriendly people from your life.
5. be a kind person yourself
6. live a life you’re PROUD of (then, later, even if bad things happen, or bad health, you can look back with pride).

bundle of joy
(wearing my xmas reindeer antlers as i type)
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HisBestFriend Dec 2022
Bundle, you crack me up! That's one thing everyone in caregiving needs more than nothing else in my opinion (which I know is not worth much), a good sense of humor! Thanks for getting my first hour off with a laugh!

(wearing my fuzzy slippers with Santa on them as I type!)
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mynameishappy, one secret is for one's spouse to be on the same page when it comes to the future and aging.

My parents were in their 90's and Dad wanted to sell the house [too much maintenance for him at that age] and move to senior living. My Mom said no, nada, never. She even refused to have caregivers in the house, but Dad wanted them. I tried, but Mom was a hornet and shoo the caregiver out. One caregiver told me my parents were in a bitter verbal dispute with each other constantly over having caregivers. If only they were on the same page.

I am dealing with something similar with my sig-other, who is the same age as I am. He wants to age in place, and have his grand-daughters help him when he gets much older. I am so against that, as I do not want to disrupt his grand-daughters college education, future careers and future home life. Guess he didn't learn anything when he and I both were trying to care for my parents. I was a basket case as my parents still viewed me as someone in their 20's or 30's with a lot of energy, instead of me being a senior citizen myself.
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You can't stop the aging process, but you can look after yourself. I have started reading a book "The Great Age Reboot" which may give some ideas about increasing our chances of a long healthy life. I haven't got very far into it so this is not an unqualified recommendation. There are other books out, I am sure, with good ideas about maintaining your health. Much of it is obvious - keep your blood pressure, your weight, your blood sugar etc. where they should be. Do this by life style changes as necessary rather than relying on pills. Get good nutrition, exercise, sleep, deal with stress, socialize, give your brain challenges - games and so on. When I say exercise that does not mean beating your body up but keeping moving. Muscles are meant to be used. This may sound simplistic but it isn't. It is the best way to look after your body and mind IMO.

I am 85 and on very few meds. I work on what I have mentioned above. it is not fool proof but I strongly believe it helps. I do have CFS/FM but still do more than many my age. My family is very long lived so I work to keep as good a quality of life as I can. If you are going to be alive you want to be able to have a life.
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Buy property in Vermont, Oregon or any other state that supports assisted suicide. Seriously. We can't predict what will happen to us physically, though obviously living a healthy lifestyle helps. But in some states, we can control how our life ends when we have a terminal diagnosis.

I'm also 57 and have given my kids very clear instructions that they're not allowed to be my caregivers, and their only responsibility to me is to find a good care home or aide. I want them to focus on their own lives and kids and visit me cheerfully when they can.
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Caregiverstress Dec 2022
The problem with Alzheimer’s is that once you have the diagnosis you are not considered competent to request assisted suicide. I believe Switzerland is the only country who allows it once diagnosed. I think we need assisted suicide by advanced directive in this country. It should be part of the advanced directive you set up for yourself while competent, and a medical POA in place to make sure your wishes are honored. Then there should be steps in place to assure that the POA is doing exactly what your wishes are. If it’s assisted sushi die then maybe a court needs to sign off of it before you can proceed. But making people linger beyond what they want for themselves is just cruel.
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First of all, get an elder care attorney. You and your wife are not too young to make plans and have the three important documents in place: A Will, POA and POA for healthcare. If you are both in good health you might look into Long Term Health Care insurance. Also, if you have concerns about your own memory now or in the future, speak with someone at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (866) 232-8484. You can be tested to see if you carry 2 copies of the APO4 gene which predisposes you toward developing the disease. Then there are clinical trials for people with no symptoms to see if you have Amyloid plaques and at least they are free. They are designed to help people in advance. The advice is always exercise, Mediterranean diet, limit alcohol if drinking at all to 1glass a day. Good luck!
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Eat organic , exercise - yoga , meditation , stretch, swim , enjoy Nature. hike , sun light . No Pharmacueticals . Limit cigarettes and alcohol intake . You could do a 23 and me test which tells you if you have the gene But I would Not want to Know .
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