Why can't parents accept that they have become elderly?

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Last week I was so excited about this wonderful retirement community that I had visited, that is like living in a high rated resort. My Dad looked at the brochure and said that would be great place to move to in a couple of years for him and Mom.... HELLO.... you are 92 and 96.

My Mom doesn't like her geriatric Doctor because this doctor will tell Mom that her medical problems, such as her eyes and ears, walking, etc. are age related and that there isn't anything to reverse that. What a face my Mom will make.

Same Doctor suggested to Dad to get one of those Life-Alerts because he will fall occasionally, especially if he is working in the yard. Dad said "that's for old people". Oh well, guess we will leave Dad face down in the dirt and leaves until Mom finds him an hour later. Mom is almost deaf so Dad calling out won't help. Hopefully a neighbor will hear his calls.

I'm ready to help my parents pack to go to a safer environment as their 3-story single family home scares me to death as it is NOT elder proof. All those stairs that they are struggling to go up and down. All that yard work they can barely do anymore [finally they hired someone to mow]... and when it snows, don't get me started on that.

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You know what accept gracously whether you need it or not.
My cat was chasing a mouse round my chair last night and I didn't jump up and say "OK kitty don't bother I can catch it myself"
I am fiercely independent and usually find a way round things i can't manage but as most caregivers know it's nice to give up the responsibility from time to time.
So CM help those younge people across the road they need you to look out for traffic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Olma, imagine how we'll feel when they start taking our arms and helping us cross the road! Gosh I'll be livid...
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My daughter offered to carry my groceries yesterday.I'm 63 and care for 94 mother who I channeled when I said to my daughter "I'm not that old that I need help with my bags!"
Hmmm......The mind never reflects how others see us.
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Linda22, I hope you didn't interpret my comments as criticism for those who've placed elders outside of the home. We've had to use SNFs for my mother, sister and father. And I know that may be an option for my father someday.

You've had a much longer caregiving experience than I have and probably much more experienced and knew and know what's best for your situation. I wouldn't presume to question your decisions.

And there does come a time when it's impossible for the family to care for the elder. I hope that doesn't happen to us, but it might and I know it will be an emotional trial for both of us.

FreqFlyer, I've never lived abroad although decades ago I dreamed of living in France. Still do. And I totally agree with you about being a career woman. I'd much rather be working now and enjoying the intellectual challenges of the legal field than chauffeuring, running interference between doctors and attempts to involve ACOs, trying to just minimally manage 2 houses as well as all the other things that go along with caregiving. But that doesn't mean that I don't take pleasure in caring for my father and knowing that he's still enjoying life as uch as he can, which he wouldn't in an institutional facility.

And I'd also be battling guilt the rest of my life if I didn't help my father now.

It takes a long time to learn to accept and be a good caregiver. I made mistakes with my mother's and sister's care and don't intend to make those again with my father. But after that, I've still got a life of my own to live.

It's good to read the opinions of others who see these issues in long term as well as the broader perspectives of the difficult choices that have to be made.
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^^^^ oops, the second part of my post above was to Tryingmybest.
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sandwich42, BINGO !! I've totally forgotten about within the professional retirement home care there is the kitchen staff, cleaners, skilled nurses, physical therapy techs, activities director, transportation drivers, people who know how to handle emergencies, generators should the power go out, etc.

I've been a career woman my whole adult life, loved it because a business project always ended and a new more exciting project was next on the list.... if I stayed home I just couldn't get excited about doing laundry, vacuuming, or grocery shopping because those *projects* never had an ending, and rarely were there any high-fives of congratulations for a job well done.

My significant other and myself are seeing what my parents are putting me through by not going into a really great retirement community where they can make new friends, and have all the conveniences they need without having to call me all the time. Then I could spend QUALITY time with them without being so resentful and so very tried.

GardenArtist, how right you are about our American society so caught up in youth. If I see one more ad for that neck lift I am going to scream !!!! When I was living a short time in France, I noticed that elderly men were flirting with women of their own age group, and it was so sweet to see.... none of these older folks had any type of plastic surgery, they were aging gracefully :)
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GA, I agree that this generation may be feeling like they're being squeezed out. But in so many families, the children are doing/have done everything they can to keep the folks at home, In my family, Mom lived with my sister and I, 6 months at a time, for nearly 18 years. We took care of absolutely everything for her, including taking her on trips. But we'd have been neglectful if we didn't address the increasing health problems and assess our ability to provide adequate care. I know she feels cast aside but we've done all we can.
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It is the same argument about quitting your job to be a stay at hom mom or put baby into some sort of daycare. Loud fights are had, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Some of us have to work, but would have LOVED to stay home and have groceries, or stayed home part time. Some of the SAHMs I knew would have LOVED to get a job because they realized they really didn't enjoy child rearing. They loved their children and being a mom but didn't derive personal fulfillment out of playdoh and poop. They craved adult interaction and mental stimulation. Neither one is wrong. Neither one is the right thing for every body.

I am super SUPER grateful we have more and better senior residential care options than ever before. A long time ago people didn't live so long with such serious conditions. People fell down in the field with "dropsy". Lots of people died from cancer, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and other totally treatable conditions. There was not the heroic ER rescue like there is today.

Today we are looking at a full time caregiving obligation that can last 8-20 years. TWENTY YEARS of care giving?! I can't sign up for that. I just can't. I'm a bad person. Not unless it was one of my children. I'd do it for them. Long ago, the caregiving obligation was drastically shorter. It was a temporary thing. Ten or fifteen years of caregiving is not a temporary thing at all. When my grandmother fell ill in her later years, she was nursed in the living room of one of my aunts. And then she died. It didn't go on a year.

The blame is not women working. I hear that a lot as the core problem at hand (e.g. why babies have to be in daycare...) and it isn't the problem. We don't live in the large family groups we used to, where there were lots of family around in close proximity to come provide respite and relief - men and women. We don't live in the agriculture based groups we used to, where there is some flexibility in the day (or more than if you work shift work by the hour!) If it's you, your husband, kids, and now a full time care grandma or dad, there isn't anyone to fill in for the rest of the family who are missing. If it's just you and your kids & grandma, you have an impossible row to hoe. Help has to come from somewhere.

I do not want to be a burden on my children's families. I don't want to be in their home, preventing them from having hobbies and interests or fun. I don't want to need them to wipe my butt. If I get that debilitated PLEASE put me somewhere clean & safe. If I'm raving out of my mind, PLEASE sedate me. It would break my heart to think I had caused my kids & their kids resentment and heartbreak from me being needy and difficult for any amount of time.

I always say there's a reason nursing home employees work in shifts. Nobody, not even paid professionals, can perform as a full time caregiver around the clock, every day like home caregivers do. Even the professionals get a break. And if you look at how many people are involved in a resident's care, it's more than one or two people like there is at home. Make sure to count the kitchen staff, cleaners, health aids, nurses...
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Why can't parents accept they are elderly? let me turn that around. will you accept that when you are elderly? A new employee came along boasting she was 65 and therefor the most senior person there and had to be nurtured.. burst her bubble pretty quick "I am 68" that was when i was 68!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Linda, I fully agree with you. The generation that endured so much is now finding itself squeezed out.
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