I consider myself fortunate as my mother only suffered for a few months before she passed and as her caregiver i didnt have to go through the things many do for years. I did take her shopping, doctors and help her for 12 years but she lived independently until 4 months before her passing at age 94. My question is how and what do i do when and if i get to that age? I am concerned about it because i am single and no family to help, they are all gone. Thanks.

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For me, it was all huge sticker shock once my parents [in their 90's, still living in their house refusing to move] when I tried to get professional caregivers to help them [Mom shooed them out on the 3rd day]. Then the $12k cost per month once Mom needed care at a skilled nursing home.

Then hiring 3 shifts of caregivers for my Dad at his house which cost $20k per month [yes, per month]. Then Dad moving into Independent Care at $5k per month which was a huge savings compared to 3 shifts at home.

Then later into Assisted Living at $6k per month. Thank goodness my parents saved for those "rainy days" as it was storming out there. They were very frugal and to them it was a game on how much they could save.

For me, I am 70 and the taking care of my house is becoming a bit much. My yard feels like it keeps doubling in size :P I have my eye on a senior independent living community. Some communities are now offering Assisted Living on-site.

I was also a big saver. Money I saved for my retirement I was going to use for traveling. Well... after 7 years of helping my parents I had developed too many health issues from all the stress to travel now :( Now that money will be earmarked for caregivers or senior living.... [sigh]
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Difficult question to answer and something many of us don't think about or plan for when we are younger.
Do you have a trusted friend willing to take on POA? If not the state may take charge and you may end up living somewhere not of your choice.
If you are fortunate to have such a friend go with them to an elder care lawyer and set up POA for financial and health and healthcare and other directives. Could include a DNR but personally do not recommend that unless you have a possibly terminal illness. You can include you final wishes in the other paperwork. You can add something to the effect that if "I am totally incapacitated for X amount of time I do not wish to have artificial feeding or medications to treat any infections. If you are unable to make those decisions because of incapacity then your POA can do that but it is best to have your wishes set in stone. Take the lawyers advise about access to bank accounts etc as this is very open to abuse.
If you are still young enough and healthy explore Long Term Care Insurance, but be very careful with this product. It is very expensive and may be difficult to get them to pay.
As far as housing is concerned, decide where you want to live and make arrangements now. Consider a retirement community, low income housing (usually a long wait list) Assisted Living when necessary and finally Nursing Homes and funeral arrangement. You can prepay funeral expenses anytime and it is not penalized by Medicaid.
Keep all your papers in order so that your POA has little to do when you pass. Give them or your lawyer a list of any pensions and insurance policies and Bank account,deed box numbers and anything else you can think of. Above all make your Will. You don't want the state to get anything if you want it to go to a favorite charity.
My personal choice is to remain in my own community where I am familiar with everything. I just don't want to start again with things like new Drs etc.
I know the local trades people and who to trust with my plumbing and other repairs. Careful planning is the key to all this.
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I refuse to worry about financing. Unless, I win the lottery, it would be challenging for me to pay privately for complete around the clock care, if it should come to that. So, I'll spend what I have and then apply for assistance. I think I have a ways to go, so, who knows what will be in place by that time. lol

I know that if I have dementia, I DO NOT want family members to care for me in a private home. It's too stressful and too much work. I've put that in writing.

If I have mobility problems, I'll get help and/or move to an AL. I have some in mind, but, who knows if they'll be around for another 20 years. I hope that I can find one that several of my friends are living. That would be nice.

I have learned that you really can't count on anyone to take care of you. Some children seem to get scarce and some don't even help with little things. Some don't even bother to call a couple of times a year. I've witnessed this with my parents' friends. It's pretty sad.
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Wow, Katiekate, what that means is you have to be a millionaire to make it these days. I'm afraid that most of the people aren't, so 98% of us will be in the sinking ship together. But at least we'll be all sinking together. Maybe I should keep my mother's house and move in some more sinking people. :) The neighbors would probably hate that. They're rebuilding the area with million dollar houses. We'd be like that little troll house in the middle of everything.

I tend to be a worry wart, so what I do is try to not worry too much about the future. The present is hard enough without worrying about things down the road. Chances are something will happen and I'll die next year. We can never tell. We can save and buy insurance, but with costs like they are now, whatever we do may or may not be enough. We'll be okay, though, as long as politicians don't yank out the safety nets between now and then.
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At this point in time, the newest estimates are that you will need $10mill to live independently in old age.
So, you will probably end up in a nursing home with Medicaid. Not a pleasant thought.

Well, my plan is to live my own life until I can't, then to take step to be certain I do not cause a burden for my own kids. In all likely hood, I would be physically gone before I am even found.
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