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I'm the baby (I'm 49!), but for whatever reasons, never married, no kids. My sibs and I are doing our best to take care of our parents. Right now, we are all pitching in together. It's tough, but I love my family. I'm the only one who has no kids/husband of my own. I'm just looking ahead. I'm just sad that I will lose my parents and I don't really have anything to fall back on. Can anyone relate?

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I can relate somewhat. Married but no kids, and solely responsible for managing my mother's care. Thank goodness she and my father (deceased now) planned and saved well, and got their paperwork in order. But like Joannes situation, my mother (advancing dementia) is in complete denial, as well as having lifelong personality traits of being inflexible and uncooperative. I do have a sibling, but he is not involved, which is fine actually.
I am a bit of an introvert, and know that I really need to cultivate more friendships and community involvement. I am sociable, I really am! :) But, with working full time and managing my mother's needs, and taking care of a household (small though it is), I just don't have any desire after all that to go meet up with friends or commit more than an hour or so to socializing.
I know this is a very sensitive issue, but I'm with kathyt1 -- I haven't looked into it yet, but definitely will arrange something like dignitas for myself. I know so many disagree with this, and I respect that. But for myself, well, I have no problem with it. Makes sense to me for many reasons.
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Hey DaughterCT, I can relate. I'm not married and am the care giver for a cousin who has severe dementia, who is in a Memory Care Facility. I have no help with that and it is extremely stressful and time consuming due to her continuing health issues and mental decline.

I also moved in with my parents a couple of years ago to help them as they had several health matters, surgeries, etc., but are doing better now. I will no doubt care for them when they need it down the road.

I also run my own business. I have two siblings, but no delusions that they would care for me one day if I needed it. They are great people, but that would never happen. I'll have to be as self sufficient as possible, so I'm really trying to keep my health as good as possible and set myself up as best I can.

What I have decided to do is to stay VERY social with church, local politics, volunteer organizations, and support groups. I plan to fall in LOVE and get married. I know, it sounds crazy, but I do expect that to happen. I'm looking for a good man in pretty good health! lol There are no guarantees in life, but relationships are so important in life. I intend to cultivate new ones and old ones.

There are many people out there who care for the elderly and infirmed, often with no help and no support. I see people who have several adult children doing without help for some unknown reason. Having kids does not offer you any guarantees. I even know elderly people who have adult children who still drive them crazy with substance abuse, illegal behavior, money matters, etc. Life truly is a box of chocolates.
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I too am unmarried, no kids, my lover doesn't want marriage. I am financially secure. I intend to live life to the fullest, and not worry about health. I exerciseeat right, bu I am not shooting for old ae. I have set aside $10,000.00 for dignitas, geneva based non profit that will give. eunthasia. i have always been independent. The thought that I may need someone to care for me horrifies me. When the time comes when I can't functon alone, I am booking air fare to Geneva.
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I don't have any magic answers. I think, no matter our situation, there will be goods and bads in it. I am married, with two married daughters, lots of grandkids in the two families, and am alone caring for two parents long distance and hubby newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He is currently self care, but as a retired RN, I can see the path I will walk....some kind of 'patient' to care for until they all die or I die. Certainly not what I expected as I move into my 70s! My brother is dead, so no help with parents except from 1 daughter who lives in the same state. SO....I have days when I literally WISH I could live alone and have no one and just get a day to 'do nothing' and think about nothing!! I DO think each of us needs to think about how we'll think about our own care needs as we grow old, because it's pretty clear to me, that we all live longer and longer and not many just die in their sleep some night! If I were all alone, I would create my AL plan in a full service facility BEFORE I needed the help. Our girls both have the belief that they will WANT to take in their parents and help us as we need it....BUT....I fully understand after dealing with MY parents, that if we were to accept help to stay with children....WE need to be flexible and give them private time and not expect them to 'make us happy' on a daily basis etc. My parents could not come to live with us because of their attitudes and personalities that life and 24/7 focus must be on THEM. I would (hopefully!!) never do that to one of our kids. I don't know if we would agree to go to them or if we would commit to help in our own homes or AL at some point....but I aim to create our plan BEFORE there is a crises and then NOT fight putting the plan in place. My parents put together their trust, POA medical POA stuff and all that, but when they needed help, they fought EVERYTHING about getting help. Didn't want to leave their home, refused help in the home, denial totally....didn't need any help and on and on. Mom is still a pistol at home and in the denial phase. Her answer to EVERYTHING is that FAMILY should be there with her to help. She hates living alone now that dad is placed, but totally refuses to consider AL for herself, thinks the 'right amount of time for family to be with her, is for me or my daughter to come stay with her for 5 days at a time every two weeks!! I cannot do that with all I have at home, and neither can my daughter who homeschools her son and has her own health issues too. SO, whatever the plan is that you devise....stick with it and understand that we need to look at older age as 'just another interesting experience' whether we are alone going into it, or have a huge family. There WILL be adjustments we don't like no matter which way it falls out!
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I love what Shepard said. My family is fractured, in part because my mom has broken things off with everyone and there is such a lot of damage there, but I have friends who I feel closer to than I ever did with family. She's right: It's never too late for love or friendship.
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Friends are great to have, but many of us have lost most of our friends because we no longer have time to do things with them.

I know my friends gave up on me because I kept saying *no* to outings.... was just too tried from dealing with my aging parents. None of those friends could relate to what I was going through, as either their parents had past on decades ago, or their parents live out of state and other siblings are doing the hands on work.
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I know I am young, like a kid to you but I just wanted to say that sometimes blood relations don't make someone your family. Parents, children, siblings, cousins etc can be very ungrateful and pain in the butts. We don't chose blood relatives. But we chose our friends and they can be a true family to us. So if someone is related or not, has children or not it doesn't really matter. It matters if you have people you love and care about in your life. And it is NEVER too late for love or friendship.
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I'm married but have no kids. Seeing my mom go through these aging issues it sometimes makes me a bit nervous about what the future holds. Seeing my mom, who does nothing except smoke and complain and pop xanax, and my in-laws, who are curious and active, I vow to be more like them, since they're actually still enjoying their lives. I try to look for positive aging examples.
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daughterct, I can relate. I'm in my 50s, single with no children. I have a brother who lives in another state who I may see once or twice a year at most. I have always tried to stay active, doing volunteer work, working my full time job, and taking care of my dogs. I have hobbies I enjoy and one or two friends I communicate with on a regular basis. I wonder what my life will be like when my parents pass on because more than 15 years of my life have been spent as a caregiver. My dad's CHF is worsening and he is struggling with dialysis three times a week. My moms's health has a heart condition and is diabetic but her health is more stable. I have noticed my mom is becoming more forgetful and her short term memory is not as sharp as it was a few months ago. Handling the stress of caregiving is wearing on me and my mom, but we do have help from family members and now home health care. I know it will be a big emotional adjustment for me when my parents are gone because so much of my emotional and daily life is spent helping with their needs. I try not to neglect my own needs, but I wonder what I'll do with myself in the future. It's hard to imagine right now.
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hi daughterct, I'm single and not married. I have 2 siblings one out of state, the other out of country. I live with my parents, I am not quite a caregiver but starting to move in that direction. your only question was "can anyone relate?" but I'm not sure if you wanted to know how other people cope. i am in graduate school and not working so living with my parents makes it doable but I do sacrifice some stuff. i have a few friends but they have their own families so not always available to hang out etc. Thank goodness for Mia - she is my dog and I love her to pieces. she and I volunteer - she is a therapy dog.
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Captain, you are hilarious. Your sons might be losers to you now, but I hope they come around when the going gets tough. And they probably will. For me, yeah, I've got a lot of friends and we joke about setting up an old lady house for all of us. But I feel like I'm the one--no kids, no hubby--who's like sign me up! I'll move in now! When I see the amount of work it takes to care for an elderly person, and no one to do it for me, wah wah, I just think I'll be one of those gap-mouthed ladies parked in a wheelchair in the hall of some horrible institution! I'm just feeling sorry for myself and mourning ahead of time the loss of my parents. Thanks for letting me share.
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all kiddin aside , i worry about that , pam . when my aunt is gone im going to have one heck of a void in my life . my mother and aunt needed me.
i built another home 15 years ago figuring i could troll around in the basement while grandkids were living upstairs . i guess that could still happen ..
gonna go see em again this weekend . " rubiks cube " has gotten rather burned out on his emt career , he could end up back down this way someday .
i still squeeze off rifle shots at bluntman when he drives by . he aint siphoning my friggin fuel tank anymore . it wasnt funny when he was 5 and it aint funny now .
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I know what you mean about the emptiness when they are gone. There are lots of folks here that will be happy to let you take over their charges for a month. They will be at the beach while you change diapers.
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Frequentflyer, that sounds great! I think volunteering sounds like a great way to meet people, have fun, and "do good" all at the same time :).
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looloo, volunteering is great.... I do volunteer work Saturday morning at a regional hospital and meet the nicest people. Lot of volunteers are my age, too.

In fact, my desk mate is a women who is dealing with impossible in-laws who came to visit for a year from the old home land.... imagine, visiting for a year !!.... anyway, we vent to each other about carrying for aging parents. We look forward to our weekly sessions :)
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I'm married, no kids. Right now, I guess I will continue to take care of myself (eat right, exercise, etc.), save $ as best I can, get my wishes in order, and stay social. Actually, I need to work on the social part! I'm so burned out on family obligations that all I want is solitude. But as I get older, it will become more important to get out and develop friendships, volunteer, and that sort of thing.
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I can sorta relate.... been divorced for 20 years, no children, but I did find a significant-other from a high school reunion website.... but after a certain age they aren't easy to train because they are so set in their ways ;)

My significant other has two grown and married children from a previous marriage, good people, but they can't barely take care of themselves, so their Dad won't be able to depend on them for any Caregiving help. Thus, we have our sights set on really nice retirement villages/facilities.
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As Captain said, and other people have mentioned, just because you have kids, doesn't mean they will take care of you. I worry about that too, as I am unmarried with no kids and manage the care of both my parents. They just went into a nice AL facility two months ago, but both have dementia and health issues, so it still takes a lot of time, energy and stress on my part. I've always had them to turn to, but now I am the parent and it's so sad. When they are gone, I will feel horribly alone. I do have one sib I grew up with but he lives in another state and I have three birth sibs (thank God I found them), but they live out of state as well. I'm trying to enjoy my folks as much as possible now because I know it won't be too long, Mom is 86 and Dad 88. But caregiving is SOOOO HARD!
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ive got two sons you can have . im genetically predisposed to dementia and frankly my bats and spiders console me more than those two saps . one of em smokes pot like a train and the other one has a head as square as a rubiks cube . happy sailing , i dont need their dumb s*it ..
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