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I am 58 and have been a caregiver to my husband that has pancreatic cancer (he is now 69) for almost 4 years and will soon be a caregiver to my mom 84. I also expect that after that I will be a caregiver to a friend who is now 70. I picture my life as being a caregiver until I am unable to do it anymore. I have no children so they cannot be my caregiver. My siblings - I would not want to burden them with my caregiving and I don't think they would be very good at it as they are not really helping with our mom at all. I am more conveniently located to help her as I work from home. I also have more of a caregiving mindset from taking care of my husband all these years. I have already planned to have her live here with me when it becomes neccessary. For now I just visit once a week to go over and do cleaning, shopping and repairs. The longer she can make it on her own the better - but it makes me feel better knowing I am prepared for what could happen with her such as a broken hip, etc.
I have been reading about euthanasia for myself in the future since there will probably be no one around to be a caregiver to me by then aside from nursing facilities. I have talked to friends in their 60's that plan to live in the same ALF they put family members in...but they are very social people and I can't imagine myself in that particular ALF.
I have plenty of time to plan ahead and shop around for an ALF but there is no place like home. I wish I could go like Jim's stepmother - after going to church - she died in her sleep at 90, at home, by herself - never needing any help at all. Maybe in 20 years they will pass a law allowing anyone over 80 to choose the time, place, and method if euthanasia is allowed by then. So my choice for Future Care would be not needing any at all and if I do - I want to plan well in advance what that care would be like and if I reach a point where I can no longer take care of myself - please put that euthanasia button next to my bed in my own home.
Press 1 to talk, press 2 to turn on the TV and press 9 to end it all. :)

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I'm currently grounded as a caregiver but before this I was a world traveler. I intend to go back to that once this phase ends. I wasn't the kind of guy to ride buses around with a tour group. There have been a lot of times that I'm surprised I actually made it. So as I get older I won't be able to hold my breath quite as long as I'm pinned under a boat in a class 5 rapid, hang on quite as long as I'm dangling by one hand from a granite cliff in the rain or not be able to gather the strength to climb up the last of 13 waterfalls a kilometer under the ground while soaking wet and with hypothermia. The rest will take care of itself.

Or worst case, a Japanese robot will be my ever patient and ever present caretaker. That's the future Japan is working towards. I think they'll succeed. That will take care of my physical needs and VR will take care of the mental ones.
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Hope I go out like my 98 yr old friend did; everyone in the prayer meeting circle got up to leave and she didn't....
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I am of the opinion (and always have been) that an elderly person that has no quality of life due to disability or terminal illness like cancer, is still of sound mind and can make a rational decision should have the option to make their own choice.

We afford more compassion to our companion animals than we do human beings in the exact same situation. If your pet is suffering due to injury, illness or old age, you ask your vet to mercifully put them to sleep, which gives them a peaceful end to their suffering. We make human beings live with pain, low-to-no quality of life, indignity and loneliness in their final years.
I am not advocating the widespread euthanasia of elderly people - I am saying that those who are completely unable to live their life and are suffering should be able to make a choice. If they choose to continue their life as it is, so be it. But if they want to go, they should have the option to do so peacefully, at the time of their choosing.

Maybe it's not a popular opinion, but it's my opinion, such as it is. I don't look down on anyone else having a differing opinion of the situation.

As far as my own care, I decided long ago, while caring for my own parents, that I would *never* allow my kids to be my caregivers, for a couple of reasons:

1) I won't put that burden on them - having been a caregiver for several years for my mother, at her best and later, at her worst - I'm not going to do that to them. I remember very well how difficult and frustrating it could be, and the division it caused with my siblings because they didn't help. That's pretty much healed now, but it was very, very stressful. I'm one of the lucky ones - my caregiving time was relatively short, compared to some. (Please don't judge me based on that statement - my relationship with my parents was not typical. Those here who know my story will understand.)

2) I know my kids just like all of you know yours. You know full well whether they would take good care of you or not. I have 3 children - out of the 3, I know there's only *one* of them that would do their best to take good care of me. The other two....not so much. I love my kids dearly, of course - but I also know them well enough to know what would probably happen if I let one of them be my caregiver.

I've already decided that as much as is humanly possible, I will prepare for my own care, and will appoint 2 people I trust to take action when the time comes that I cannot live on my own any longer, or in the event that I become incapacitated. That means having to do a little legal paperwork ahead of time, of course. I will put myself in assisted living when the time comes, and from there, if I need to go to a nursing home, so be it. But I don't want my kids taking care of me.
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Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is available in Canada. There are conditions that have to be met to 'qualify' for it. When I redid my Will last year, I included a directive for MAiD.

My mum at 84 lives independently, but has her chosen assisted living/nursing home, for when/if she can no longer manage on her own. My Dad lives with my brother and does not need help with daily living, but my brother has taken over his finances (POA) with Dad's blessing. I do not know what my brother plans to do if Dad needs greater care or assistance.

Me, I would never ask my kids to take care of me. My kids have their own lives to live. I have enough set aside to give me options, should I need help around the house or care.
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I read that in 2050 in 32 years we will be able to upload our consciousness to the cloud and if you can afford to - download it later into a robot AI or Human Sleeve - as in the Netflix series Altered Carbon. There are also allusions to that on Black Mirror that got me to thinking of growing old in the future. And I always thought old age was going to be like Golden Girls - Sigh.
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Mom once told her SIL "you don't get to die that easy" when they were having this conversation. Well, aunt had a stroke and died a few days later in ICU without ever waking up so I guess she did die according to plan, or pretty close anyway. Mom's had one foot out the door for years now, either she's afraid to step through the door or her worn out body and mind just won't let go, who knows.
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I think my aunt (dad’s sister) had a hot line like you mentioned. My aunt had a daughter but they weren’t close. I think that was my aunt’s choice. My Aunt Nettie always lived her life on her own terms and I respect that. Between my aunt living in an ALF on Medicare, her caregivers at the facility and a kind female physician, Nettie was set up comfortablely in a studio apartment with a tiny kitchenette and private bathroom. Her SIL bought her a big HDTV flat screen TV, her own big bed that was ultra huge and a few pretty decorative touches, along with a 40 year old wardrobe consisting of furs, gowns, ten huge pillows on the bed and the ALF cooking and medication administration, my aunt set herself up to die comfortably among her beloved belongings, each object wrought with memories of a stylish, charm filled life.

Auntie Nettie was much like ‘Auntie Mame’ of the old play. Her daughter, my cousin, allowed her mom to have things her way and Nettie enjoyed some years of contentment, finally divorced from her fifth husband.

I saw something I really liked in my aunt’s arrangement. She was ill, in a wheelchair, COPD, lung cancer, severe back problems, it was a laundry list of ailments. I liked ‘withdrawing’ from mainstream society when I’m no longer decent company.

One morning Nettie’s ‘helper’ entered her apartment and Nettie was ‘gone’. She never attempted to ring her panic button. She was all set up for TV viewing and perhaps decided it was time to go.

And the world was short one ‘Southern Belle’. There are fewer of them every year.
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a1zweb: Great thread. I look forward to other posters' ideas. I so agree with you about euthanasia for people who are done and choose to "move on". It's a scary subject because while there's a lot of information out there, like long-term care insurance, I don't trust giving my money to any insurance company who promises they'll pay for the care. In their fine print there were a lot of "exceptions". It makes no sense to pay expecting to be covered for future care only to find out the company refuses to cover it.

Since I've been on this forum I've considered this very question. It'll be hard for me since I'm not going to be around family but hope to re-cultivate my dear friends who'll watch over me (and I them). I'll have to figure out who's my POA for health care and ensure my will and trust is up to date. Save money for care is one thing I've read on this forum. It's scary though. I know there's more I can do, but a lot for me is on hold until I can go home (I'm Mom's live-in caregiver right now).
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I'm so technologically inept I'd probably end it all when I just meant to turn on the TV :)

I also hope I can live at home, take care of myself, and die peacefully in my sleep. I don't want my kids burdened with my care, and even aside from that I don't want to be in a helpless state unable to care for myself.

If it can't happen like that, my plan is to try to work as long as I can and save as much money as I can to use toward things that will help me stay in my home without having to depend on my kids. Things like people to do yard work, clean the house, and walk the dogs if I can no longer do it. I don't have any illusions I can save enough to provide 24/7 care for myself at home.

Euthanasia seems to be something of a hot button topic on the forum, and I don't want to offend anyone or start an argument. However, I do feel the way you do that if and when I become helpless and needing round the clock care, I will be ready to go. Let me emphasize that I would never, ever advocate making a euthanasia decision for anyone other than myself, nor would I try to persuade anyone else to make such a decision. This is just what I would like for my own life.
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