So you want to live to be old, if you have to be alone?

junkyardgirlJune 22, 2008

I see so may older people that are alone, and they have such a hard time. Some of them are taken advantage of by unscrupulous caretakers, which just makes me sick.

I don't think I ever want to get married again, and I also don't think I want to live to be really old. I know this sounds bad to some, but when I get to where I can't take care of myself, I want to have the option to end it. I definitely don't want to be a burden on my children, or on anyone.

That's one reason I don't want to remarry. I don't want to spend my waning years taking care of someone who can't do for themselves. That's selfish, maybe, but I've done my share of taking care of people, believe me, and I just want the rest of my life to be my own.

I think about this a lot, especially lately. I have lupus, and it's getting harder and harder for me to work a full-time job, due to my joint problems. I need a job where I can rest ever so often during the day, and what I'm doing now surely doesn't lend itself to that.

Stress exacerbates my condition, and the stress of the last week has me hobbling around like an old person. When I sit down, I can hardly get back up, and forget picking things up off the floor when I drop them.

Anyway, that's off the topic, but because of this, I know that eventually, I'd be a burden on whoever I am with, if I live that long.

How do you feel about this?

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In this day and age, I think we all will be under a caretaker at some point, for some length of time. No matter what you do to prepare, some of us, especially those with health challenges - such as yours, will have to go through this. I remember my Mom trying to prepare my sister and myself for the eventual mind-blowing red-tape,etc, after her passing. She sought much advice but that did not protect us. It was awful, because of the jurisdiction where she passed (and not where she lived). We had no idea that her health would end up as it did - breast cancer, then in the bone/liver. Before we could change things, the calcium in her brain from the cancer had us trying to get her to at least mark an "X", for her signature. Then, she went quickly - the Dr. didn't even know she had reached end-stage to quickly. So, no matter what we do, even if we have the money to try to make it work, it is a hopeless situation.

The worst thing about getting old is the care that we can get. The US healthcare system is inexcusable!! The system is antiquated, the workers are not compensated adequately, and the type of care just is not therapeutic. They give you just enough drugs, to keep you "comfortable", but not kill you, until you are so weak that you just die! I'm watching that with a friend's relative, and she's not even sick enough to be classified as dying anytime soon! She is just immobile and in a lot of pain. They give her morphine and do nothing else. She now gets a nurse and an aid at home, but they are useless because they live in the boonies and it's difficult to get there at a decent hour because of horrid rush-hour traffic. The family is trying to do things - a tremendous workload, but they are not professionals with the knowledge and skills to do things the right way. She needs to see a Dr to be reassessed - but do ya think the nurses or aids have mentioned that!!!

Anyway,I think the best way to protect ourselves is to maintain our nourishment ( and not just the food intake and ond-a-days). Minerals are important for nourishment. That's not to say that this will prevent the caretaker syndrome, but at least our minds will be a lot stronger, which in turn will help the physical aspects of aging.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:15PM
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I don't have a problem living alone. But I liked it more when I lived with someone else. A neighbor of mine went to see her husband who was in the hospital. She went home, had dinner, and called her husband later on to say good-night. Then she sat down on the bed and died of an instant heart attack.

I guess I'm waxing philosophical here, but I believe that, married or not, each of us walks our own road. We may have people around us who love us, but no one can walk in our shoes. Likewise, essentially, each of us dies alone.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 3:09PM
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"...each of us dies alone."

Yup. Man; woman; birth; death; infinity. At least that's how the old Ben Casey TV show started out.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 10:14PM
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asolo - OMG, I don't believe I remember that!! Boy am I getting up there!! You have me laughing at that one.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 1:43AM
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asolo and gneegirl: You have very keen memories, both of you. I remember the TV show, but nothing from it.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 1:15PM
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Oh, heavens! Can't let this ignorance propagate!

Here's everything. As I recall, Sam Jaffe spoke the line off-camera while writing the symbols on a board at the beginning of every program.

(I can't remember my own SS number but I have a head full of this stuff! Probably wouldn't hurt to get a life!)

Here is a link that might be useful: Ben Casey info

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 5:08PM
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Some people have good caregivers. My 92 year old neighbor was cared for by our other neighbor while she lived in her house, and then cared for by people at her church when she had to go into a nursing home. My uncle's dad (uncle by marriage) found a new love at 90, I think she was about 85, lol! I've worked for volunteer organizations for a long time so know a lot of seniors. How they ultimately age depends a lot on how they have lived their lives all along. There are exceptions. Dementia is the true nightmare. But barring that, most old folks I know make a pretty good run at it for as long as they can. Hopefully we will solve this Alzheimer puzzle someday!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:39PM
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Junkyardgirl, It's nice to know someone thinks like I do. My friend and I have already made our plans if we are diagnosed with something like Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease or a future in a care home. My husband had Alzheimer's and I will not go through what he did unless I have a stroke. I have already talked to my POA about it and she said she could handle it.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:06PM
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Forgot to add, I live alone and am content with it. Of course I would like a "perfect" companion, but that is not realistic so I will stay alone by choice. Some reasons: The day I marry half of everything I have will be his. I paid for care home bill for my husband and it took half of our savings, won't do that again. If he has any debt I will be responsible for his bills the day we marry. There are other reasons, but I think that is enough and I don't think it's selfish to feel that way.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:10PM
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Stargazzer....FWIW, I wouldn't marry anyone before knowing what they had and what they owed anyway. That would be foolish regardless of age. Can't run a household or a marriage without knowing.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:56PM
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