My worst nightmare
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30-05-2016, 07:48 AM
My worst nightmare
Now that I am getting older (how the fuck did that happen?) my worst fear is not being able to care for myself.

The thought of an "assisted living facility" scares the shit outta me. The "community" aspect of it does most of all. The thought of "activities" with a group of people you have not chosen to be with makes me shudder.

As introvert and as a person who has been independent all her life, I love my life as it is now. I do what I want, I answer to no one. I happen to enjoy the simple things in life, so I can afford to spoil myself. I keep the hours I want, read, play on the PC, play in my flower garden, grow veggies and fruit and play with my dogs. I watch nature a lot. It's fun and peaceful.

The thought that in just 10 years time I might find myself in a situation where I need daily help terrifies me. As introvert, an assisted living facility is pretty much as scary as things can get. Complete dependence, forced socialization and exposure to possible elder abuse is so horrific a thought to me that I may very well choose the big exit if any of this were ever to actually loom on the horizon.

I know there are some people who love such places, they thrive on socializing and prefer being taken care of to independence. I am not one of them.

There is really no point to make this post, other than perhaps raising awareness about the issue. Don't assume you know what's best for your parents. Listen to them - because assisted living is a life sentence. Nobody ever leaves alive. And while I am sure there are some good places, elder abuse thrives in some of them, too.

Personally, I'll likely hire private in house help if and when that becomes necessary. If I can't afford that somehow, I will choose to exit, rather than conclude my so far very interesting and exciting life by wasting away in some institution. That is just no way to end a life well lived.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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30-05-2016, 08:05 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
I get it. Even at my sickest I generally preferred to care for myself. I didn't like to ask for the things I simply couldn't do unaided.

In early April my son-in-law's grandmother passed away in a facility where she had been nearly two years. Just a couple weeks before she seemed to have been doing well...probably a stroke is what took her down.

The facility is a nice place, for what it is. What struck me is that I didn't smell the 'old folks home' smell I had encountered before. I spent a fair amount of time there in her last days.

The place was spotlessly clean and I am told the food was really good. The staff seemed attentive, concerned, respectful, and capable. Still...the idea of ending up in a place like that parked in a row in my wheelchair playing a bowling-like game with inflatable pins and having to listen to the incessant chatter of a roommate made me cringe and set me to thinking about the day when I can no longer care for myself.

Yeah...I don't want to go there and would just as soon end things before facility living became the only other choice. Undecided

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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30-05-2016, 08:25 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
I completely understand.

I have had my parents living with us for the past 8 years, and when my 89-year-old dad's Parkinson's disease was too much for us to take care of, we had care workers come to our house, twice a day at the end, and a special bed installed for him. He visited his neurologist regularly, but in his last 3 months, a palliative care doctor came to see him, and cared for him in the last hours, including a 3 a.m. call to confirm his death.

Tomorrow, I will be arranging the same kind of care for my 94-year-old mother, who has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, which may have spread to her liver. She wants palliative care, pain alleviation only, and will initially have a nurse come by once a week, and then more and more care as she needs it. She will probably die within the next 6 months, surrounded by her daughter and grandchildren, the cats, the birds and small mammals in the backyard garden, friends visiting whenever they want. Pretty ideal, really.

Now we are extremely grateful that all this is paid for by the Ontario government, (the payoff for a higher tax rate and universal health care is that this kind of arrangement is MUCH more cost effective for the government than subsidized long-term care, and so is highly encouraged).
But even if we had to pay for it, we would do the same. Nothing beats the familiarity of home.
That said, I'm sure I don't want my children to do the same for me (i.e. take me in full time). It's been REALLY hard on the rest of the family. Staying independent in our own home, and then gradually accepting in-home care as required, would be the best, IMO.

Good luck to you in your search for a solution.

Your faith is not evidence, your opinion is not fact, and your bias is not wisdom
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30-05-2016, 08:37 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
My mother and one younger brother went down that way, my mother (emphysema) at home and my brother (emphysema and lung cancer together) in a hospice with palliative care. I don't want to go like that, either. I'd like to handle my exit myself, if I get in that condition. A home would seem more like hell, to me sitting around waiting to die along side a bunch of stiffs.
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30-05-2016, 08:58 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
This completely resonates with me.

I fear it as well, not so much an "assisted living" part, I wouldn't mind having someone come into my home and help, though I'm the "hostess" type and it would be hard to let that go but because being forced to live somewhere not of my own choosing.

We do have several places that are sort of "gateway" facilities and those don't seem bad but I do not want to be in any nursing home and if I am able, I will choose euthanasia instead. However, my fear is a stroke that would prevent me from being able to do this myself. Sad

My ex-husbands grandmother couldn't wait to go to the nursing home they picked for her. She had been taking care of his grandfather and mostly stuck in the house except for trips to the store for a couple of years.

Granted it was a beautiful place, very expensive (in 1986, the cost for the two of them was 22k each) and when we checked it out we had lunch there, I did as well because I wanted to make sure they weren't serving crap. I was restaurant quality food. However...

When grandpa died they moved her to be closer to her oldest son who was in charge of her (it was 50 miles out of town for us so I couldn't take our baby daughter to see her and take her out shopping and such every week like I did before) and they couldn't or wouldn't afford to place her in a similar facility. It was your standard stinky, overworked staff run nursing home. She went down hill fast, a variety of things I'm sure but this place was a contributing factor. She didn't last the year. Sad

I will not be able to afford a "exceptionally nice" facility and that to me is just scary as shit. Sad

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30-05-2016, 09:35 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
Just stick me on an ice floe, and send me drifting......

...

With a case of 100 proof vodka....


Big Grin

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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30-05-2016, 09:39 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
When the time comes, you'll be able to escape into the virtual world to evade these torments. Big Grin

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30-05-2016, 09:40 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
great --- just what we need.....

a bunch of old codgers spazzing out on v-r porn.....

.....

Where do I sign up???


Big Grin

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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30-05-2016, 09:52 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
I hope I drop dead hiking a nice trail.
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30-05-2016, 11:02 AM
RE: My worst nightmare
I went through this with my in-laws recently. They were living in a golf course community in Florida that they could not longer afford to be at and were being subsidized by their daughters (and their husbands) and the amount of money were were all laying out was starting to get out of control. A collective decision was made that they would sell their house and move some place cheaper. The problem is they were in their 80s and we all had concerns about moving them some place where they were completely on their own. My in-laws, entirely on their own, came up with the idea of moving to an "independent living" facility and the place they chose to go could be converted to assisted living should the need arise (and if they don't run out of money). They found a place they liked, my wife's sisters and I ran the numbers and read all the paperwork, and once they found a unit we helped them sell their house.

Last October it became time to pack up the house. Suddenly my mother-in-law starts telling people her children were putting her in a home. My wife went down to help them pack up and move and it was really stressful. Once it became real my MiL didn't want to go and made this all her children's fault and idea. But, it wasn't our idea. Not directly at least.

I suppose on some level we put them in a position where they had no choice. But, we collectively could no longer afford their lifestyle. This was the best of all the options and none of them were great. They have been there for close to 8 months now and they have adjusted made friends, and seem to be ok. It depends who you ask. If you ask my one sister-in-law, they love it and are doing great. But, my mother-in-law is never quite as enthusiastic about the place when my wife and I talk to her.

There are no good answers. I'm only 47 and hopefully won't have to deal with this for a long, long time, but I fully understand Dom's post. I pride myself on being self sufficient. I think having to rely on other people like that would kill me. And, I'm sure I'm not alone in that. This is all consistent with a theory I have: getting older sucks. The common response to that is "it beats the alternative" but at some point I'm not convinced it does.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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