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Old 12-20-2014, 08:34 AM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 770,129 times
Reputation: 1180

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcy1210 View Post
Ditto, also. I don't go to church and haven't in over 40 years, so a church group wouldn't have done me any good.

I was pretty handy to begin with, so lots of little things, like repairs, I could do myself. Being an only child, I was the son my dad always wanted so I hung out in his workshop and learned tons of skills with tools, and later, my husband was always working in his workshop, so I learned more. Also, I was the daughter my mom always wanted, so I cook, sew my own clothes (and gifts), can fruits and veggies, and am really organized.

I had to move 3 months after my husband died, and I moved to a new state where I knew no one (sold our home of 40 years and moved to a recently purchased "snowbird" condo). Fortunately, my youngest child, who was 20 at the time, was still living at home, so he was a HUGE help the first two years. But, as all kids do, he moved out and lives in his own place about 20 minutes away.

I have trouble carrying heavy things up a long flight of stairs to my condo. We didn't think about that when we bought a 2nd floor unit.....

For Christmas this year, my son was busy when I finished wrapping out-of-town relative's gifts, and after I boxed them up to ship, I realized there was no way I could carry them down to my car, over to the P.O., get them out of my car and stand in line for 2 hours. They were too big and heavy. They're for my daughter and her family, and I'm flying to their house for Christmas this year, so I've decided I am going to put the boxes on the airplane as checked bags (there are two fairly big ones ~~ the sizes of a large suitcase). It's actually cheaper to check them in as baggage than to send them USPS or UPS.

It's also hard carrying dog food, cat food, 20 lb bags of bird seed, grocery bags with lots of canned goods or laundry soap, and other heavy items, so I've had to switch to more expensive, but more portable things like laundry soap pillows (or whatever they're called), more frozen or prepared foods rather than canned, and waiting for my son to carry up the dog/cat/bird food, or other heavy things. I really feel helpless at times, and I hate it.
I have been caregiving for so long now, I have taken on most of the typical 'man' duties that my family and friends shake their heads at. And realistically, just how long can I continue to do so?

But actually, it's not those things that worry me or perhaps worry other rural widows/widowers who are more isolated than those that reside in the city, it's that feeling of helplessness that Marcy pointed out. Add to that the isolation factor and then your home, the one place you used to feel safe in, now becomes your prison.

I originally jumped on this thread because even though I commented on the video itself, I was hopeful that I could learn about other things that are offered to widows/widowers. I had hoped that maybe there were services out there that I didn't know about or programs that could be tailored to meet their specific needs in rural communities. I live in a very small village of less than 1000 people, most of whom are only seasonal residents. Even so, I see a good number of elderly who visit the meal site and food pantry with regularity and have wondered how they are getting along otherwise. After re-reading all these posts, it is clear that if a widow/widower is not a member of a church that actively supports them, or has a neighbor that has the time to assist them, or has a family member that lives in close proximity to visit them regularly, then they have...what...?

I wonder if it would be worth approaching the county dept. of aging and voicing these types of concerns to them? I'm not suggesting that if just anyone signed up, they would get everything done for free, but I do know that in some larger cities, there are programs that the elderly can sign up for like having your walk shoveled, or grass mowed or gutters cleaned. Sometimes those services are offered on a volunteer basis or at a reduced cost. Where I live, we have none of those things so there would definitely be a need.

RVcook

Last edited by RVcook; 12-20-2014 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:19 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,433 posts, read 18,144,759 times
Reputation: 18814
I saw on the news last winter that Providence, Rhode Island has a program for the elderly, disabled, that has young people go and shovel the walkways/stairs for them for free. I thought that was a really nice thing. Wish we had something like that. I can still mow but the shoveling is getting to be a monumental task.
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:00 AM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 770,129 times
Reputation: 1180
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiznluv View Post
I saw on the news last winter that Providence, Rhode Island has a program for the elderly, disabled, that has young people go and shovel the walkways/stairs for them for free. I thought that was a really nice thing. Wish we had something like that. I can still mow but the shoveling is getting to be a monumental task.
Milwaukee county, Wisconsin also has a similar program (the one I was referring to), but like you Tami, we don't have that where I live. Because of my situation as a full-time caregiver for my DH, I actually had to talk with my closest neighbor this year about having him use MY truck and plow to take care of the snow in my driveway if I get a big storm. Just asking was a HUGE thing for me to do because I really don't know him that well and he has to drive to my house in order to help me (which may be an issue in itself...ughh)! But just because I can handle the plowing, the shoveling, the roof raking and the ice chiseling, doesn't mean I can do it all at once. And when things take an unexpected turn (which could happen at any time), 'professionals' will need to make it up my very long, very winding driveway.

And like you said, even though I can still do a LOT of things, I know that some things are going to become impossible as long as I live here.

RVcook
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:40 AM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,633,393 times
Reputation: 33226
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook View Post
Could it be that most widowers can function well or at the very least fare a bit better than widows? A widow may still be able to whip up a pot roast dinner but doesn't know how to (or where) to pump gas, or handle the finances while a widower may know that something sounds 'off' with the car and takes it in for repair and handles the bills just fine, but can only make himself eggs and toast for dinner. Yes, there are trade-offs both ways.

Widows may form informal groups and if comfortable, in time may begin to talk about what they're feeling about losing a mate and draw strength from the interaction. I'm not sure widowers would feel comfortable in that type of situation nor talk about their feelings for fear that they may appear weak. I'm not saying widowers are incapable of such interaction, just that it doesn't seem likely.

FWIW, I agree that it is indeed sad and thoughtless not to have something for widowers, but it is equally sad and thoughtless not to have something for those who don't belong to a church.

RVcook

Loss is loss. What a ridiculous comment. I know many men(my late father for one) who never got over my mother's passing, and followed her a year later.

And it is almost 2015 not 1943, if a woman can't pump gas(with the exception of health issues) or balance a checkbook she has bigger issues than just being a widow.

I notice the OP ignored my comments.

Why nothing for widowers?
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,706 posts, read 21,760,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
I'm trying to think...what DID I really need? Honestly, there wasn't much of anything you could have done for me. I'm not an overly religious person. I would not have welcomed sermons. I know all the words. What I probably needed was more good friends!

It takes a while to start thinking of yourself as one person instead of a couple. One of the dumbest things I did was make a Vet appointment for my dogs. Didn't think a thing of it till it was time to go and I realized one person can not handle 250lbs of dog at the Vet's office...duh. And it's really easy to come home with 100lb bags of cement. But it's not that easy to get them out of the car alone.
It's things like that, that can make you feel... helpless.

What a timely post. I started writing this a while ago, and since then, my heat went out. I'm sitting here typing this wearing a hat and parka. My husband could have fixed this. He was very handy.
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,165 posts, read 57,302,589 times
Reputation: 52030
Here's what widows (and widowers) need:

Company. Support. Engagement. Friendship.

Also:

Stop thinking that all widowed people are senior citizens
Stop thinking that widowed people are helpless
Stop every other stereotype, too.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:36 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 770,129 times
Reputation: 1180
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
Loss is loss. What a ridiculous comment. I know many men(my late father for one) who never got over my mother's passing, and followed her a year later.

And it is almost 2015 not 1943, if a woman can't pump gas(with the exception of health issues) or balance a checkbook she has bigger issues than just being a widow.

I notice the OP ignored my comments.

Why nothing for widowers?
I'm sorry you thought my post was ridiculous as I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone with what I said. I DO understand (and know all too well) that the death of ANY loved one is a profound one but I also know from what I experienced with my own mother confronted with the unexpected loss of her husband at age 58, that the shock of being suddenly 'single' caused tremendous difficulties.

You are correct that this is not 1943, and for younger widows/widowers things like pumping gas shouldn't be a problem, but for widows/widowers in their late 60s, 70s, 80s or even 90s, coming from a time when traditionally defined roles were the norm, they may indeed lack basic skills that younger people take for granted. My father owned a business and my mother never knew anything about any of it. Likewise, she never handled any of the finances or investments...at all, so she was lost. After my father died, it took me 5 years to convince her to sell her longtime 3,000 s/f home that she no longer needed and could no long maintain and 7 years for me to convince her that she needed to get a basic will done. All for the simple reason that she was still grieving her loss. And as ridiculous as it may sound to you, up until her death, she could NOT balance a checkbook. But as difficult as it was for me not to get frustrated, it was not my place to shame nor judge, it was my place to understand, assist and comfort which I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
It's things like that, that can make you feel... helpless.

What a timely post. I started writing this a while ago, and since then, my heat went out. I'm sitting here typing this wearing a hat and parka. My husband could have fixed this. He was very handy.
So sorry that this has happened to you. Do you have a plan to get it fixed soon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Here's what widows (and widowers) need:

Company. Support. Engagement. Friendship.

Also:

Stop thinking that all widowed people are senior citizens
Stop thinking that widowed people are helpless
Stop every other stereotype, too.
I agree...company, support, engagement, friendship are critical to those that have suffered loss, but loss isn't something that only targets a specific group. We are definitely all equal in that regard.

RVcook
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:45 PM
 
Location: MA
1,623 posts, read 1,257,025 times
Reputation: 3015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Here's what widows (and widowers) need:

Company. Support. Engagement. Friendship.

Also:

Stop thinking that all widowed people are senior citizens
Stop thinking that widowed people are helpless
Stop every other stereotype, too.

True....I'm a fairly recent widow but, I'm 43 years old. It is odd to be a widow but its ok.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:34 PM
 
779 posts, read 2,964,443 times
Reputation: 623
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post


I notice the OP ignored my comments.

Why nothing for widowers?
My apologies. I am the original poster. I don't get on here everyday so I wasn't ignoring you. I have been asking that very question.

Sometimes it simply takes someone who is willing to step up to get something started in an area.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:07 PM
 
779 posts, read 2,964,443 times
Reputation: 623
I thought this was very nice as they invite both widows and widowers: Widow’s Christian Place: Memorial Wall

"Mark the memory of your love and the day your life changed. You'll be in a company of those who understand the fellowship of suffering."
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