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Old 08-14-2011, 01:05 PM
 
Location: delaware
688 posts, read 864,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK-Cathy View Post
I think this is concern for many that either don't have much family or where family isn't close. Friends are great but at least in our experience they tend to move away to be with family more often than not (for better or worse) and they don't come back, altering the daily dynamics of friendships.

The problem that the OP addressed has to do with the point in time in a life when one can't hold a job or are not readily mobile, where most of the control of one's destiny has been removed by time and infirmity. The traditional answer has been the "home" but finding kindred spirits in a roommate or those close at hand in a adult care facility is not a sure thing especially one that mixes elderly with folks of diminished mental capacity or the mentally ill.

My grandmother (who had plenty of family visitors) went to a decent nursing facility after she became too blind and fragile to care for herself in a home setting. She had a roommate for a number of years that she liked really well but when her friend and roommate died, another woman moved in that was irritating to her in her personal habits and her constant demands of both herself and the staff. Grandmother got onto a room change request list but declined rapidly after the new roommate moved in and died before she could be changed.

It's a tough issue, one many people choose to ignore rather than address, hoping for the best but not planning for the worst.


perhaps especially important for people who don't have family or friends to count on ( and how do we really know until we are in a situation to need them ? ) the best plan is to enter a retirement community, preferably a continuing care community, when you are still independent and can establish friendships. if you wait until you need nursing care or even assisted living, you are not going to be in physical or perhaps mental condition to establish new contacts. i know several people, with and without children, who entered an independent unit in a ccrc, by choice, in their mid to late seventies because they wanted an opportunity to make friends, enjoy the lifestyle there, and develop a support network before they became too old to extend themseves in those ways. two of these women have been in the ccrc, still independent, seven plus years and really look upon their relationships there as family. even though one of the ladies has children who visit frequently, she definitely views her friends at the ccrc as family and relies on them for daily socialization. i think for many people in such a facility, it does become their world, and it is one they rely on whether there is traditional family or not.

a ccrc can be prohibitively expensive , but with changes in the economic times and the real estate market, many ccrcs are finding they have to be more flexible with the costs of care. so opportunities in such facilities may change dramatically in the next decade.

catsy girl
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:17 AM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,561,639 times
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I basically don't have family. When my father and aunt die (both are 86) I will consider myself unfamilied, and am also terminally single.
One clue, keep younger friends! I have a dear dear friend in Colorado who is 85 and having health problems, but she doesn't go on and on about them (a bore at any age).
I've lived my life in relative loneliness, so I don't think old age will be much different. Believe me, if I got married or something, I'd have to call the pope on the red phone.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 3,779,535 times
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The best man at my wedding is a very lonely guy. Sure he still works, but he's had a series of jobs, and learned to know a great many people, but never developed one career. So now at age 62, he is still in an entry level job where all his cohorts are under the age of 35 and his boss is 29. He has a very kind and affectionate signifant other(after 4 failed marriages). But most of all he is just plain lonely for male companionship of his own age with his own interests.

He never saved any money from his various jobs, even though when he was in the film industry he was probably making $250K a year, and so now he's forced to keep working at a frantic pace to try to save money so he can retire a little bit before he dies.

Lonliness can happen when you don't have people to be with.

I used to talk about this feeling with kids. We agreed that being lonely is when there is no one there who YOU can relate to.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,355 posts, read 10,340,678 times
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but loneliness is different for everyone. Some folks feel lonely if they're alone for a few hrs; others enjoy solitude and a few friends to call on occasionally is enough. I'm not sure you can change that very late in life.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Virginia (soon Ellsworth)
653 posts, read 1,709,729 times
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i am very comfortable when be alone, strangely enough i fell very lonely in the social function with a lot of people.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:19 PM
 
13,773 posts, read 33,909,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
My wife died six years ago after forty-two years of marriage. I have no children or siblings. My animals are my social network. When I'm not home with them I miss them. They're my only concern after my death.
I feel the same way and I have children and siblings. I lived away from my siblings all my grownup life and my children have their own lives. My pets are my family now. I have some friends in my new town but it my animals who care if I come home..

I volunteer to help place animals from our shelter and other rescues. Just this week I had a call about 2 schnauzers who were orphaned when their owner passed away. His one wish was that they would find a home together. 'Wish granted'.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:38 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,068 posts, read 9,529,219 times
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My mum has six children, but none of us live nearby to her.

After my stepdad died, she decided she didn't want the hassle of keeping up even her condo. So she found for herself a place that offers all levels of care, starting with independent living. She's there now, in her own apartment. They provide a big meal each day, and she's on her own for the rest of what she eats. When/if she needs increased care, the agreement is they will provide everything she needs, as she needs it. So while she's delighted when we visit, she doesn't actually need us to care for her.

If I outlive my husband, I'll probably do the same thing since my (step)daughter lives in another country and my sibs live in other states.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:47 PM
 
701 posts, read 1,531,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddstray View Post
My mum ... found for herself a place that offers all levels of care, starting with independent living. She's there now, in her own apartment.
If only all Mums had the same wisdom and foresight. She is growing old along with others she can laugh and share stories with.

Why people insist on staying in their own home and then complain that they are lonely is beyond me.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:45 PM
 
250 posts, read 648,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatRoy1 View Post
If only all Mums had the same wisdom and foresight. She is growing old along with others she can laugh and share stories with.

Why people insist on staying in their own home and then complain that they are lonely is beyond me.
And in some ways that is the point it is "beyond you" to understand that many do want to stay in their homes. My mother was 92 when she died and she was one of those who insisted on living in her own home until the end. She had lived in that house for 63 years with my father when he died, 5 years before her, and she did not want to move elsewhere. She had other options but she wanted to stay in place with all she knew.

With a little help and some house adjustments she lived out the rest of her life in her own home. For my mother ending up in what she called an old people's home would have been hell. We are all different.


There is also such a difference between being lonely and be alone.

Last edited by Morwyn_7; 08-15-2011 at 07:55 PM..
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,689 posts, read 33,690,741 times
Reputation: 51900
I have been a loner for most of my life and I'm very comfortable with it. I'll reassess when I'm 70, ten years from now, and see where my friends are located. They aren't all retired, yet, and they live in different states. My one immediate relative has mismanaged her entire life. I've seen her maybe 3 times in 15 years for very brief periods. I don't see the attraction of living near her just because we're related.
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