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Old 05-23-2012, 06:24 AM
 
Location: New England
11,331 posts, read 7,178,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isabella20 View Post
Yes, my husband has had some health problems and at times difficulty with mobility. We had decided to buy a one story home even before we bought our mobile home and it's a good thing we did because the stairs would be difficult to impossible for my husband to climb. Other than that our house is pretty standard with the exception of a grab bar in the bathtub.

Our neighborhood is great for seniors, with all the basics within a short walking distance including grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants and shops, library, church, and our primary care physicians. There is also a community college within an easy walking distance. There is something called Metro Paracruz, which is door-to-door public transportation for the disabled. It's a van that takes people shopping, to doctor appts., school, etc.

When you start to have health problems that limit your mobility then you really get the importance of living in an environment that supports your challenges.
Your last sentence is what I'm thinking, more and more. There are not many situations that really support being aged and disabled. I wonder all the time how these people function from day to day, and who helps them. Your situation sounds ideal, and a wise move considering your needs.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,519 posts, read 40,050,649 times
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As my husband's physical limitations increase, we will have to make decisions about living arrangements. We have retrofitted our mountain house as much as possible to allow for a wheelchair, as he will someday most likely need it. OF course, we don't know we will hold on to that property in the future.

Should we stay in current primary residence, we have had plans drawn up to convert the formal dining room into a master bedroom, as our bedrooms are all on the second floor. Ideally, we would sell this house and find something else we preferred, near his docs.

We have considered moving back to Kansas where we still have so many friends and where there are better elder programs and state support than here in NC, but I suspect that we will stay here in NC. In addition, harsh winters would only add to my husband's mobility issues, as much as we love that part of the world.

If it were up to me, I would just buy a cottage with a studio out back near my friends I grew up with - many are already forming a sort of "aging in place community" by simply moving back to property they have inherited or bought near where we all grew up. But that is a rural area and I just don't think it would be wise to be that far away from hubby's docs.

So yes, we are finding that physical limitations and health issues are having much more to do with our retirement plans than we had thought possible 10 years ago. Actually, these things are the driving issues - and we had not really given it all much thought even 3 years ago. Health issues can arise/change very quickly . . .
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:39 PM
 
Location: SW US
738 posts, read 527,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post

I live in a small town (17,000) in southern Portugal, and while it is a very progressive town they were just beginning to put in small accommodations for disabled people. Now with the austerity plan coming into force these improvements along with everything else have been halted.

In the state medical system (which I am not eligible for) there would have been hospitalization and free or low-cost rehabilitation, as it was my private (English) insurance would not provide any treatment coverage as I had a history of spine problems. I was nursed while recovering from the fracture at home in twice or three times daily visits by friends, who also went and shopped for and delivered the various stages of wheel chair, walkers, etc as I recovered.
I found your post very helpful. I have been looking seriously at moving to Spain or France and it will almost have to be a village due to cost. Access to medical care and services in villages concerns me, for when I get too old to do things myself.
I'm curious to know if all your help comes from expat friends, or if you have Portuguese friends who also assist you?
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:51 AM
 
Location: New England
11,331 posts, read 7,178,271 times
Reputation: 7651
Quote:
Originally Posted by isabella20 View Post
Yes, my husband has had some health problems and at times difficulty with mobility. We had decided to buy a one story home even before we bought our mobile home and it's a good thing we did because the stairs would be difficult to impossible for my husband to climb. Other than that our house is pretty standard with the exception of a grab bar in the bathtub.

Our neighborhood is great for seniors, with all the basics within a short walking distance including grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants and shops, library, church, and our primary care physicians. There is also a community college within an easy walking distance. There is something called Metro Paracruz, which is door-to-door public transportation for the disabled. It's a van that takes people shopping, to doctor appts., school, etc.

When you start to have health problems that limit your mobility then you really get the importance of living in an environment that supports your challenges.
Sounds like you made a really good choice.

I was at a party last week (all retirees) and one male friend there I hadn't seen in about six months. He had always been robust, swimming every day, etc. after retirement. I was surprised to see him faltering in his balance and having a hard time sitting down and getting back up. He is clearly "going downhill." He and his wife live in a large two story colonial with stairs to each level. They love their home and I can't imagine them ever leaving it. But is is clearly not going to be possible for either of them (she's hobbling, too) to use a walker in that house. I wonder what they will do.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:59 AM
 
Location: New England
11,331 posts, read 7,178,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
If it were up to me, I would just buy a cottage with a studio out back near my friends I grew up with - many are already forming a sort of "aging in place community" by simply moving back to property they have inherited or bought near where we all grew up. But that is a rural area and I just don't think it would be wise to be that far away from hubby's docs.

So yes, we are finding that physical limitations and health issues are having much more to do with our retirement plans than we had thought possible 10 years ago. Actually, these things are the driving issues - and we had not really given it all much thought even 3 years ago. Health issues can arise/change very quickly . . .
Your point is illustrated in my post, above. One day we're OK, the next we're starting to slide downhill (physically, but some of us mentally too). Others our age are easily mowing a huge lawn and tackling gutters, etc. I want to find a correlation to something but can't seem to. Several I know take excellent care of themselves with diet, exercise, etc. and are not doing so well; others I know never paid attention too much to their their lifestyle and seem to be in better shape. At any rate, we can approach the path to lesser mobility more slowly, or almost overnight. If we haven't planned ahead for the eventuality, then what?

I'd love to be a part of an "aging in place" community of like minded friends, but I would not live rural again. Hopefully some peer-community-type innovations will start developing...soon.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,519 posts, read 40,050,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Your point is illustrated in my post, above. One day we're OK, the next we're starting to slide downhill (physically, but some of us mentally too). Others our age are easily mowing a huge lawn and tackling gutters, etc. I want to find a correlation to something but can't seem to. Several I know take excellent care of themselves with diet, exercise, etc. and are not doing so well; others I know never paid attention too much to their their lifestyle and seem to be in better shape. At any rate, we can approach the path to lesser mobility more slowly, or almost overnight. If we haven't planned ahead for the eventuality, then what?

I'd love to be a part of an "aging in place" community of like minded friends, but I would not live rural again. Hopefully some peer-community-type innovations will start developing...soon.
Yes, I am looking at what is developing "out there," also. I read a report recently about naturally developing "aging in place" communities. Folks simply had been neighbors for years, developed friendships and 30 years later, they are all still in the same community, other friends and acquaintances moved in, and they developed their own "senior activities" thru/ the POA. Very interesting concept and it evolved naturally. I wish I were part of it.

Had we stayed in our former home in Kansas, that may well have been what would develop, as our former neighbors are still there, the bonds are close and forged from years of raising kids and socializing in backyards for 25 years. I have actually thought about moving back simply b/c of those relationships, which we truly have missed.

I have become rather jaded about the relationship b/n "living healthy" and actually being in robust health after 65. I have decided it has a lot more to do with genetics and mindset than exercise and food. Not discounting a healthy lifestyle! But it is pretty ironic . . . the folks I have known who were always the most physically active are now having the worst arthritis and hip/knee replacements . . . and those who have eaten low fat are having cardiac problems . . . it makes no sense. I am not seeing the correlation b/n healthy lifestyle (as we seem to popularly define it) and healthy seniors. Cancer, especially, seems to strike regardless of what kind of lifestyle folks have had. I am sure certain risk factors do raise the likelihood of cardiac disease but many thin, careful folks (who never smoked!) are ending up with cardiac problems (valves, especially) and it has really puzzled me. And too much sun and melanoma - that is another one we can likely mitigate with lifestyle choices if made at an early age.

I look around and it is very perplexing . . . women who suddenly gained a lot of weight when they got close to 60 . . . and who have never overeaten, who got plenty of exercise . . . now have joint problems, bursitis, arthritis . . . and many are dealing with some type of cancer. Guys who look the picture of health and suddenly have cardiac arrests (I think so much of that is longterm career stress related!).

So I have started wondering how much of our longterm health viability is basically genetic. It is interesting to see how siblings so often share the same type of health problems as they age . . . and whole families who have had histories of generations of folks living past 85 seem to reach those advanced years despite lousy health decisions throughout their lives. I am really beginning to think our health is more dependent on genetics than environment.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,519 posts, read 40,050,649 times
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Meant to add . . . the original post mentioned physical limitations . . . as much as we loved the Kansas City area - such things as shoveling snow off driveways and dealing with blizzard conditions ARE a concern for hubby. Altho I grew up dealing with those issues, and so have never found them an impediment (snowblower; hire help) . . . who knows how I would feel about it (from a physically challenging standpoint) in the future. Then there are the tornado alerts - and getting down stairs to a safe area in the basement will only become more challenging for hubby (if not me, too!) in the future. So I would have to say - yes - while considering various options, we are thinking about how likely physical limitations will affect us in different locations.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:36 PM
 
Location: New England
11,331 posts, read 7,178,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Meant to add . . . the original post mentioned physical limitations . . . as much as we loved the Kansas City area - such things as shoveling snow off driveways and dealing with blizzard conditions ARE a concern for hubby. Altho I grew up dealing with those issues, and so have never found them an impediment (snowblower; hire help) . . . who knows how I would feel about it (from a physically challenging standpoint) in the future. Then there are the tornado alerts - and getting down stairs to a safe area in the basement will only become more challenging for hubby (if not me, too!) in the future. So I would have to say - yes - while considering various options, we are thinking about how likely physical limitations will affect us in different locations.
What are the weather challenges where you are in NC? Tornadoes?

I remember living in mid-Mo and scrambling down into the basement lickety split in several tornadoes. Now, if I lived there I'd have to say "take me away." Not sure I could sprint so fast. Nor can those in wheelchairs or with walkers.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of SW MO
18,305 posts, read 14,467,571 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Sounds like you made a really good choice.

I was at a party last week (all retirees) and one male friend there I hadn't seen in about six months. He had always been robust, swimming every day, etc. after retirement. I was surprised to see him faltering in his balance and having a hard time sitting down and getting back up. He is clearly "going downhill." He and his wife live in a large two story colonial with stairs to each level. They love their home and I can't imagine them ever leaving it. But is is clearly not going to be possible for either of them (she's hobbling, too) to use a walker in that house. I wonder what they will do.
Provided there's also a bathroom downstairs, they may reconfigure/rearrange the ground floor to accomodate a room for sleeping. Perhaps they'll add a stairmaster. There's more than one way to cope.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,519 posts, read 40,050,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Provided there's also a bathroom downstairs, they may reconfigure/rearrange the ground floor to accomodate a room for sleeping. Perhaps they'll add a stairmaster. There's more than one way to cope.
True--i know folks in MO, KS, and OK who have fixed up another bedroom or sleeping area in their basements, but to actually finish an unfinished basement is not inexpensive, and still necessitates scrambling downstairs when a sudden alert sounds. I have friends who just retire to sleep in the basement on nights when they are under a tornado watch.

I don't know anyone who has added a stairmaster. I guess I assumed they were quite expensive. However, that would be a very good solution if cost isn't prohibitive for those needing it. I have never checked into any special funds that might be available for adding a stairmaster. I also think they move very slowly, don't they? It would be an agonizing trip down the stairs if it took a person a while to reach the stairs, get situated, and move to a lower level.

Speaking of which, do you all know the fastest way to transport a bedridden or person with limited mobility in case of emergency (and no wheelchair available). Put them on a bed sheet and pull them to a different location. Of course, that works best on solid flooring. Never tried it on carpet. I have also taught folks to "butt bump" down stairs --something the frail elderly won't want to attempt unless the stairs are carpeted and they have a good sense of balance. In an emergency, tho, it gives people an option for dealing with stairs to the basement.
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