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Old 06-15-2014, 06:26 AM
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,228,138 times
Reputation: 6866


Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
This story brings up another interesting dimension of my question. I too remember my sisters and I doling out advice to our aging mother who didn't have as many options as yours did. We started this when she became a widow at 54 and the reason why is that she hated living alone and was acting in bizarre, irrational ways from the stress of being left alone. We stepped up the advice when she turned 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 and on to age 90. We finally got her to move out of what had become a dangerous neighborhood at age 90, and then, not into asst living but into another house.

Looking back, I can see that it was none of our business what she did with her life, but we wouldn't have butted in if she wasn't constantly expressing her misery.

At some point as a person ages, typically it's the grown kids who start getting nervous about mom/pop. Partly because there are many implications for them. I have seen several folks stick their aging parent in some kind of facility prematurely just so they don't have to deal with it.

If an aging parent who has reasonable faculties and health is living independently and driving, is it anyone's business how they live? Should kids just butt out? <snip>
Uh, yes.

It's unfortunate that many parents don't know they have the right to say Sc*** Y**, I can live where I want, eat what I want when I want it, get dressed when I feel like it, forgo medications, etc. IOW, a mentally competent senior has the same right to make poor decisions as non-seniors.

Hmm, this gives me an idea. Perhaps I should offer to make a presentation regarding this issue at my local senior center. Forewarned is forearmed.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:25 AM
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,966,631 times
Reputation: 6718
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
Our daughter lives in NYC, single, rents. Very independent. She always comes home for all the important family events including all holidays and it's super fun having her around.

Bit of a surprise 2012 Christmas. She starts asking us about what we owe on the home and another property we own (we need to upgrade a lot of stuff on our home and have not been able to). Then, she proceeds to tell us that we no longer "fit the demographic of the neighborhood" and that we should move.

Well, first of all, everyone on our street is our age or older except for 2 couples in their 40's and we know everyone (16 homes). No sales since 2006, however, there is one for sale right now (I'm real sad about that one).

To say I was shocked was an understatement. She went on to tell me that one of the things about where we live is that younger people are moving in and keeping the neighborhood young and isn't that what I loved about it 25 years ago when we were young?

We love where we live and have no intentions of leaving but this really shocked me to no end. It actually made me very sad and I don't know where it was coming from. Maybe some of her friend's parents are downsizing (I doubt it though) and that's what I said to her - where would we go?

The other thing she picks on is my weight but I am now really working on that and she is right about a lot of things in that area. I guess she just wants us to be healthy.

First off - let me say that no one has ever told us what to do since my parents told me not to marry my husband . Nor have we have ever listened to them (I married him anyway - we eloped ).

I think a lot of the different situations mentioned here deal with people in different stages of the aging process. Both from a physical and chronological point of view (and sometimes a financial point of view). People have personal preferences as well. There are some 55 year olds who can't wait to toss their lawnmowers and move into a 55+ community. And some 85 year olds who are perfectly content to stay in place. There are some 60 year olds with multiple chronic medical issues whose minds are starting to go - and some 80 year olds in excellent health who have all their marbles.

I think that efforts to meddle in the affairs of people who still have the intellectual capacity to make reasonably intelligent decisions about their affairs and the physical/financial wherewithal to carry them out are presumptuous. OTOH - I don't see anything wrong with people - especially children - attempting to get involved in peoples' affairs when they're doing things that may well endanger themselves (like not eating or taking meds - or living in a dangerous/dirty environment) or others (like driving) - especially if there's a perception that diminished cognitive abilities are playing a role in things. And - in some cases - especially where a parent is frail/feeble - either physically or intellectually (and it's often both to some degree) - children may have a duty to intervene - especially when government officials start to take note of things.

I disagree with lenora to the extent that there's often no "bright line" when it comes to mental competence. And I would very much take behavior into account in assessing mental competence. It's one thing if your 87 year old mother won't quit smoking and doesn't want to take a dozen meds that make her feel lousy so she can extend her life by another 6 weeks a few years down the road. It's another if you show up at her house - she hasn't changed her filthy clothes in a week - and the kitchen looks like that scene from an episode in Sex in the City - where Steve and Miranda go to Steve's mother's apartment and find the kitchen littered with dozens of dirty dishes and pots and pans - half-empty cans and boxes - and roaches and mice scampering around.

FWIW - when it comes to your house Bette - well you know my folks lived in your general neck of the woods. And my father didn't sell the house until my mother died (he had wanted to sell previously - she didn't). He was 87 at the time. It's true that the neighborhood has gotten younger. But there's no law that requires you to sell your house when that happens. If that were the law - my husband and I would be forced out too. We're the oldest owners on our 30 house block now - and there's only one other couple that's within 5 years of us in terms of age (most owners are in their 30's and 40's). But we have no plans to leave. Robyn

Last edited by Robyn55; 06-15-2014 at 07:37 AM..
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:27 AM
Location: Location: Location
6,358 posts, read 7,847,379 times
Reputation: 18595
As a senior, are you being given advice you don't want to hear

They wouldn't dare!
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:35 AM
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,030,377 times
Reputation: 1047
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
My mother was 90 and living alone in a regular apartment. She wasn't coping; she wasn't able to reliably prepare food for herself so her nutritional needs were not being met. My sister lived a day's drive away and I lived two and half days' drive away. We both tried to convince her to consider a retirement community where two or three meals a day in a dining hall are part of the rent (she could easily afford it).

But no dice. My mother always was stubborn and pig-headed, and refused to consider making any changes; she had "reasons" why meals-on-wheels were not satisfactory and why meals delivered by her church were not satisfactory. .......

The story has a happy ending: My mother died two months after making her move without being hospitalized or becoming bedridden. Her last two months were relatively pleasant for her. She was about to turn 91.
Here's a question, since your mom died only 2 months after making the move. If instead she had been miserable in the retirement community, given the fact that it was only two months, would you have felt guilty in retrospect for not letting her remain in her apartment where she was originally so insistent on staying?

Was it worth the family angst for what turned out to be only two months? Of course I'm assuming that there was no clue that she would pass away so soon.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:31 AM
Location: Pikeville, Ky.
13,577 posts, read 21,742,479 times
Reputation: 18152
No one is giving me any advice unless I ask which is rare to non existent

I also never offer any advice unless asked..Life is easier that way and friendships last longer too
Moderator of:
Non Romantic Relationships
Parenting and sub forums
Dayton, Akron-Canton in Ohio
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:45 AM
2,716 posts, read 2,222,737 times
Reputation: 3708
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Did you get unsolicited "advice" when you told family friends and acquaintances you're moving far away?

I was looking at cities on the west coast (I'm east) and ws told the people there were "terrible" lol.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:11 AM
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,878 posts, read 18,238,386 times
Reputation: 5152
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
Absolutely. Although the type of advice varies with the source. I think I've mentioned elsewhere that my DIL apparantly thinks that I should prefer to live in a box under an overpass rather than move away from family.

But aside from that, I find that advice from friends and acquaintances is based on their own preferences and experiences rather than mine. For instance, my friends who either prefer or wouldn't mind living in attached housing (condo or apt) keep telling me that my problems would be solved "if I just wouldn't insist on having a SFH". Those who are fixated only on cost of living rather than anything else keep telling me that my problems would be solved "if I would just consider moving down south". Those who haven't yet had any serious medical issues "can't understand why I'm so fixated on being close to a good hospital". The ones that are still married or have grown kids within call can't understand "why I don't just call a handyman" when there are things that I can't physically handle myself (because they've never been in that kind of position).

And only two of my friends know what it's like to be a 60+ woman on her own and living on a shoestring or fixed income, with no pension income in the offing. All the others are either (a) still working, (b) still married or (c) both. And one of those two friends does have a pension from a former job and so doesn't need to rely solely on SS. However I do take into consideration that the other people, while by no means "rich", don't know what it's like to have to worry THAT much about money, either now or in the future. So they really cannot relate and I suppose I shouldn't expect them to. Those coments don't get to me as much as the ones in the other category. My DIL's attitude, though, really burns my youknowwhat but I don't let on. Don't want to put DS in the middle.

Ok, so you'll have to forgive my ignorance, but if your user name is "StressedOutNYer" and your location is "overtaxed and underfunded"...then why not make some changes? Would that involve a move too far away from family? There are so many places that have great hospitals and healthcare.

I'm just saying that a lot of friends make suggestions not necessarily based on their own preferences...they actually are thinking about you and what might help you out, because it's hard to be objective in a situation like that (at least it's hard for me, and I'm not retirement age yet).
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:16 AM
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,407,843 times
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Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Did you get unsolicited "advice" when you told family friends and acquaintances you're moving far away?
Lots of it. Mostly because I'm single and all the boogey men will zero in on me. I should be a gonner soon after my move.

I think we can all separate the advice from well meaning people and advice from the "do as I do - it's the only way" crowd.

Actually, I see a lot of jealousy -I know some would love to do this same thing but can't because they don't have the guts or the spouse won't go or they just can't deal with or imagine so much change in their lives.
I moved growing up and I moved with my job so this isn't such a big deal for me. I thrive on change and I am soooooo ready for it.

Neg, you have been on various threads discussing moving away from family. Lots of people do it. Depending on where you go, they will come to you. The longer you wait, the harder it's going to be. Do what you want to do - it's not selfish, it's your right after all the years of working and raising a family.

Now, for these birds - what the heck! I'm guessing you don't have drapes/blinds on these windows? That might help but the soap may redirect them on a different path and then you can remove it.

Off topic: It's mid June and I'm sitting here in 2 sweatshirts. Cold, windy - weird.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:22 AM
Location: Dallas
5,603 posts, read 4,950,874 times
Reputation: 16464
When my father was alive, I was always trying to advise him on easier ways to do things. He was sole caretaker for my mother, who was partially paralyzed from a stroke. Although I helped out one day a week, the lions share was on him.

He complained a LOT about being exhausted, which was totally understandable. The house was two stories, and he insisted on keeping his broom and dustpan in the garage, which caused him to walk down a flight of stairs, get the broom, walk up to the kitchen to sweep the floor, then back down the stairs to return the broom and then back up the stairs. I was always after him to find another spot for the broom where he wouldn't have to go up and down stairs every morning when he swept. Pig headed as he was, the broom stayed in the garage.

I also suggested he keep my mother upstairs, where she had a very nice sitting room with a TV, her bedroom and a bathroom. No. He had to lug her downstairs every day, and each time she needed to use the bathroom (which was excessively often due to her stroke) he had to maneuver the wheelchair to the bottom of the stairs, lift her out of the chair, put her in the chair lift, climb the stairs, squeeze past the lift when it reached the top of the stairs, get the alternate wheelchair to the top of the stairs, lift her into it, and wheel her into the bathroom. When she was done, the whole scenario would be reversed. It was ridiculous, and a huge drain of his energy. He was in his 80s when all this was going on. And on the day I watched her, I had to go through this totally unnecessary routine.

The point I'm making is sometimes when people get old, they get so set in their ways they can't adjust their routine, even though there is a way that will improve their life and make things easier for them. It's frustrating. I guess it's like the old saying - you can lead a horse to water but can't make them drink. That's pretty much how I view giving advice to any age person.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:16 AM
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,030,377 times
Reputation: 1047
Originally Posted by Mom2Feebs View Post
Ok, so you'll have to forgive my ignorance, but if your user name is "StressedOutNYer" and your location is "overtaxed and underfunded"...then why not make some changes? Would that involve a move too far away from family? There are so many places that have great hospitals and healthcare.
In my research I've been trying to juggle all of the factors that weigh into where I'd want to live; it's not just the medical care aspect, or just the weather, or just the taxes/housing cost. And as I've discovered more about various areas, some of them ended up being crossed off my list and others being added.

A big gamechanger for me was the discovery last week that only 5 states have permanent guaranteed issue rights for Medigap policies (NY being one of them). This is a huge factor for me because in any other state I would almost certainly be turned down for a Medigap policy (which I absolutely do want, and absolutely don't want a Medicare Advantage plan) or at the very least I'd pay more in premiums. The other 4 states are also in the northeast (NJ, MA, VT and ME). Ironically, if money were no object (ha) I would definitely choose to stay in the northeast because that's what I prefer, both for health care and for several other reasons. A plus is that some would also be within 3-4 hrs of family. I had been seriously considering CT but if I moved there I would lose those permanent guaranteed issue rights.

So it's still a work in progress. :-)

Btw, the entire middle class on LI is overtaxed and underfunded, no matter what their age LOL
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