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Old 06-15-2014, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,754,097 times
Reputation: 32309

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
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.
I would not have felt guilty for urging her to move. We didn't "not let" her remain, as she decided on her own to take the advice my sister and I had given her. (Eventually, it may have come to that point - the point of forcing some sort of change). If she had been miserable in the retirement community, that would have represented no change because my mother was determined to be miserable during her entire life. It's just the way she was. The last two months were remarkable because of that history. It's not like she was happy in the apartment.

Oh, yes, it was absolutely "worth" the family angst, particularly inasmuch as (like you assumed) we did not know she had only two months to live. Try to imagine how much worse the "angst" would have been knowing that she was wasting away because of not eating. Try to imagine such a scenario with your own mother. It's not like she rationally decided to end her life by refusing to eat anything; she was somewhat confused and was UNABLE to reliably prepare food.

The guilt would have come had we NOT gotten involved. My mother was 90 at the time. She was slipping both mentally and physically. My female cousin, an RN, who lived in the same city and tried to help, once rang my mother's doorbell (while she was still in the apartment) and my mother answered the door naked.

Suppose my mother had died in the apartment, malnourished, etc. My sister and I took reasonable and responsible steps under the circumstances. The unstated, underlying theme of your questions seems to have to do with respecting the "autonomy" of seniors. I am in favor of that in cases where they are of sound mind and not a danger to themselves or others. But in this case my mother was a danger to herself. If it had been a rational decision to not eat, she wouldn't have gone to the dining room in the retirement community. But she did go there. She ate.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,028,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
It's not like she was happy in the apartment.
Ah, I misunderstood your original post... I thought that she did not want to move because she was happier or more comfortable in the familiar apartment surroundings. So sorry.

It can be very hard to deal with a family member who has a negative outlook, whether it's from dementia or from their basic personality. My own mother was a "glass half empty" person all the time I knew her... she always looked for and found the downside or fear side to everything. After she died I discovered some old letters and postcards from her youth (20s) and it was like I was reading about an entirely different person! She was not only happy and positive but actually fun-loving! (this blew my mind, LOL) But another thing I discovered was that she had been married before (another shock) and that marriage did not end well. From what I can see, it soured her entire outlook on life.

I do wish that she had told me about these things during her lifetime because I certainly would have understood her behaviors a lot more, had I known. Not as a child or teenager of course, but definitely once I became an adult.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,754,097 times
Reputation: 32309
Default No need to be sorry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
Ah, I misunderstood your original post... I thought that she did not want to move because she was happier or more comfortable in the familiar apartment surroundings. So sorry.

It can be very hard to deal with a family member who has a negative outlook, whether it's from dementia or from their basic personality. My own mother was a "glass half empty" person all the time I knew her... she always looked for and found the downside or fear side to everything. After she died I discovered some old letters and postcards from her youth (20s) and it was like I was reading about an entirely different person! She was not only happy and positive but actually fun-loving! (this blew my mind, LOL) But another thing I discovered was that she had been married before (another shock) and that marriage did not end well. From what I can see, it soured her entire outlook on life.

I do wish that she had told me about these things during her lifetime because I certainly would have understood her behaviors a lot more, had I known. Not as a child or teenager of course, but definitely once I became an adult.
I think the questions you posed to me were legitimate; there is no need to be sorry! When I wrote the post to which you originally responded, I was aiming for brevity. Generally brevity is good (as some people drone on and on and that is tedious to read), but it has the downside of sometimes not presenting a clear enough picture, as was the case.

You raised a good philosophical question concerning the point at which it is justified to intervene in the life of an older adult. Our little discussion explored that question - not fully of course - but it was worthwhile.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,662 posts, read 1,529,045 times
Reputation: 3650
As I prepare for retirement and to make some lifestyle changes, I like getting advice on financial matters, relocation and living arrangement choices, and factors to consider as I age especially since I am single. That is one reason I spend so much time on this and other forums, trying to get ideas. As one poster stated, it is nice to get a different perspective on things. It just gets a little irritating when the advice is frequently repeated and so opposite to my goals, e.g., retire in a large city in a hot climate near family when my goal is to retire in a smaller community in a milder climate.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,945,286 times
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An interesting relevant column in today's papers:

Choices caregivers must make - Business - The Boston Globe

Robyn
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,945,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
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
Unless your circumstances are unusual - you can protect against being hung out to dry when it comes to a Medigap policy. Get one from a large national outfit - like AARP/UHC. It writes Medigap policies almost everywhere. When you move - the policy moves with you (although your premiums may go up or down depending on the medical costs in a particular area). When we moved my late FIL from NC to Florida - his UHC policy came with him. And - if any company could have canceled anyone - UHC would have canceled him (we moved him here in an ambulance to a SNF after he had a major stroke). I think if this was a major issue for a lot of people - I would have read more about it. Robyn
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,991,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post

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.
My question (for me) had nothing to do with moving. I'm in an uncomfortable debate with a "close friend" who insists (every single time I see her) that my mostly vegan-whole grain diet is ALL wrong and I must adopt the "Paleo" diet (animal food–based) to be a lot healthier. She points to the book by Dr Perlmutter, her guru. Now this doesn't in itself have to do with aging/being a senior, but it is definitely indicative of overbearing (really quite overbearing, nonstop) unsolicited advice (from busybody senior friends) that I've experienced since retirement. Some of it also had to do with "do not get that second dog!" It seems like the older some folks get, the more adamant they get about their views, to the point of confrontational.

The other reason I ask is that I do feel a bit guilty having taken part in giving my mother advice about what "she should do" in regard to her living situation. If we ever do decide to move elsewhere, I feel certain these same "friends" will weigh in. My payback I suppose.

But it is an interesting question, esp in regard to aging parents and their grown kids. Should the grown kids weigh in with unsolicited advice to their parents around aging issues? Where is it crossing the line and being a busy body? I've heard folks say things like "well, at some point the parent becomes the child and vice versa." When I hear this it sounds demeaning (to the elders).
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,991,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquietpath View Post

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.
You can say that again.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of grown kids who still insist they know what's best for mom and pop, and a lot of seniors who think they know what's best for their friends, one size fits all.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:43 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,989,888 times
Reputation: 18050
I have to say I often hear people complain to others then get mad when the others give advise. Keep it to yourself if you do not want to hear comments on what you said; plain and simple.
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:09 PM
 
1,774 posts, read 2,446,014 times
Reputation: 5169
no - thankfully
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