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Old 03-11-2015, 02:43 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,235,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Thank you for all the replies about my cousin who wants to die in her own home. Forgive me if I rambled but she had just called, sobbing. She called again and said her man friend drove her to her doctor's and they told her the doctor had cancelled and refused to be her doctor anymore. She was very distraught thinking that even her doctor didn't want her. I reminded her that she didn't want that doctor anyway, she was going to change doctors.

I had a good phone conversation with the senior center in her town. When I told her about it she was enthusiastic because she could get there by taxi and spend the day with other people instead of being all alone. She is actually a very social person. Her senior center serves a lunch, has movies, all kinds of things that she loves.

But this last time she called she said her doctor didn't want her anymore and she felt like not taking any of her pills and just giving up. I'm holding off calling because I've seen this with her so many times. She can be really down and then I call her and she's in a great mood. Maybe I'll give her a call tomorrow and see what's up. Maybe she'll be interested in the senior center again.

She's never going to leave that house. She keeps it very clean and does her laundry, has her hair styled, and you would never know anything was wrong. She pays people to mow the lawn and she does the gardening and landscaping herself, using a walker or crawling in her garden. It's bad and it's good at the same time. As someone said above about their relative, if someone dragged her out of her house, she would really go crazy.
It really does sound like she should stay in that house. I think it may add to her feelings of security and stability and since she is already dealing with a mental health diagnosis, it could be that her familiar surroundings are one of the anchors of her life.

It sounds like the issues have more to do with her dealing with depression and what is often an emotional roller coaster with bipolar disorder. Any chance of finding a new doc who will be more patient with working on adjusting meds? Just thinking that her overall state of mind might be influencing most of her actions these days. You have dealt with her a long time so you probably have as much insight into that as anyone else would. Doctors can get discouraged dealing with patients who are not compliant, too. Does she often go off her meds? Do you know if she has the "rapidly cycling" type of bipolar disorder?

Maybe I am assuming too much, but it seems to me the ups and downs will be there no matter where she is living, but are probably eased some by her feeling her home is her "safe harbor." So I would be really reluctant to encourage her to make a change. She is so lucky to have you and your patience in her life.

I hope your next phone call she will be in a good frame of mind and receptive to some suggestions - like the senior center!
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:45 AM
 
71,913 posts, read 71,971,035 times
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more and more seniors are realizing that while they didn't mind moving far away from family , kids and grandkids that mindset changes when care is needed.

there are now so many reports surfacing about seniors who relocated away and thinking they were going to stay put forever only to now want to get closer to family again especially if care is needed .

something to think about when throwing a reverse mortgage on a property . few want to be in a nursing facility far far away from family or stuck in an area with no public transportation if they can't drive at some point.

aging in place sounds good but i think for many it will be alot harder to pull off since we are living longer and develop more issues. it can be even a greater issue for women since not only do they live longer but 80% of those who were married end up alone. 80% of married men die married so at least they have a spouse to help them many times .

Last edited by mathjak107; 03-11-2015 at 03:54 AM..
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:02 AM
 
Location: delaware
688 posts, read 866,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToriaT View Post
My mother had a walker and stayed in her condo which was an elevator building with underground parking almost until she died. It all depends on whether you get dementia or if you are able to care for yourself or hire household help. Where I live its easy to find people to come and clean and plow the driveway and cut the grass but expensive. If you can drive you can visit any number of restaurants or food stores where you can buy premade good food quite easily so you really don't even have to cook. If you are disabled or can't drive then living in a house does not make sense. My mom did quite well in her condo. More people are staying in their homes or apts or condos because the retirement homes are so terribly expensive. I myself am planning on moving into a ranch home this year with a seated shower and wider doorways just planning for the future. But if my health fails and I can no longer care for myself I will either move into a condo or apt. I would move into assisted living or a retirement home as a last resort.


i think your point about dementia as a major deciding factor in whether a person stays in an apartment/condo or goes into retirement community, is a valid one. if a senior has a willing support system and/or sufficient funds to buy care and maintenance, then staying in a condo or apartment could be a valid choice and possibly a compromise. there are many in-home care companies, offering companion type services to nursing care, but they are not inexpensive.

however, as you pointed out in your post, it becomes a different scenario if the senior develops dementia and is no longer able to care for themselves on an everyday basis. in such a situation, needs escalate quickly to the point where 24 hour care, or close to it, becomes a necessity. few people have the funds to cover that, and has been pointed out in other posts by people who have tried to provide this for family members, it is a mind and body numbing task. dealing with a senior's physical disabilities can be difficult but, i feel, can be more manageable than cognitive decline.

unfortunately, a person cannot predict if dementia is in their future, and for some, who have the choice, a retirement community, a ccrc or something similar with "back-up" medical care, seems to provide some security if worst case scenario happens.


catsy girl
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:13 AM
 
Location: delaware
688 posts, read 866,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
more and more seniors are realizing that while they didn't mind moving far away from family , kids and grandkids that mindset changes when care is needed.

there are now so many reports surfacing about seniors who relocated away and thinking they were going to stay put forever only to now want to get closer to family again especially if care is needed .

something to think about when throwing a reverse mortgage on a property . few want to be in a nursing facility far far away from family or stuck in an area with no public transportation if they can't drive at some point.

aging in place sounds good but i think for many it will be alot harder to pull off since we are living longer and develop more issues. it can be even a greater issue for women since not only do they live longer but 80% of those who were married end up alone. 80% of married men die married so at least they have a spouse to help them many times .


regarding women who are widowed and age alone, i feel it might be helpful for couples, when planning another move, whether the "final one" or downsizing , to consider the possibility that the wife will live in this next house/apartment/condo as a widow. i feel that it's important for couples to consider how comfortable the woman might feel in this house, if living there alone, and, practically, how possible is it for her to maintain it, inside and out, on her own. although she might have help from others- family, children- and may be able to afford to buy help, it still needs to feel doable and livable, as opposed to burdensome, if the woman ends up there by herself.

i know, in my case, the kind of residence i would consider , as a single person, is very different than the one i might have considered when i was married.


catsy girl
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:14 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,173,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
That's very true. I do remember a great aunt who stayed in her little house while the neighborhood depreciated around her. She did get out in her old age and went into senior housing. She was a music teacher and her grand piano still stands in their lobby. She did have grown kids to help her move but she did have a lot of stuff to get rid of.

But then there are people like my cousin who lives in a Boston suburb where prices are rocketing and her town is becoming one of "the" towns to live in. So it can work either way.
This really only happens in Rust Belt communities or in certain "boom-bust" places elsewhere (e.g. mining areas here out West, declining ag towns, etc). The key is, if urban prairie is happening anywhere in a given metro area, then this can happen. If not, then it probably cannot happen (e.g. land is inherently too valuable).
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,007,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsy girl View Post
regarding women who are widowed and age alone, i feel it might be helpful for couples, when planning another move, whether the "final one" or downsizing , to consider the possibility that the wife will live in this next house/apartment/condo as a widow. i feel that it's important for couples to consider how comfortable the woman might feel in this house, if living there alone, and, practically, how possible is it for her to maintain it, inside and out, on her own. although she might have help from others- family, children- and may be able to afford to buy help, it still needs to feel doable and livable, as opposed to burdensome, if the woman ends up there by herself.

i know, in my case, the kind of residence i would consider , as a single person, is very different than the one i might have considered when i was married.
catsy girl

Such an important consideration. The couples I know contemplating a move in their 60s and 70s, including us, are thinking just that...can the woman take care of it herself some day. To downsize and possibly relocate together while still healthy is so wise.

Many women are "lost" when it comes to the big stuff in running a home. That said, ironically it is my single female friends, not the married ones, who know how to wield a hammer, fix a gutter or water pipe, paint rooms, etc. They seem far more independent and savvy about living alone.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:37 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,913 posts, read 18,921,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokensky View Post
It really does sound like she should stay in that house. I think it may add to her feelings of security and stability and since she is already dealing with a mental health diagnosis, it could be that her familiar surroundings are one of the anchors of her life.

It sounds like the issues have more to do with her dealing with depression and what is often an emotional roller coaster with bipolar disorder. Any chance of finding a new doc who will be more patient with working on adjusting meds? Just thinking that her overall state of mind might be influencing most of her actions these days. You have dealt with her a long time so you probably have as much insight into that as anyone else would. Doctors can get discouraged dealing with patients who are not compliant, too. Does she often go off her meds? Do you know if she has the "rapidly cycling" type of bipolar disorder?

Maybe I am assuming too much, but it seems to me the ups and downs will be there no matter where she is living, but are probably eased some by her feeling her home is her "safe harbor." So I would be really reluctant to encourage her to make a change. She is so lucky to have you and your patience in her life.

I hope your next phone call she will be in a good frame of mind and receptive to some suggestions - like the senior center!
Thank you for your comments. I think you're right about the doctor getting fed up with her because she won't follow doctor's orders and go to a nursing home. She does take all her pills though.

She's had those ups and downs for years and it's the ups that ruined her health. She would be feeling so good that she would be outside gardening (and that includes chain saw, taking trees down, etc.) all day and night and the next day! She would turn on the outside lights so that she could work outside all night! She definitely overdid it and is paying for it with severe osteoarthritis.

She called today and just wanted to talk. Apparently she is going to have hip surgery again. She said she was in horrible pain last night and really appreciated her cat who snuggled up in bed and never left her side. She mentioned her housekeeper so I guess she does pay someone to come in and clean. She's not rich but she can afford to pay people to do things. Without those cats she would be a real basket case and even worse if she had to move out of her home. She's going to a rehab. place after the surgery and she said when she eventually gets back home she will see about the senior center offerings. (I'll be sure and remind her and I'll give her the names and phone numbers again.)

I'm going to try to get down to see her this weekend and maybe stay overnight. I kind of dread it but maybe I can help her through this episode of her 14 year relationship with her man friend apparently being over and her feelings toward the upcoming surgery.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,967 posts, read 14,450,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
I just came upon another reason not to "age in place." After retirement, because of age it typically does not happen very often that people move, if they don't move right after retirement. It becomes more difficult unless they have children that do it for them, or they can afford the selling themselves, and can orchestrate the move on their own. And as people get older that tends to happen less and less.

Here's where that can turn bad. Lets say you're in a neighborhood that changes 10 years in the future. A bad element moves in, crime goes up, and all of a sudden you feel like prey in your own neighborhood, but you can't move out. This is a common story all across the country, elderly people who are stuck in high crime neighborhoods. Retirement is a good time to find someplace where you can look forward to being safe for a long time.
Very good points.
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:08 PM
 
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,343,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
Aging in place concept has been oversold, professor argues - The Washington Post

What are your thoughts on where and how to live as you age?
I agree with the professor, based on our parents' experiences and our own.

My mother "aged in place" for too long, in her own home. Driving an hour round trip to change a light bulb, spending time to help her avoid giving away money to home repair scams, these were the lkinds of effects on her children. And she was locked indoors all winter, inevitably having some major health crisis as a result of the inactivity...when she FINALLY went to assisted living, she was way better off.

Now my mother-in-law is in the same inappropriate setting, her own home, steps and all.

I'm just shy of 60, and we realized just a few years ago that life was too short to bear routine duties that were not pleasant. Moved to a condo, discovered that the sweetest sound in all of nature is somebody else mowing the lawn. When we can't or don't want to prepare food anymore, we'll go to a place that does it for you--senior apartments or assisted living. We've downsized possessions and living space and will continue to do so.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,579,964 times
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For two years I lived in an apartment where most of the people there were either disabled or older. It was tiny. The neighbors screamed at each other all day long and when the mom was sent away for her own protection, the son had his druggie friends in and they'd gather in front of my door so I couldn't open it on warm days. And I hate apartments. I was soooo happy I was able to move out and into a small house.

This house is my forever house. The town is small and I don't get out much but that's fine with me. They have people who come to your house when your old and check on you. This is my turf and its mine and even if there are frustrations, I am quite happy here. I don't like strangers in my house. So long as I can stay I will. It will take something very awful to get me to move, and if I had to go to some communal place where I can't be alone and do my own thing, then its time to go.

So I'll stay and if I can't then there would be no reason to WANT to go on. Especially without my pets, all the 'services' for a private person like myself it would be hell.
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