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Old 08-19-2017, 03:28 AM
 
Location: A State of Mind
5,256 posts, read 2,098,117 times
Reputation: 4864

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
There are so many potential solutions to the issue of "elder orphans.", of which I am one, or will be in the future.

How about cooperative housing in which about a dozen of these orphans buy an old house and live cooperatively in it, sharing expenses, and gaining support and company. Too many, are closeted in tiny apartments, and isolated.

Why can't we have cooperative housing of young couples desperate for child care and older people with time on their hands and no family? You wouldn't have to live in the same house. It could be like a condo complex , only with a purposeful mix of people who need childcare,or even pet sitters, and those older people who have no one to care for them or care for. I knew someone paying hundreds a month for doggie daycare. The dog would have been perfectly happy spending the day with an older person, to the benefit of both.

If there is a shortage of home health care aides, and they are too low paid, how about a bartering system? An older person agrees to babysit someone's kids in exchange for getting some of the care they may need, like getting groceries for example. Or an older person agrees to tutor a young student, and in exchange the young student performs some tasks for the older person.

There are communities like this for the severely disabled in Canada, in which younger healthy people share a home with a handful of profoundly disabled adults, forming a community that genuinely cares for each other, stays together for years and becomes a family.
That sounds lovely....it doesn't seem anything like that is likely promoted in the U. S. It sounds like that could work if all in the same residence are of a certain sort and committed to that lifestyle. It could be nice, yet again, comes down to the people involved. Bartering could be good too, in the right situation.

As I am getting older, I have a lot of concerns myself and have always liked being on my own. However, there will be times when we can be in need of assistance, big or small. I find I like my own space, yet am friendly and helpful, too. I have envisioned a small complex of those who would keep an eye out for each other, help out when needed, yet have their own units. I have no interest in living in a Retirement facility (and appear to be expensive) or a big place with amenities.

I have a sibling, married niece and a close male friend (old boyfriend) nearby, so I am grateful, but is limiting and concerns me. In my current building, neighbors are of different ages and everyone pretty much keeps to themselves. It's not like when younger and having always made friends with neighbors and coworkers. Though aware that I will need to make a change, I am limited in what that will be. Surely, this is a big concern for many and there should be more reasonable options available for those in their later years.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,120 posts, read 8,174,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
The upside of your situation is that you don't have any adult children who will force you to move out of you home that you love, out of legitimate concern for your safety, into an "independent living community" against your wishes and you will be able to die peacefully at home. If you had loving functioning adult children, you would be pressured into living a life that would make them know you are safe.
I'm glad someone brought this up.

I'm not an elder orphan, far from it. I'm 70, in good health, a retired business owner with a new business, married, kids, grandkids, and more. I live in a remote area of northern Maine. Only been here for 4 years, and already our daughters want us to move back to the city. They know so much better than we do, what is "best" for us. I won't get into details.

I have found it necessary to hire counsel in this matter. It will be difficult, but they will not be allowed to overrule our choices in late life. We find that the young seldom realize that there are things worse than death. The elders mist be "saved" at all costs! Saved from what? Apparently, the freedom to choose when, where, and how you die. Those of you who are true orphans, don't realize how lucky you are.

I hope I go in my sleep...or in my garden. I want to go gently into that good night. I don't need anyone pulling on earthly strings to keep me here. When it's my time, it will be MY time!
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:12 AM
 
20,884 posts, read 13,848,600 times
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Have been speaking about "elder orphans" for some time now, and yes, as others have mentioned already it is going to be a huge issue in coming decades.


Many Baby Boomers either never married, divorced, and or never had children. This plus for certain reasons are estranged from family. Then you have those who have simply outlived their immediate family and perhaps much of what else is left.


Don't know how it is elsewhere, but here in NYC there are so many "senior orphans"; everything from gays and lesbians to spinsters and confirmed bachelors.


Sad thing is this country by social policies and otherwise is still stuck in some 1950's or whatever "Ozzie and Harriet" nuclear family idea; you know where the kids will take care of their parents and or other older relatives. That works fine if you have children (and they are willing to take on the role of care taker), but what happens if that is not the case.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,709,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In2itive_1 View Post
And surely, having none or few relatives or any others around, besides. It sounds like that "group" mentioned is not exactly what it claims to be, yet appears many could relate to this "aloneness" and do need to have a support system that truly applies to their situation.
Exactly. At the time I joined, I found the group to be misnamed and misleading.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:38 AM
 
911 posts, read 533,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
I'm glad someone brought this up.

I'm not an elder orphan, far from it. I'm 70, in good health, a retired business owner with a new business, married, kids, grandkids, and more. I live in a remote area of northern Maine. Only been here for 4 years, and already our daughters want us to move back to the city. They know so much better than we do, what is "best" for us. I won't get into details.

I have found it necessary to hire counsel in this matter. It will be difficult, but they will not be allowed to overrule our choices in late life. We find that the young seldom realize that there are things worse than death. The elders mist be "saved" at all costs! Saved from what? Apparently, the freedom to choose when, where, and how you die. Those of you who are true orphans, don't realize how lucky you are.

I hope I go in my sleep...or in my garden. I want to go gently into that good night. I don't need anyone pulling on earthly strings to keep me here. When it's my time, it will be MY time!

While I can understand your situation there is another side to this. In many cases an elderly person reaches a point of being totally incapacitated either physically or mentally to where they are not safe in their home. The government does not allow a known incapacitated senior to just die unassisted like that, in the same way that a toddler would not be allowed to remain alone. Either your children will be responsible or Adult Protective Services will be called, and someone will be in charge of you. Paid caregivers are NOT legally responsible. I have been in this situation and it's terrible. My mother-in-law was determined to "die at home". She reached a point of mental deterioration where she'd fire her caregivers or become so hostile they could not provide care. She lived in a rural area where the possibility of her kids living and getting a job nearby did not exist. Believe me, we wanted to honor her wishes but we were put in an impossible situation. The fact is, rarely does a person just "die in their sleep" or "their garden". With medical advances people linger in varying stages for years. This may sound brutal, but if you truly want to die like this than you need to consider whether using medical advancements is in your best interest. Diagnosed with a heart problem? Maybe surgery or that stent will lengthen your life but it can easily weaken you the point of being diaper dependent. Cancer? Same thing. And dementia or Alzheimers is a very real and sad possibility as well. I think we are so quick to accept medical care to advance our lives but we don't see the consequences on the other side. You will live but in a declining state where you won't die quickly.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,825 posts, read 4,865,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
The upside of your situation is that you don't have any adult children who will force you to move out of you home that you love, out of legitimate concern for your safety, into an "independent living community" against your wishes and you will be able to die peacefully at home. If you had loving functioning adult children, you would be pressured into living a life that would make them know you are safe.

I so regret doing that to my Dad. I should have let him live out his life in his home - 3 hours drive from me - and let him die there. That's what he wanted. It would have been quicker, frankly, his life would be a few years shorter, but those last years would have been happier.
(Bolding mine -TheShadow)

You may regret it, but if he was living alone and fell, would you be happy knowing that he died in agony with a broken hip, naked on the bathroom floor, unable to reach a phone? Or in the case of my MIL, she would have walked off and not found her way back home, possibly falling prey to bad people, or even coyotes. My father lived with my step-mom in his earlier stages of dementia and, even with a loving spouse in the home, they had to get the state police with helicopters to find him when he wandered off into the woods around their home while she was napping. I remember an elderly man near us who drove off for hours in the wrong direction. He ended up being found dead in his car from hypothermia and dehydration on somebody's farm road, 2 days after he left home to go to a friend's house 20 miles away. They couldn't find him because they were looking in the direction of the friend's house. They never dreamed he would start in the wrong direction and drive until he ran out of gas more than a hundred miles from where he intended to go.

I know you are feeling this regret, but if what you did was done with love, and you honestly felt it was in your dad's best interest at the time, you did nothing wrong. You were only trying to protect him, and that's what most of us destined to become elder orphans would wish for.

Last edited by TheShadow; 08-19-2017 at 09:04 AM..
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,699 posts, read 2,612,678 times
Reputation: 2594
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
You won't lose your independence. There is no one who will lovingly, but maybe misguidedly, take it from you. So that's a small blessing.
Interesting point, ClaraC. Thank you!
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,699 posts, read 2,612,678 times
Reputation: 2594
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Everyone, alone or not, should learn how to do the Heimlich maneuver on themselves.

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver on Yourself: 6 Steps

Dial 911 if you think you're having a stroke, even if you can't speak.

Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke:

Stroke - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
fluffy, THANKS SO MUCH for posting this!! Much appreciated!
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Straddling two worlds
2,571 posts, read 817,747 times
Reputation: 1794
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Sad thing is this country by social policies and otherwise is still stuck in some 1950's or whatever "Ozzie and Harriet" nuclear family idea; you know where the kids will take care of their parents and or other older relatives. That works fine if you have children (and they are willing to take on the role of care taker), but what happens if that is not the case.
Thank you. I lost my parents 30 years ago and my husband 20 years ago. Yes, I have a grown son, but he is 23 and is making his own way in the world and in no position to be able to help me. A comment earlier about writing a check or getting on a plane at a moment's notice is a fantasy for those of us who live in the real world.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,772,783 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah5555 View Post
Thank you. I lost my parents 30 years ago and my husband 20 years ago. Yes, I have a grown son, but he is 23 and is making his own way in the world and in no position to be able to help me. A comment earlier about writing a check or getting on a plane at a moment's notice is a fantasy for those of us who live in the real world.

Is only your world "real"? Other people's worlds don't count? The truth in your statement would be much better expressed in this way: "Not everybody's children are in the position to just write a check or get on a plane at a moment's notice."


Yes, those whose children can do that are fortunate, and their children are fortunate too. People who post in this Retirement Forum have a wide variety of realities, and thus a wide variety of perspectives. Sneering is not required.
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