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Old 12-12-2018, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,303 posts, read 4,151,370 times
Reputation: 18284

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
It seems to me there are two separate issues to consider. The article touches on both.

* Social isolation
* Lack of a support network to assist you when inevitable things pop up

Things in the latter category might include driving you to & from a surgery center when you have a scheduled outpatient procedure requiring sedation or anesthesia and you are not supposed to drive yourself home - say, a colonoscopy or arthroscopic surgery.
The support network is crucial! I had a perfect example of that today. I live about 500 miles from my elderly parents, and I'm the closer of their two children (my brother lives about 1000 miles away). I went to work this morning as usual, and when I checked my personal email midmorning I found an email from one of my father's friends titled "Dad is in the Hospital." YIKES!

Turns out that my father fell down the stairs in the middle of the night, tore his hand open in the process, and went to the ER because he couldn't get the bleeding stopped. Naturally the ER staff wanted to check him out more carefully, and they decided to admit him for a day to make sure he doesn't have a brain bleed. My mother has dementia, and can no longer be left home alone except for very brief periods. My parents also own a dog, who of course needs regular care. Fortunately their neighbors sprang into action: the dog has been kenneled, someone's staying with Mom, and my dad will have a ride back from the hospital tomorrow if he needs one. Everything that needed doing was done long before I could even have gotten on a plane, much less actually made it home. Catastrophe averted!

Given my mother's condition (she no longer remembers how to use a phone), there is simply no way my parents could continue to live independently in their current home without their network of friends and neighbors. (I'm more grateful to them than I can express; the gift cards I am sending the helpful neighbors don't come close to what I wish I could give them!)

We all laugh at that cheesy old "Help! Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" alert button commercial, but in reality such a situation is very unfunny indeed. All of us need a way to get help when we really need it; unfortunately support networks can't be delivered by drone from an Amazon warehouse. They take months and years to build if you want them there when you need one.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Asheville NC
1,602 posts, read 1,312,679 times
Reputation: 4160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Agreed. I like people, but in small doses and on my terms.

I have some frustration in my life now. I don't feel like I'm "in charge" of my life. My girlfriend wanted to go out to dinner last night and to Walmart. She's still not driving, and I didn't get home until 9 (I leave for work around 7:15 AM). My aunt needs me to set up some monitors and stuff for her to WFH this evening after I get off with the office issues they're having. We have a software go-live tomorrow starting earlier than usual, so tomorrow and Friday are booked with that.

Oh, and the girlfriend wants to do chocolate covered pretzels Saturday (of course, I'll be doing most of the work and it will be at my expense) and wants me to take her to some Christmas church thing on Sunday. I'm also on-call for my job this week.

By Tuesday morning, the remainder of my week was already booked for me! Unfortunately, no one really asked me what I wanted to do this week. Things get "penciled in" on my schedule, and while some of it is unavoidable, a lot of it feels like crap.

I'd rather be "alone" than deal with this.
Someone needs to learn to say no. Also erase the pencilled in extras. Maybe agree to an hour of help once a week. Take back your life. No one can take advantage of you unless you let them. They will figure out how to get things done on their own. Tell people what you want to do this week and do it. They will never ask you what you want.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:20 PM
 
13,879 posts, read 7,391,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
With things like FaceTime and electronic communication/bill pay all being relatively easy to do, more can be done for an aging relative "from away."

I don't think you have any life experience with the level of care the elderly really need. A Facetime every day or two and paying bills online isn't going to cut it. At age 80, a big chunk of the population is showing dementia symptoms. 1 in 10 over 65 have it. 38% age 85+ have it. 1 in 3 die with it as one of their health issues. If they live that long, you eventually need 24x7 eyeballs on them. Both my parents went that route. Both had 5+ years where Facetime and internet bill paying wasn't going to do anything.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:20 PM
 
11,122 posts, read 8,531,120 times
Reputation: 28089
Good grief. What's the big deal? I've been single and childless my entire life and I'm fine. I'll be fine when I retire.

Everyone should look to take care of their needs (including social) for when they retire. Is that not common sense?

I don't get these profiles of sad, pathetic elderly people. Take care of your health and finances the best way that you can. Take care of your social needs the best way you can.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,620 posts, read 4,686,468 times
Reputation: 27855
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I don't think it has to be "either, or."

My parents and generally excellent people. I'll help them to the extent I can.
I didn't say, "Don't help them." I said put them on notice that they should not expect you to be a full-time caregiver.

If nothing else, it will adjust any expectations they have -- which is a good thing and fair to all concerned.

There are dozens of ways to help elderly parents. Help them find low-income senior housing, if they've been renting all their lives and are priced out of where they live. While there's still time, help them with investments or savings if they can put some money away. Educate yourself thoroughly about Medicaid in your state and help them apply if they qualify. Line up senior transportation to medical appts. Contact the local Council on Aging. It may be called something else. Use the resources in the Caregiving Forum.

It's still a significant amount of work but it doesn't consume your life and your future.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,303 posts, read 4,151,370 times
Reputation: 18284
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Good grief. What's the big deal?
The big deal (as that article discusses) is that a lot of people don't realize the importance of having flesh-and-blood friends nearby (not just online friends) until a crisis happens. Or if they do, they don't know how to build up a working social network (particularly if they aren't religious and therefore don't go to church). The extreme mobility and emphasis on independence that our society promotes is very destructive to forming lasting social relationships.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:30 PM
 
11,975 posts, read 5,111,061 times
Reputation: 18709
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCjunkie View Post
My son once had a girlfriend like that. They lived together for almost three years. She was a drama queen and I could see the tension it was causing for him. He used to play Midnight Hockey in a mens league on Saturday nights but she soon put a stop to that. Then she started calling him on his cell phone when he'd go for a "run" after work to try to keep in shape because of no longer playing hockey, if he was gone more than 20 or 30 minutes: "Are you on your way back yet?" If I needed him to come over and help me with something like moving furniture, it was a sure bet she'd call asking how soon he'd be home. It was hard for me to bite my tongue and not say anything but eventually the relationship blew up for that and other reasons. My private names for her (which I never let on to my son, even afterward) were Velcro Girl and The Girlfriend From Hell.
A friend of mine recently told me that his wife put an ap on his phone to follow his location and know where he's at all the time. She never even told him she added the ap. As far as I know, they've never had an infidelity problem. He just shrugged it off and laughed about it. She told him she did that just in case he got hurt while out running, LOL. They are both in their mid 30s.

Last edited by marino760; 12-12-2018 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:32 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,209 posts, read 6,313,926 times
Reputation: 9826
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
My ex wanted me to spend every waking moment not at work with him. Even when it came to watching TV. We didnít share the same interests in TV shows but he wanted me to be there sitting next to him while he watched his programs. That was just one of the stifling things about our marriage.

After our divorce, I realized that relationships didnít have to be either or; either be totally submissive or be alone. Mature people make compromises.

I choose not to live with a partner but I had good relationships. So I was alone but not alone. As an older person living by myself I guess I would be considered as one alone but I donít feel alone.
I do that now, but I surf the web, not paying attention to any TV. Itís a big open plan downstairs, so I donít have any other place to sit. But my husband doesnít make me.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,620 posts, read 4,686,468 times
Reputation: 27855
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
We all laugh at that cheesy old "Help! Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" alert button commercial, but in reality such a situation is very unfunny indeed.
This actually happened:

My MIL had one of the LifeAlert buttons. She wasn't supposed to do this but she went out on her porch one morning to retrieve the newspaper. It was icy. Her walker went one way, she went the other and when she landed she broke her hip.

She had been keeping the LifeAlert lanyard looped around the walker crossbar, so she couldn't reach it. She lay there in freezing temps until someone drove by, saw her and called 911.

Very unfunny.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:37 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,209 posts, read 6,313,926 times
Reputation: 9826
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Not so much cultural as the reality that most couples in the US are dual income. At the point where their parents need to go to a skilled nursing facility, there are far too many life commitments to have any option but a nursing home. If you're age 50 trying to accumulate wealth so you're not poverty level when you can no longer work, having a spouse drop out of the labor force is a disaster.


When my mother hit the point where her dementia had progressed to where she couldn't live independently, I was single. I had a travel job. I own a small house. My sister is 2,500 miles away and is even more of a road warrior than I am. I had no option but assisted living. 6 months ago, I had to move her to a memory care facility. That's 24x7 supervision and pretty much weekly eyeballs from a geriatric physician and a geriatric psychiatrist. I couldn't possibly handle that even if I weren't working.
I agree with this point. The lady in our bridge club is American, possibly Jewish, because sheís from Long Island. But her daughter is a stay at home mom.
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