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Old 07-13-2019, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Grovetown, Ga
22 posts, read 16,214 times
Reputation: 113

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I've moved through life in a series of phases - the carefree single phase, the young couple with kids in tow phase, the stressed out teen parenting phase, the empty nester phase, and the grandparenting phase. I happily ended each phase without a backward glance until I arrived at this new one. Due to a job change that allows for her mother to pick her up after school, I am free from after school childcare for youngest granddaughter. I have long looked forward to having more free time but now that itís here, I realize that the end of this phase puts me one step closer to the phase I do not want to enter. The one that I dread. The one that Iím going through with my mother. The phase where you are no longer responsible for other family members, but instead are someone that other family members need to be responsible for. I donít think my mother realized when she shifted into this phase of her life - she only needed a little help around the house, the vacuum cleaner was suddenly much heavier and she couldnít see well enough to notice the dust and dirt collecting, and all of a sudden bill collectors were calling even though she was sure she sent them a payment but she couldnít quite figure out her checkbook. I donít want to go there - Iím not ready for that phase. Will I know it when it happens - will I care? As I look forward to more freedom and travel this knowing of what is finished and what is yet to come hangs over me like a black cloud. Iím sure I will work through it, but I think for me this will be the most difficult phase of my life yet. What phase of life are you in and what has been the most difficult for you?
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,967 posts, read 5,317,347 times
Reputation: 18042
You are thinking too much. All phases happen gradually and you don't realize it until you look back. Being a caregiver starts with assistance and moves to help and then to dependence. Child care is the same but in reverse. Health problems are different for everyone. Some never have any and some have them for decades. It's the luck of the draw. Worry about them if they happen.

Most people I know in your current phase are having the time of their life. I never hear them mention the next phase except when making a joke.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:39 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,441 posts, read 1,676,474 times
Reputation: 8726
She is not thinking too much, but going through a change making her question where she is heading. I’ve been in the same place with changes and then move on, as she will. Change makes for introspection which is natural. Joking about uncomfortable subjects may be avoidance more than humor, which also comes naturally to some. We all deal with it in our own ways.

To the Op: I’m in the phase where I’ve lost both parents now. My Mom this year, and I’ve felt adrift, trying to find my place in a world without them. We’ve traveled back home to visit every summer and it’s unsettling not to be planning that trip this year. It’s a variety of first events happening after a change I have to go through to find a new normal. An unbidden memory still brings tears at times, but it’s becoming easier as time passes.

Last edited by jean_ji; 07-13-2019 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,370 posts, read 10,361,162 times
Reputation: 28583
You are thinking too much and in the wrong direction. Yes, you have to plan for not being able to vacuum, etc any more but you should also think of what you can do with that time you've been looking forward to.


There's all kinds of suggestions on what to do with time-lessons, volunteering, hobbies.

The glass may be only half full but what it's full of is up to you.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:10 AM
 
21,923 posts, read 16,727,596 times
Reputation: 8732
Quote:
Originally Posted by goingstrong View Post
I've moved through life in a series of phases - the carefree single phase, the young couple with kids in tow phase, the stressed out teen parenting phase, the empty nester phase, and the grandparenting phase. I happily ended each phase without a backward glance until I arrived at this new one. Due to a job change that allows for her mother to pick her up after school, I am free from after school childcare for youngest granddaughter. I have long looked forward to having more free time but now that it’s here, I realize that the end of this phase puts me one step closer to the phase I do not want to enter. The one that I dread. The one that I’m going through with my mother. The phase where you are no longer responsible for other family members, but instead are someone that other family members need to be responsible for. I don’t think my mother realized when she shifted into this phase of her life - she only needed a little help around the house, the vacuum cleaner was suddenly much heavier and she couldn’t see well enough to notice the dust and dirt collecting, and all of a sudden bill collectors were calling even though she was sure she sent them a payment but she couldn’t quite figure out her checkbook. I don’t want to go there - I’m not ready for that phase. Will I know it when it happens - will I care? As I look forward to more freedom and travel this knowing of what is finished and what is yet to come hangs over me like a black cloud. I’m sure I will work through it, but I think for me this will be the most difficult phase of my life yet. What phase of life are you in and what has been the most difficult for you?
Do everything you can to stay both physically and mentally fit. Exercise both body and mind. There's no need to lose muscle strength due to old age to the extent that you can't do even simple things, assuming you don't develop some muscular disease. Keep the muscles strong through resistance exercises. And practice getting down on the floor and standing back up. Many older people lose the ability to do so, and it doesn't have to be that way. Use it or lose it.

Keep the mind active. Learn news things. Learn a new language for instance. And eat healthily.

You might still might succumb to some disease such as Alzheimer's due to genetics or other reasons, but apart from some kind of disease, much of the frailty that older people experience doesn't have to be.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:45 AM
 
Location: equator
3,466 posts, read 1,544,827 times
Reputation: 8620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Do everything you can to stay both physically and mentally fit. Exercise both body and mind. There's no need to lose muscle strength due to old age to the extent that you can't do even simple things, assuming you don't develop some muscular disease. Keep the muscles strong through resistance exercises. And practice getting down on the floor and standing back up. Many older people lose the ability to do so, and it doesn't have to be that way. Use it or lose it.

Keep the mind active. Learn news things. Learn a new language for instance. And eat healthily.

You might still might succumb to some disease such as Alzheimer's due to genetics or other reasons, but apart from some kind of disease, much of the frailty that older people experience doesn't have to be.
You make it sound so simple. Severe arthritis can prohibit many resistance or other exercises. You simply cannot make that movement, or it is too painful to do so. Joints start to go, and more exercise on them is not helpful.

I hate these sweeping generalizations. So what new language are YOU learning?

Back to OP, right now is the most difficult phase due to the above. Small tasks are problematic, some of them, due to painful arthritis. Inherited joint problems limit so much I used to take for granted: hiking, boating, horseback riding.

I try to focus on what I still can do, which is a lot. But I miss those activities that defined me.

At least in retirement, I can pick and choose what I want or can do. I'm thankful for retirement.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:38 AM
 
21,923 posts, read 16,727,596 times
Reputation: 8732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand&Salt View Post
You make it sound so simple. Severe arthritis can prohibit many resistance or other exercises. You simply cannot make that movement, or it is too painful to do so. Joints start to go, and more exercise on them is not helpful.
I did say do everything you can to stay both physically and mentally fit. Even with arthritis there are still things you can and should do to keep the muscles strong.
Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness
As you consider starting an arthritis exercise program, understand what's within your limits and what level of exercise is likely to give you results.

By Mayo Clinic Staff


Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Of course, when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem overwhelming.

But you don't need to run a marathon or swim as fast as an Olympic competitor to help reduce arthritis symptoms. Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight. When arthritis threatens to immobilize you, exercise keeps you moving. Not convinced? Read on.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/art-20047971

Quote:
I hate these sweeping generalizations. So what new language are YOU learning?
Ancient Greek.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:50 AM
 
549 posts, read 254,324 times
Reputation: 2241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Do everything you can to stay both physically and mentally fit. Exercise both body and mind. There's no need to lose muscle strength due to old age to the extent that you can't do even simple things, assuming you don't develop some muscular disease. Keep the muscles strong through resistance exercises. And practice getting down on the floor and standing back up. Many older people lose the ability to do so, and it doesn't have to be that way. Use it or lose it.

Keep the mind active. Learn news things. Learn a new language for instance. And eat healthily.

You might still might succumb to some disease such as Alzheimer's due to genetics or other reasons, but apart from some kind of disease, much of the frailty that older people experience doesn't have to be.

In addition to this, I would add have a plan in place for your declining years. My plan is a CCRC. I have a friend who, after investigating several options, plans to either remain in her home or rent smaller place and has money set aside to hire help to come in.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:11 PM
ERH
 
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC
1,159 posts, read 1,642,577 times
Reputation: 2048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nefret View Post
In addition to this, I would add have a plan in place for your declining years. My plan is a CCRC. I have a friend who, after investigating several options, plans to either remain in her home or rent smaller place and has money set aside to hire help to come in.
This! You need only to step over to the Caregiving forum to see how many of us are saddled with the responsibility of caring for elderly parents who lived life in the moment (and spent accordingly) and made no plans for who would care for them or what they would need medically.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,697 posts, read 1,878,296 times
Reputation: 11344
Quote:
Originally Posted by goingstrong View Post
I've moved through life in a series of phases - the carefree single phase, the young couple with kids in tow phase, the stressed out teen parenting phase, the empty nester phase, and the grandparenting phase. I happily ended each phase without a backward glance until I arrived at this new one. Due to a job change that allows for her mother to pick her up after school, I am free from after school childcare for youngest granddaughter. I have long looked forward to having more free time but now that it’s here, I realize that the end of this phase puts me one step closer to the phase I do not want to enter. The one that I dread. The one that I’m going through with my mother. The phase where you are no longer responsible for other family members, but instead are someone that other family members need to be responsible for. I don’t think my mother realized when she shifted into this phase of her life - she only needed a little help around the house, the vacuum cleaner was suddenly much heavier and she couldn’t see well enough to notice the dust and dirt collecting, and all of a sudden bill collectors were calling even though she was sure she sent them a payment but she couldn’t quite figure out her checkbook. I don’t want to go there - I’m not ready for that phase. Will I know it when it happens - will I care? As I look forward to more freedom and travel this knowing of what is finished and what is yet to come hangs over me like a black cloud. I’m sure I will work through it, but I think for me this will be the most difficult phase of my life yet. What phase of life are you in and what has been the most difficult for you?
It's called life. Deal with it. You are 'going there' whether you like it or not. I am currently in that heavy vacuum cleaner, less than perfect eyesight phase and it's not all bad. Fewer obligations, do not CARE if I have rugs that could use a sweep.

No one is ready.
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