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Old 05-06-2010, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 18,376,439 times
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This thread reminded me - a loner isn't always a loner out of choice.

There was a fellow at my FIL's SNF. Mason. He was 93 or so when we first met him. He was a "dirt farmer" from South Georgia. Although he always wore nice khakis and nice shirts when we saw him. He had lost his first wife and 2 children in a car/train accident in the 30's. Second wife and kids from second wife were dead as well. Only relative within 1000 miles was a grand-daughter who visited a couple of times a year. He was a "loner" - but not out of choice. And when we visited the SNF - we always tried to include him in a cup of coffee/tea or some small talk in the afternoon out on the porch with my FIL.

I remember him very well - because he always said his life at the SNF was about 100 times better than he had as a kid - and much more than he expected as an older gentleman. Indoor toilets. "Three hots and a cot" - and people to take care of him as well. He was just a very nice person. One day when he was about 95 - he fell down - broke his hip - and ded of complications.

I get the feeling that a lot of people here are very scared of aging - SNFs - illness - etc. I hope that I can be like Mason if I ever get to his age. Robyn
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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You can talk to doctors, nurses, grocery handlers, waiters etc. every day, and still be a loner. After all, you are a customer to them, so they are supposed to deal with you on the job. But at the end of the day, you are still by yourself if you have no families or close friends around.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
7,163 posts, read 12,842,551 times
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This happens to more people that anyone would realize. In fact I think it is becoming more and more common. The world has become very impersonal and many seniors will suffer because of it. We don't always find the neighborliness of years gone by anymore. Not everyone is a loner by choice. There most definitely are circumstances, sometimes beyond one's control that causes this situation.

We can outlive family members and friends we have had. We can move and the new locale just doesn't fit well, and the friends just don't come along in that new setting. A multitude of things can happen in life that will make one more alone than another. Not everyone is going to have the people they have had in their life forever. Its not always easy to establish new relationships that would want to handle this type of medical situation. Many times people just do not want to be bothered being responsible for a person. Especially if they are not related to them. Its sad to say it and it sounds terrible, but it happens more than any of us would care to admit.

I think before one became sick it is probably a good idea to request a social worker thru ones doctor. Or perhaps the Senior Center in one's community could steer someone to the proper people. Someone to go over options and what to do when the time comes in life to make decisions on this matter. I believe there are Fiduciary's that handle these type situations, and have on file the persons requests and act on behalf of the person.

I think in most cases if there is no one and the person is not able to care for themself. Well then I would say some type of continuing care facility.

So I think it would be great if everyone had family and friends in their times of need, and it pains me to say many don't and I personally see it just about every day.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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Families, overall, are much smaller with each generation (if there is a next generation in that family) and people, if upwardly mobile, often move around and afar for various reasons.
I think making and keeping and finding friends is the only way to guarantee company, especially as one grows older. That includes *being* company.
I have an 84-year-old friend who I have long phone calls with- we talk about everything, including consideration of growing older and living alone. (She has a daughter and grandkids in her town, and a helpful son some 35 miles away).
I talk with my 85-year-old aunt often and find it very interesting to talk to her. My father, 85, also.
I think the key is to "keep younger friends." And continue to be a friend, even if and when your physical abilities might be limited.
I will be alone in terms of family when my aunt and father pass. I know that friends often have their primary connections with family of origin or their own kids/grandkids. Not everyone who is alone has earned it, that's for sure. But I do think it's important to be a friend to others so as not to get, at most, obligated occasional visits.
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