Well... I was considering having children until I started caring for my father because I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I was a "late baby" (my brother who committed suicide was even younger... 10 years), so my father was 47 when I was born. I'm absolutely TERRIFIED to reproduce at the age of 38 now for the fear that I will get sick and have kids that resent caring for me.

Then I think I wouldn't be a good mother because I get so frustrated with my father when he doesn't sleep (babies keep you up at night as well), or I snap at him for ...whatever.

Finally, I think about putting a contingency plan together for aging. The short time I had Dad at the Independent Living (IL) facility, I would listen to the elderly parents that put THEMSELVES in the facility so their children could enjoy their freedom--so they wouldn't be a burden to their children. I admit I was a bit jealous. Why can't my Dad do that?

Then I have "angry compassion_ so to speak. Isn't it interesting that if an animal gets to the point where they can't function, they're put down, yet humans can literally suffer for YEARS (patient and caregiver) existing as a fraction of the person they once were.

I get it... it must be horrible to exist without being unable to hear well, see well, move around, remember anything, and be in pain most of the time, but should the caregivers suffer?

NOTE: I'm not advocating euthanizing humans... just making an observation.

...and to top it off, I want to SCREAM the truth at by standers that "commend" me for taking care of Dad. There's nothing commendable about it. I detest it most of the time and feel guilty for feeling that way every day.

....random venting I guess

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My belief that longer isn't necessarily better has strengthened. Living long and well - wonderful. Living long and suffering - not so wonderful. My loved ones know my feelings well and I also have put them in writing.

We often don't have any choices when it comes to how or when we die, but we need to make our end-of-life wishes known to that if there is a turning point, our lives go in the direction that we would have wished.

Take care, my friends,
You are an amazing group of people.
Helpful Answer (5)

Caregiving has profoundly changed my views on life and aging. When my parents started going down hill about 3 years ago, and I suddenly realised that I WAS ALL THERE IS, at first I just freaked out, then got pissed, "Why me lord" then got busy getting affairs in order, and haven't stopped since. And yea, the phone calls. I get a knot in my stomach every time the damn phone rings.

I was talking to a friend who's about my age and our Moms are both mid 80s. She was talking about how her Mom still plays 9 holes of golf once a week. HUH! My Mom might get out of bed once a week! Oh, to be so lucky...

And lord yes, the meds......don't get me started. At 60 I'm relatively healthy, no meds, can toilet myself etc, but I sometimes catch myself seriously wondering if I'm going to outlive these guys! How long will this go on?

We talk about life support, getting unplugged and whatnot, but as Freq Flyer said they're on life support now with all the medical procedures and wonder drugs. My Mom has not done anything healthy in 60 years, she's now 84, on buckets full of pills and will probably live to 103. I hoping to make 65.

If any of you guys are still around years from now and see a post from me that Mom is 105 and I need advice on controlling her insulin.............please hunt me down (Your great grandson could trace me on line probably) and arrange to have me humanely put down.

Hey. Great thread for whining eh?
Helpful Answer (66)

How my view has changed? Assisted suicide should be made legal in all 50 states, and should be expanded to allow people with dementia to die on their own terms, not when the disease takes them to the bitter, ugly, and inhumane end.
Helpful Answer (59)
CaringRN Oct 2019
@polarbear- I concur!
As I had mentioned above about my parents walking 2 miles a day and still driving later in life.... six years later you wouldn't think they were the same people. Seemed like every new birthday was like 10 years of aging :(

Modern science is keeping my parents alive.... without blood pressure pills and whatever else they are taking for their hearts, probably both of my parents would have passed on many years ago.

Then I look at Mom today, modern science has no cure for macular degeneration of her eyes and how she loved to read and watch football.... modern science cannot bring back hearing to the elderly who's ears have aged to a point no hearing aid would work. We see ads for calcium, and my Mom was big time taking calcium... now she walks so hunched over I am surprised she can breath.

See all that makes me not want to take meds.... and before I can't think for myself, I might want to sign some legal document saying do not give me any prescription medicine except for pain. Forget the blood pressure pills, and any of the dozens of pills I see my parents take. For me, in my opinion, it's just not worth it.
Helpful Answer (52)

Caregiving has opened up my eyes and what I see is not a very pretty outlook. Getting old is not filled with dignity. Getting old is very expensive. And, perhaps the biggest shocker to me is the realization that there can be alot of years between the time a person can no longer live on their own and their death. That time frame is what I need to plan for. For me, when I can no longer live on my own it will be time to be placed in a care facility and all medications except for pain meds be stopped. No flu shots, no pneumonia shots, no meds. My life is not to be prolonged by modern medicine. I absolutely DO NOT want my family to take me into their home and care for me as I have done for my parents.
To sum it up: Getting old sucks and I better have my ducks in a row in preparation for it!!
Helpful Answer (39)

Maybe we should start a group demanding that drug research companies start researching ways to not live longer. If the mouse dies we want that drug. I guess we could all just refuse treatment. Let our cholesterol run rampant. Smoke and drink till our lungs and livers just explode. I've got an idea for a new thread. Ways to not live till we are feeble and dependent on others.
Helpful Answer (36)

Taking care of my parents has made me dread growing old. What has occupied my mind recently is that it will only be 10 more years before I reach the age that most of my ancestors died and my parents' health began to fail. Then I think about my mother and father both having dementia and having a lot of dementia on my mother's side of the family. It's like waiting for the time bomb to go off. And I wonder if I am spending my last good years on earth living in such an unhappy circumstance.

I sound a bit like Supertramp's "Logical Song." We ought to rewrite the words for caregivers. There is one good thing if I were to get sick and die in my 70s. At least I won't run out of money. I have a feeling our SS won't grow as fast as the cost of living.

Gee, now I've totally depressed myself. I wonder if we'll see a mass Boomer exodus to Oregon in the next few decades. I wouldn't want to live like my parents have lived for the last 15 years.
Helpful Answer (33)

I would have to agree with Polarbear, however, medicine is all about "saving lives", not so much about quality of life. Medicine is science that wants to push the boundaries, the "go beyond the limit," "beat death." "How can we make people live longer?" Who ever said I wanted to live longer?

It is my belief that we all are owed a death, a good death! Not a death that leaves us not knowing who we were or who was our family. Sigh! I will have a good death when my time comes!!!

Just my 2 cents!
Helpful Answer (30)

I get it! I want to slap anyone who says caregivers are angels. And also slap the ones that say I am lucky to still have my mother. I love my mom, but caring for her is not a matter of good luck or sainthood. We are both unhappily stuck with each other. My mother has needed care for the last 10 years and it has been hospital visits, ERs, SNFs, and doctor after doctor. She is now in AL, but the care there is sub par because of low staffing, untrained staff, and inadequate activities. A lot of what I see there is so tragic because of old age and the difficulty the aged have with change, problem solving, understanding they are too old to do what they could before, and feelings of abandoment which leads to depression and anger they cannot battle well. It is not pretty and no one cares if your kids don't, or you don't have anyone else. I hate seeing how some of the people at the AL are like wanderers in a lost world. Their needs will never be met. Life sucks and they cannot expect it to improve and trying to fix it makes everything worse instead. For me, everyone else comes first. I cannot take time for myself so that suggestion when the doctor tells me that is just plain stupid. When I watch tv ads showing what a great life retired people can have, I just think, "Their parents must be dead." It's an odd world to live in where you love your parent so much and hate what that's doing to your life.
Helpful Answer (29)
BlackHole Oct 2018
OMG lyrskids4 - When I was in the thick of it, I used to envy everyone whose parents were dead. Sounds morbid, but I wished no harm on anyone (past or present). I simply “owned” the fact that there was only one way that my mom’s heartbreaking decline — along with my aiding and abetting — would end.

The “adult orphans” in my life certainly did not have perfect lives. But they were no longer wrangling addled, irrational parents..... no longer running interference with all the indignities..... no longer fielding questions and suggestions from every Tom, Dick and Harry.

I was ready to shed the stresses of caregiving. I was ready to not see any more damm deterioration than I had already seen. But the universe was not ready to retire me from that role.
Tinyblu, I agree with you. This whole caregiver thing came out of the blue for me.... for some strange reason I never pictured my parents being elderly... plus when they were walking 2 miles per day at 86 and 91... and still driving at that age..... I just thought they would go on forever.

A good friend of mine, both she [45+] and I [65+] have no children, so our outlook is a tad bit different. We both agreed we don't want to keep on living when we can no longer be contributing to society, like doing volunteer work. Plus it's not like she and I are waiting to see a child get married, have their first child, or that grandchild graduate from college, all those milestones.

I, too, wish my parents would move to a more elder friendly environment as being in a 3 story home with all those stairs at their age doesn't make much sense... but they refuse to move. Every time the telephone rings, I go into a panic thinking it might be bad news... and forget about sleeping through the night when one's mind is racing.

The other day a nurse said to my sig other how blessed he is to have elders [my parents who are now mid-90's] at that age.... he looked at her and said "I wouldn't want to live that way at any age, that's no life".
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