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
Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are making a killing off people who think they need all this stuff.
My sig other daughter  and her husband it's another story.... they are always keeping up with the Jones's, apparently no one told them the Jones's are in major debt..... good grief, when their first child was born they had to get the same highchair that singer Brittany Spears had gotten for her child.... plus new cars every two years.... and heaven forbid the daughter can't leave the house without wearing $200 jeans. And they are looking for a McMansion to buy because their house is "too small". They have almost zero in savings.
Apparently from what I read in other research the term Golden Years is in part from the term Golden Age, which goes back to the Romans and Caesar... don't think Bowie is THAT old :P
I can't even begin to imagine the burden these people are going to place on the security net systems when they get to be our age. They'll probably expect nursing homes to have WiFi and free Internet accounts, IKEA furniture, and Wall Street speakers that address their portfolio management rather than musicians who provide entertainment. Maybe they'll even want branch banking in the facility as well.
It's interesting how the term has changed throughout history, especially that the Roman Empire could be considered a golden age.
Your comment on vehicles reminded me of the inclusion now of so many gadgets and features that aren't necessarily related to safety or better driving.
I used to think that video cameras were a waste of money, but eventually I realized that they can help older people who have become stiff and can't turn their necks easily to back up.
Regarding granite counter tops, one can't sell a house today without them in the kitchen and all the bathrooms. When I remodel my kitchen, I will replace my old butcher block with new butcher block... one can make just a good a sandwich on butcher block as with granite, the money saved can buy a lot of bread and cold cuts :)
My use of the term 'young whippersnappers' is not original to me, but maybe grandparents used that term.
When my grand-daughter was growing up, she asked me what "Behave" meant.
Good one, sendme. :)
Health care might be a bit more affordable if the people of our nation ate responsibly and took care of their health and our insurance was a reasonable cost. Personally I end up paying $4,000 plus dollars to cover my husband's health insurance a year. That's disposable income I don't have. We haven't had to use our insurance. We also take care of our health, don't spend beyond our means either. 16 years ago I made $18,000 less per year and I had disposable income. Now living expenses are so incredibly high that I don't have that disposable income anymore - even making more money and I live even with less than I did then and do live responsibly still. Our petroleum thirst and that energy cost has driven up the cost of everything. Everyone seems to be jumping on the making the middle class dissolve into the less than, so all we have left is the "haves" and the have-nots" a push that I've seen politically since 2000.
I feel pretty lucky that we had enough funds to get a little caregiver help, plus the hospice workers who helped me as much as my mom and dad. Some family members helped while others shied away. Seeing someone else in their last months, weeks and days of life isn't for everyone - it makes you look at your own death. It's inevitable. When my now husband and I buried my dad, it was just us and just wanted my dad (and my mom) wanted. Peaceful, private, and like a time-honored ritual you see in the movies where the hero is wrapped, sent out on a flat boat, then the marksmen shoot their flaming arrows into the night sky. It wasn't that dramatic, but it felt calm and honorable to the very core. Both of my parents left this earthly plane gently, with great dignity - that's what they wanted and that's what I want.
The most unconventional thing I did during my mom's last months was to get a hypnosis/regression session and it was a phenomenal life changing event. There's a saying that we're not humans having a spiritual experience, but we're spirits having a human experience. I really get that now.
Having said all that it sure sucks when these old bodies start to fall apart and it would be nice if we had the choice whether to prolong this earthly human experience or not.
And student loan grants need to be focused more on STEM and valuable, marketable careers so students can pay back the loans after getting jobs in fields that are needed.
As to eating healthy, there's been an interesting report that neonicitinoids have been discovered in food prepared for congressional folks. Maybe that will wake up some people to the danger of food that's not grown organically.
With all due respect, my point is that the average American cannot afford to pay for NH care. We are a poor nation actually. I am not concerned about the students affording their tuition, but merely making a point about what it takes to save for your kids college fund vs saving $96,000/year for one person to live in a NH. Folks don't have the money to live their lives as our parents did and add to that equation saving for their demise in a NH so they aren't a burden on their children or our society. I think our health care system (insurance companies, Big-Pharma, and the docs are all in bed together collecting the cash). If you think for one minute that there will be a cure for cancer and kill the goose that lays the golden egg for the above group???? Don't think so.
"...There is 1% of the Americans that control 43% of the wealth in this country. "The average annual income of the top 1 percent of the population is $717,000, compared to the average income of the rest of the population, which is around $51,000." see Forbes
As to eating healthy, I'm in agreement with you. However, the same folks who create Bayer aspirin and other medical products are producing pesticide to spray our food crops, polluting our ground water with atrizine, and promoting the use of GMO crops. The neonics in the pesticides are killing the bees and is in our food. Hmmmm....bees are needed for pollination which in turn is needed for our crops to produce our food. How many of that prosperous population care about that? Lots of lobbying going on to keep folks in the dark about GMO's and that they are in our food and which foods.
I believe we need to buckle down ourselves and actually open our eyes to see what is going on in this world and this nation BEFORE it is too late.
What about the drugs that are managing the drugs that so many people are on. I just spoke with a PT guy who said the average person he visits is on more than 12 drugs and up to 25. How can your body know what to do with all of that poison? It is said that after about 5 to 7 drugs, you will need additional drugs to manage the symptoms that the 5-7 drugs are causing a person.
It's all about the money.
I was raised by 2 strong hard working parents. I watched them only eat the right foods, do exactly what the docs said and plenty of exercise. My Mom loved crossword puzzles (the hard ones) and my Dad loved his Braves playing baseball. They chewed gum and blew bubbles all thru each season of baseball. Even wore their Braves hats.
I watched the begin to go downhill.....because when dementia began working on my Mom, it also affected my Dad. As she went down, so did he. These 2 strong people were suddenly very humble and weak. They would freak out if someone called to try and get money, they would freak about something simple coming in the mail. It began a role reversal that I never planned in my future. My Mom would tell people that she used to be the Mom, but now she was the daughter and I was her Mom. That would just burn me a new one! But......later on, it became true. I had to make the decisions for both of them...pay their monthly bills, handle their appointments, handle their medical issues and medication. They both depended on me for everything.
I lived right next door to them, so I could be at their house in a matter of seconds if anything was wrong.....I did this for several years as well as working full time. When Mom got worse & my Dad was following.....I went to part time. It was during this time I was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. Just another little stress factor to add on to an already growing factor. Then came the day I had to be there full time for both of them.........that lasted for 2 years and then my Dad passed and my Mom followed 5 months later.
Will I ever be the same? NO Have I changed? YES
I wonder how I will change. I saw my parents live right, eat right, get plenty of exercise and love each other to the end.
And I ask myself.....FOR WHAT? FOR WHAT? TO LIVE LONGER???? FOR WHAT? Now if I could be healthy and strong like my Aunts, I wouldn't mind. They lived alone...and didn't depend on anyone.
Now......I sit and wonder, as my eyesight keeps fading, what is going to happen to me? I don't want myself to be a burden to my son or to my husband or to ANYONE!
Enough to where I have told them to lead me to the garage, give me the key and make sure I know how to turn it on....then GOOOOO AWAY...so I can go away on my own terms....Well, neither my husband or my son agrees to this...but I do not want them to go thru this....I never want them to feel these feelings that I have dealt with or the emotional merry go round that you can never exit.
Be the same????? NEVER!
Feel happy that you were able to care for your parents and as far as what the future holds. Well I've decided I can clench my fists and freak out about whats going to happen or just live in the moment. I figure I'll just try living in the moment cause the alternative is to spend each day dreading my old age which is going to come no matter what I do. And it might not. I might get killed crossing the street tomorrow. So why worry about something that may never happen. Thats how I get by anyways.
As for the site being sad, oh yeah! After I lost my parents, I posted maybe once or twice. Then I deleted my account. I wasn't coming back. (whatever).....Then slowly I began coming back, maybe trying to find answers or maybe be with people who understood. The site wouldn't let me sign back in under the same name and password....but I was hoping someone would remember me. We hold each other up!