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Old 12-21-2017, 01:24 PM   #21
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One of my biggest fears in life is retiring then shortly later passing away. It is not the dyeing part that bothers me it is busting your ass all of your life just to be able to enjoy a few short years.

About two weeks ago I lost a man that I greatly respected who is a big reason why Iím where Iím at in my career. Unfortunately over the 14 years I worked with him I had to watch his mental health deteriorate to the point where he was forced into retirement. After he retired myself and several people I work with tried contacting him and his wife, we left messages and never received a call back. Come to find out shortly after he retired his much younger wife decided that she did not sign up to take care of a man who was suffering with dementia and Alzheimerís. She placed him in a home and moved back to where she was from leaving him behind with very infrequent visits. He got to enjoy the majority of his 1 year 5 months and 4 days of retirement suffering in a home by himself. When I asked about arrangements I was told he was being cremated and there no plans for a memorial services. There are special places in hell for people like this. So here Iíam ĺ into a 5th having my own memorial service.
Don't judge those families or spouses dealing with Alzheimer's too harshly. You note she didn't sign up for taking care of a man with Alzheimer's, but she may not have been capable of doing so. It can be a 24/7 job and still one lack the qualifications to do it. If wealthy enough one can afford to get all the needed help at home but to expect a spouse to be able to do so by herself isn't reasonable as the disease progresses. It can even be dangerous. I knew a man, who had many illnesses himself, taking care of his wife who had it. The nurse who came during the day kept trying to tell him he had to do something. When his wife tried to kill him during his sleep, he finally made the decision, but suffered from guilt until he died. I've known spouses who religiously visited their spouse who had Alzheimer's daily. I knew one who did so faithfully for two years after he stopped recognizing her. She nearly killed herself doing so from the damage to her mental and physical health. Every day too we read of Alzheimer patients at home who wander away.

I wouldn't want and, if able to prevent, wouldn't allow my spouse to ever suffer the trauma of spending day after day with me if I had severe Alzheimer's. One thing about the disease that I've come to know is that the family suffers far more than the patient in many cases. The patient isn't aware fully or accepts the reality but the family sees the one they love so unable to do even the simplest things, unable to remember what you said 30 seconds ago, unable to then remember you. They also say and do very hurtful things and you try to keep in mind it's not really them. However, I know a daughter who is a teacher and daily when she'd visit her mother would remind her she wanted a lawyer. The daughter had no kids and her mother would complain about no grandchildren. The mother would even confabulate (make up a history but in her mind it's very real) on some days and have many children and grandchildren and all the other children more successful than this daughter.

You saw Alzheimer's at it's mildest stage. You didn't experience not recognizing people, not remembering 30 seconds ago, anger and behavioral issues, incontinence, openly wishing one was dead, needing help for all activities from eating to restroom to showering to brushing teeth.

The right place for most advanced Alzheimer patients is Memory Care but it costs now anywhere from $5000-15000 a month and the patients even get to where they can't stay there if a threat to themselves or others and then it's a nursing home. This is the one disease I fear more than any other and more than I fear it myself, I fear my wife having to deal with it if I had it. I don't want her to sacrifice her life for me or to have to see me like that.

Now, I feel your pain and suffering but can't tell you had you been able to see him it would be any less. The last 14 months of an Alzheimer's patient generally is brutal for others. No, you lost your friend and mentor, not today but 17 months ago. I just tried to imagine the same with my former boss and mentor and friend and even though he's now 87 and still going strong with no signs of dementia, still working, it's painful. Your post is a reminder of how much he's meant to me. I can't imagine if he got Alzheimer's and his wife, the board of his company, others would face making him step down and it's a public company so they would have to. Just him no longer being able to play bridge is a terrible thought. I'm sure he'd prefer to die first. I know I would and yet that's not a choice we have. Yes, he'd have all the money it took to be cared for at home but to lost the company he founded and is synonymous with, to lose all his brilliance, what a horrific thought.

As to post death, both my wife and I have instructions for cremation and no funeral. We each have privately given other instructions, hidden in our safe in sealed envelopes and more likely instructions for fun things to do with family and friends. We don't want mourning, although not really in out control, but we want celebrations of our lives. I would carry out her wishes as she would mine, no matter how much I was hurting or how hard it was.
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:40 PM   #22
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One of my biggest fears in life is retiring then shortly later passing away. It is not the dyeing part that bothers me it is busting your ass all of your life just to be able to enjoy a few short years.
.
Wifey B: Hubby directed this part to me. All you can do is live each day to it's fullest. You don't know how many more you have. None of us know. I'm just a kid but I could go tomorrow. It's not how many years working vs retired, it's how many years enjoying your life. If you can while working, that's great. If you aren't, find a way.

I'm retired or mostly so and love it but I've loved every day working or not since October 13, 2000, the day my life became wonderful. I insisted on a fun life and corrupted hubby into enjoying it. Student may be better than teacher now but I don't think quite. The day we realized we could retire, we did. But up to that point, we made time to enjoy, we turned down jobs that could have made us instantly rich, we said no to moves to places we didn't want to live. Even offers from a man we both greatly respect but living on Lake Norman in NC versus Omaha, NE? Yes, I know, Missouri River. We were told how great it is. But tonight in Omaha, 20 degrees, then tomorrow night 17 and the next night 15, then 13, 9, 13, 13, 2, 6, 4, -2, 6, 2, 5, 2 before finally on Jan 5 the low is back up to 17. Omfg no. I'm a Southern Belle and could never survive. He couldn't either.

Can't tell you what's right or wrong for you. Doesn't have to be all or none. I wish more people could partially retire earlier. But enjoy this year whether working or retired. Don't wait for some future time to enjoy life.

As to how to enjoy, the way Mama Cass tells you, not necessarily the way she did.

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Old 12-21-2017, 07:51 PM   #23
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I often feel exactly the same as the OP, well I used to feel that way.

It became WAY worse after we bought our boat. For a couple of years I was intolerable to the wife.

She told me to be patient, and to not wish old age upon us too quickly.

Well, the end is in sight. I will retire sometime between 58 when my pension is due, and 59 1/2 when tax defered savings become available.

The exact date will be determined by how things go business wide between now and then.

To the OP...

This will all sort itself out. The kids will move out, and the rest of your life will come together after that.

Iíll repeat what my very wise wife said...

Donít wish old age on yourself too quickly. Enjoy today.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:14 AM   #24
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"Dang I hope my final retirement is more fun".

Fun is where you find it or make it.

I only know I have far less free time retired than working for a living.

Even shrinking the "to do" list to what I want to do is a very full day.
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:26 PM   #25
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Iíll repeat what my very wise wife said...



Donít wish old age on yourself too quickly. Enjoy today.

This! I sometimes fall into the rabbit hole of planning too obsessively on all the things we will do when the planets align and we can go off on our ďgrand adventureĒ, and I forget to enjoy the present.

Thanks for the reminder.
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