Saturday, June 09, 2012
I've been spending an undue amount of time worrying about growing old. My Sparkfriend, Rextine1, makes it look pretty good. However, closer to home there is my mother-in-law and the parents of some of my friends.
A few years ago the dear lady started to exhibit faulty thinking. She was convinced that her house was frequently being broken into. She had homeless people hiding out in the basement (crawl space, actually). She was calling the police often enough that late one night an officer called us and said that something had to be done about this situation. So, the extended family started staying nights with her. Now this was spread out over several children and grandchildren, but it still became "too much." The primary burden fell to WH's sister. She started pressing to have her move into "assisted living." It took a while to convince Mom to go along with this. We finally played along with her fears and assured her that she would be safer there.
Frankly, the sister, primary care giver, thought that she wouldn't last a year. Unfortunately, physically, she's fairly healthy. After about a year, it became evident that there were not enough assets to keep her there any longer. So she was moved back into her home and the family started rotating nights with her. It only took two weeks to decide that this was NOT going to work, so another placement was found for her.
So when I'm forgetful, fail to understand something, or misinterpret information, I start seeing myself being on this road to dementia. Unlike Mom, we only have one child and so far no grandchildren. Providing care for me is a burden I would not want to lay on my daughter (or anyone else for that matter.)
So we have thought about moving back to the small town where I grew up with the assumption that the community folks look out after each other. But the problem I have with that is I haven't only moved a long way away physically, I've moved even further intellectually, politically, and morally.
I'll probably offend someone here, but these are the views that would get me in trouble. I support universal healthcare. (OMG, I'm a socialist!) I believe a woman ought to have the right to choose to have an abortion. I hate guns. I think we ought to take "under God" out of the pledge of allegiance. One nation, indivisible, seems like a worthy goal to me. I oppose the death penalty. I support "civil unions" for gays. I think we need protection, as a society against corporate greed and corruption. The environment needs greater consideration than mining, forestry, ranching, and big business. Call me a tree hugger.
I'm 61. I need to think about how the retirement years are going to look. Right now, I'd like to think that the status quo will continue forever.
It's enough to drive me to a cookie binge. That would fix everything, I'm sure.