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Any other only-children have anxiety about having to figure things out/care for for their aging parents someday alone?? For me it would actually just be my mom, but still.

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I’m not at only child but might as well be one in this instance. Advice if you want it... You never know what will happen. At the very least have copies of heath care proxy forms, power of attorney, and her living will. Unfortunately I’ve needed them all at different times -all on short notice. Having these means you can address immediate needs and having preferences spelled out in writing might make it easier to make certain decisions. Since it will fall to you to be involved, be organized if possible. Have a heart to heart talk with her if possible so you understand her priorities and wishes. I kept a little moleskin during my mother’s cognitive decline. Had notes and contact info of neighbors, utilities, doctors, visiting nurse, insurance, car dealership, driver, accountant, bank accounts etc., prescriptions and passwords. It was such a huge relief to know that I had the info in one place. Ask for help if/when needed. Hospitals have patient advocates, and social workers who are there to assist family members. Taking care of aging parents is an enormous ask even if you love them dearly and have good relationships. When the time comes, be kind to yourself as well. No parents are perfect, they do their best. Don’t expect perfection of yourself when it’s time to swap roles.

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Agree with all this as I'm going through it. Have conversations, start getting all the info together, and make plans for a few scenarios that might happen. Most important is to have POA, be the Healthcare proxy, and know what money is where, what the insurance/ Medicare situation is, and work with an elder attorney if there are assets you want to protect.

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Sort of off topic but does anyone who doesn’t have kids have anxiety over who will take care of you as you age? Because I have this fear on daily basis but I’ve never really been interested in having children.

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If anyone reading this is in America - we are basically fucked . Long term nursing home or even in home care will likely be out of reach for many of us. Medicaid (not Medicare) covers 100% in home care (a CNA staying in a private home 24/7) but you have to have less then 20k income with little to no assets (home ownership will disqualify you pretty quickly). It’s like a catch 22 - own your house but need a health aid 24/7 you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any care you need. Medicare only covers CNAs after a surgery or medical event....and only for a short time. Nursing homes ...welll ......idk after this past year I’d do anything I could to prevent a loved one from ending up there (obviously not always avoidable). Right now our best bet is having a younger family member to either take you in or move in to your home and watch over you (chances are said family member is likely not a nurse or a trained geriatric care taker so you’ll still need to hire one to wipe your ass eventually ). What we need is reform. We need change. We need to demand that Medicare cover more then it does. The one small positive is that there are about 69 million boomers who are coming close to facing elderly age (80+). Here’s to hoping the same generation who ushered in the era of “free love” and experimental drug use will also push for geriatric reform. I can’t imagine they will go peacefully into that nursing home without smartphones /WiFi/ Netflix/Hulu accounts ....Heres to hoping they usher in change that future generations can enjoy .

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Baffled reading some of the comments where some of you feel aging parents are a liability and forget all they have done for you. Would you be where you are today without that mother staying up at night when you were sick, changing your diapers, worrying about you when you were out doing foolish things. Reading some of this makes me appreciate my parents even more.

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No matter how much you care about your parents, sometimes they will become a financial liability. While one can choose to have children, or not. One can purchase various insurance policies to protect against accidents, disability etc. There is no insurance plan offered that helps with the sudden financial obligations of elderly parents. It can be challenging to save for retirement, so challenging that some of our parents never did it. There’s no shame in worrying about how everything will get paid.

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I’m in my 20s and my mom is still far from that part of our lives for sure. But for my entire life my mom has taken care of all four of my grandparents (just two grandmas now). They don’t drive so she takes them to appointments, the store, etc. + helps them navigate their finances while working full time and playing a pretty big role in our church. I can see how much stress she’s under constantly and she doesn’t always take the best care of herself. She’s also made big lie and career decisions based on the fact that she has to take care of them, which makes me sad. I just feel like I will be expected to be that involved because she’s been so selfless and of course I’ll want the very best for her until the very end but the thought of being in a situation like she is in now makes me very anxious.

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While I know it's hard to see her shape her life and career around your four grabdparents' care that is beautiful and she has set you a great example. There is nothing more important than loving and serving others. Her sacrifices for you and for her parents and in-laws matter do much more than extra money in the bank or a better title or more fulfilling career.

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Check out Masonic villages or other retirement communities run by the masons. My grandparents are at the Masonic village in Lancaster PA, and they live independently but there's assisted living if they ever need more care. And the best part is that whether they die or decide to move, they get 95% of their money back that they put down for their house there. Theres so many activites and they've made tons of friends. While they are farther from me, I'm happy they are there.

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Yep I'm 37 mom just turned 76, I think about it all the time especially with the risk of Covid, she gets her 1st vaccine shot tomorrow finally. My father passed away 7 years ago. My mom did me a huge favor and pre-planned and prepaid her funeral. I went with her etc. But it's one less piece to wonder about what to do.

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Director 1, be nice. Dealing with dad's funeral right now and one take away is that I want to know mums wishes in advance. What flowers, music, religious or celebration.

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I’m buying a too-big-for-my-family house just in case. If I have to care for an aging parent, I’m going to make it convenient on myself.

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I’m not an only child but my middle brother has a learning disability and my little brother is selfish so it’s all on me. I totally get it

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I’m not an only child, but my younger brother can barely support himself, so I know supporting our parents will fall to me.

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My parents are in their late 60s/early 70s and I am an only child. The older I/they get, the more I think about it. Obviously I want the absolute best for them because they have done so much for me. I remember watching my mom take care of my aging grandfather and it took such a toll on her. I dread this day.

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I am an only child in my mid - 30s with parents who are fast approaching 70s. My grandma (dads mom) died a less then a month ago and honestly watching my dad and his two siblings bicker and battle and fight over the smallest trinkets from her home is like watching children fight over a plastic toy. The last thing my dad said to his sister was “I’m calling a lawyer, have a nice life carol I’ll see you in hell with Jeff (brother) I’m never speaking with you or him ever again in this life - you can all go fuck yourselves “....that was last Saturday. At the moment I thought to myself “thank god I will never be in that position”. Having siblings does not make this process easier at all . Sure there is someone to share the burden but that’s not always a good thing if you are not seeing eye to eye. The grass is not always greener !

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When it came time to divide my parents belongings (prior move to assisted living), we went through every room in the house and made a list of the items that would not be included in the move and to which we had strong attachment. The list of items preferred by more than one person was revisited to see if we’d “swap” items with another. The list with notes was shared with everyone as the items were distributed. We literally are on the same page so years later there’s a record when memories aren’t as sharp.

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Yes, thankfully my parents are both in great help and my mom remarried to someone younger than her so I know she's not alone. My dad is the only one I'm concerned about because he still lives alone and most of his family is either in another state, passed, or severely limited in mobility. Thankfully my husband is very supportive of us trying to care for both of them as they get older. But it's definitely a five year plan for us to get to that point.

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Not an only child, but I feel the bulk of the responsibility will fall to me. I was just having anxiety about this the other day.

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My dad made it easy on me and picked out good iceberg already.

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Yeah as my parents age it’s also on me. I have a low-functioning autistic sister, so I’ll probably have to take care of all of them at the same time (sister has a lower life expectancy since people in her category typically don’t understand how to take care of themselves, although my parents make significant efforts so maybe not, who knows)

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I have started talking with my 78 year old Mom about what she wants when she can't live by herself. She has been pretty amicable about it. She also started putting me on her bank accounts if I ever have to access her money for her care.

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Not an only child, but I have older parents so this is something I think about a lot. I already do some stuff.

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I am sure as a mother of an only child she did well and raised you to be where you are today. Food for thought.

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Only child, and my parents are outside of USA. They are not in 60s yet but I’m still worried all the time. Even I want to bring them here with me when they old, I don’t think they’d be happy away from the friends and culture, and they don’t speak english

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At some point maybe you can find a community of other immigrants who speak their native language, perhaps that would help with the adjustment if you need to be the one to care for them. If not make sure your extended family can watch over them while you pay for caregivers and support as needed?

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