Inescapable sadness ~ nursing homes
My mother in law has recently moved from Assited Living to skilled care for one month to try to get her health and strength back up after a bad cold and a few falls so she can return to assisted living. She just lays in bed and cries and says she wants to "go home" but we all know she doesn't want to go back to her apartment at Assisted, she really wants to go back in time 20 years to the big home with the husband and the kids and the white picket fence.
Getting old SUCKS. I can't even get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom without thinking that she no longer can do something so simple by herself. Then I lay awake for the rest of the night. I have been happily out of the nursing home scene for a few years and going back and seeing all the disabled and elderly who are warehoused there is just heartbreaking. Is the human psyche designed to cope with a healthcare system that can stretch out the lifetime of the body past it's being able to care for itself?
Getting old can be hard, sad, and expensive
In our area, the type of place you would want to live when you could no longer live alone costs $6000 or more per month.
I am trying to live my life so I have as few regrets as is realistic, and when I cannot afford myself or am miserable or just decide I am "done," I will have a plan in place for that. The challenge is that this is easy to say now; the heartbreak will come if I am not ready to give up on life but can't afford even a glimmer of the life I want, or my body and my mind have aged at vastly different paces such that there are no easy decisions.
In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to sit down with an accountant or other reputable professional and PLAN FOR THE FUTURE. If you are the type, also go see a social worker or other mental health professional or life coach and PLAN FOR WHAT YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO INCLUDE WHEN YOU ARE OLDER.
And in the meantime, hug your horse, and give them the life that you would want if you were in their "shoes" (if they wear shoes. My horse doesn't want them, but I know I will still love new shoes when I am 90).