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Old 02-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #1
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Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

Hi! I'm 57 and have a serious mental illness. I have no family and I have a good husband. He is 69 and more than likely he'll go before me. I worry all the time about what will hapen to me and know I shouldnt.

Anyway, maybe someone could suggest something I should do. When the time comes to be on my own I can keep my house, there's retirement living if it's affordable, assistant living and a nursing home. These are my options. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me anything about these places or can help in anyway.

My psychiatrist suggested I could maybe get a smaller house in town where all my doctors are and have some service cut the grass for me. (smile). Yes I really do worry! With the support of my husband I'm quite high functioning and he's teaching me to pay the bills and all on line.

With age I worry about decline. Is there anyone in this situation even without any mental or emotional problems. Would love to get some feedback. Thanks!

 
Old 02-13-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

Hi there, first off- I have owned in the past what is called a foster care home (2 of them here in mt. about 15 yrs ago) these are set up like a small community of about 4-6 people in each home. If you can continue to assist with your own bathing,dressing,feeding yourself, this is a great alternative to a nursing home. my "guests" lived longer and i feel more productive in this setting than a nursing home. this was sort of an in-between stage from your own home and skilled care. it's called adult foster care and i believe each state has a list of licensed foster care homes. also, you can call companion service companies like partners in home care and interim home care, which service these homes for a listing in your area. in the mean time- get up each morning and look in the mirror and recite to yourself "every day, in every way I'm getting better and better"- fake it til you make it my friend. these words have power and can creep into your subconscience just like the bad stuff does. (smile). Good luck to you!

 
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:34 PM   #3
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

Thank you for your kindness and support. I'm not familiar with these foster homes but I will check into it. To me that would be an ideal living arrangment considering my illness.

I will try the mirror thing too!! Thank you again.

 
Old 03-06-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

Putting aside any mental or emotional problems, I would give this advice to any older person who wants to remain independent: Live a healthy lifestyle! That means eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, avoiding stress etc..

Here's a little known fact: About 50% of people in nursing homes are there because they are unstable on their feet. And if they fall down, they can't get up. A lot of this could be prevented with a good diet and plenty of exercise. Certain dietary vitamins are important to maintain our sense balance. (I believe it is certain B vitamins that we don't absorb very well in our older years.) Have your doctor test you for these vitamins to make sure you have enough in your system.

Exercise is important (walking) to keep your leg muscles strong. Then you will be more likely to be stable on your feet. Use hand weights to keep your arm muscles strong. If you fall down, you will need strong arm muscles to get up. Also, if you exercise, your bones will be stronger and less likely to break if you fall.

I have known people who stayed in their own homes/condos from 90 to 106 years old because they kept up their health, strength (and normal weight) by being active. Some went bowling 2 or three times per week, some golfing and others went line dancing etc.. And some did all of the above. But if you don't have these activities available, you can still do some walking and weight lifting.

And there's a good chance that all of the above may help with mental or emotional problems too.

Good luck!

Last edited by JohnR41; 03-06-2010 at 10:38 AM. Reason: word change

 
Old 03-07-2010, 10:13 AM   #5
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

Thank you so much for your encouraging post! Even though I'm not really old yet (57) I do swim laps and get other machine workouts. I try to eat right but it is hard with the medications I take - side affects..

I feel so encouraged! It's been my hope and dream to stay in my home forever. The mental issues are a big deal for me but I know first hand the excerise is a big help. In fact, I'm sure it has to be done. I see my pdoc soon and I will ask him what he thinks about the B vitaman and I will also get it checked now..

Also there is an agency that will check in on you during the week at the current rate of $15 an hour, minium 4 hours a visit. They will do shopping, housework and I can get help setting up my weekly meds.

Its amazing what a little encouragement will do. Thank you again.

 
Old 03-08-2010, 12:05 PM   #6
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

Thank you again so much. My husband is into natural health and has been trying to get me to take vitimins. I'm going to talk to my psy. about the Bs. I remember cod liver oil from childhood! and I don't know what that spurlinia stuff is.

Your suport has really been helpful! You don't know! I'm open to any and all additional information or support out there. There's a lot of work involved but I believe I can do it. Crosswords do keep the mind sharp and I go through spells where I read everything I can get my hands on. God bless you very much.

 
Old 03-08-2010, 12:28 PM   #7
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

In California we have an agency called "Aging and Independent Services"

This agency provides funds to pay caregivers to help with your needs how many hours a week you need. This program does have an income maximum to qualify, but your state might offer similar services that you could qualify for.

Look in the phone book under your state and city health services. You are smart to plan this out in advance so you can have the peace of mind, and the care you may need down the road.

I hope this helps a little!

I like all the other suggestions as well...aren't the Healtboards great?

 
Old 03-10-2010, 01:26 PM   #8
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

I checked the phone book and the only thing I found was "elderly care" and I think most people in my area, NW Florida, check in with counsel on aging. I will do further research.

I was wondering if fish oil caps would be just as good as the cod liver oil. Thanks again. I read where it really does help with my problem!

 
Old 03-10-2010, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

Any good elder advocacy program should be able to direct you to the proper agency. I am so glad your are researching programs in your area .I would think Florida would have good programs for their elderly, and even asking around might give you some more tips. There is usually a senior newspaper service in larger cities, which lists services for our senior friends. In California we also have Neighborhood Senior Centers which have a wide variety of services. I am not yet a senior but I am permanently disabled, so I have slipped into some similar programs that have helped me tremendously.

 
Old 05-01-2010, 10:24 AM   #10
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Re: Aging with mental illness and no caretaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeleft View Post
In California we have an agency called "Aging and Independent Services"

This agency provides funds to pay caregivers to help with your needs how many hours a week you need. This program does have an income maximum to qualify, but your state might offer similar services that you could qualify for.

Look in the phone book under your state and city health services. You are smart to plan this out in advance so you can have the peace of mind, and the care you may need down the road.

I hope this helps a little!

I like all the other suggestions as well...aren't the Healtboards great?


Just wanted to say "Hi", Writeleft. I've seen you around on another board and enjoyed your letters!

 
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