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I have often wondered about this. Here's my/our story. I'd be interested to read others'!

We retired early, in our sixties, not totally voluntarily, at least in part because my wife's mom needed caring for. Her husband had died and there were no other family members who could or would help. She was always wonderful to me and to her daughter (my wife), so it was a joint effort on our part, without hesitation.

At the same time, my late dad's health was also going, so we found him a place in a nearby Lutheran Home -- a fabulous find back then. He was NOT Lutheran, either. Not sure if it is still available, but they gave him his own mini-apartment (bedroom, TV area, bathroom, kitchenette, dining area) PLUS one meal a day in the facility dining room, all for half of his SS income, which was very small then! It was an incredible bargain! Sadly, though, my dad passed away (at 89) about a year and a half later.

We helped my MIL sell her home in Florida, where they had retired, and socked that away for her; she eventually needed almost all of it for nursing home costs. (Thankfully, she had those resources. The drain on ours would have been awful.) We moved her up to be with us for a while, but we all knew we needed our space, so we moved her to a small rental unit nearby. My wife looked in one her almost daily, and cooked meals and froze or stored them for her, but she began not to use those as time went by.

For a while, we'd have three grocery orders -- ours, my dad's, and her mom's. It was sort of humorous, in a way, especially watching for low-salt foods, other special health needs, etc.

We had long ago decided to move to this lovely state and bought this home. We moved her in with us, on the other level, in her own room, with her own bath, her own phone line, etc. That worked for a year, but her dementia began to worsen greatly, along with other health issues. VNA was a BIG help, by the way; contact them if you need help.

As things happen, she eventually had a stroke and had to go to from the hospital to a nursing home instead of returning here. At our age, especially, we simply could not cope with her needs here. She eventually passed away about another 6 months after that.

The years have been difficult at times, but there were loving moments, too, and our children participated somewhat, until they went off to school, etc.

We're now in our older years, ourselves, but grateful to have this lovely home we wanted, each other, and loving adult children scattered about. We're not wealthy by any means, but we manage, so far!

So that's my tale.

I don't mean to make this thread maudlin! Life hands us all "stuff", including our own problems and those of family, along with the joys. May all of you find strength and love to deal with what comes.

Care to share?

Peace.

Retired Vermonter
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