Growing old alone... Not really.

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    Aug 12, 2009 3:28 PM GMT
    Most people, gay and straight, are afraid of growing old alone. Everyone is frantic about finding true love and spending the rest of their lives together. Growing old together. No one wants to be alone when they are 85 years old. Since most gays don't have kids, we won't have anyone to take care of us in our senior years and that may scare some people as well.

    But will we really be alone if we don't have a romantic partner during our elder years? Think about it, if I am still single when I turn 85, I'll go live in a nursing home and will be surrounded by nice people. Some will be single gay men, some lesbian, and maybe straight men and women too. If I am lucky, maybe some of my long time friends will live in the same home. I'll be there with my old friends and make some new ones while I'm there until I pass away. I may even have a roommate. I'm sure nursing homes would have improved by the time I have to move into one. If I can't afford a home, maybe I'll join an elderly social group and get a nurse to drive me there.

    I'm currently single and live alone (in my 30s) and I'm ok with that—sort of. But if I live in an elder care home fifty years from now, I'll have a lot more people to keep me company than I do now. Maybe we should just accept that, in life, we just go through a series of relationships that last only a few years until we get old. Not many guys will find us attractive after we reach our 70s and beyond, but we will continue to make friends whether inside or outside a nursing home. See? I won't be so alone when I'm an old man. I'll be surrounded by lots of people my age and we can have lots of fun. Who says we'll be alone if we're single when we reach old age? Being single and elderly may not be as bad as we think.

    Discuss.
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    Aug 12, 2009 3:33 PM GMT
    Agreed.

    Does anyone remember the last episode of "Six Feet Underground"?

    There she was, alone in a room, obviously on her last breathe. She enjoyed photography, and on her walls were pictures of her life.

    Memories of a full life.......some good, some not so good. A life engaged with people and filled with love, triumph, disappointment, experience and wisdom.
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    Aug 12, 2009 3:36 PM GMT

    Hey enolcyc, This "No one wants to be alone when they are 85 years old."

    may be true but we can tell you that many married people do end up just like this, even if they have kids.
    Married doesn't mean you will both live to 85.



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    Aug 12, 2009 3:51 PM GMT


    Life is a journey enriched by those you let fill your life w/ experiences on multiple levels. A 5 min encounter can have more of an impact on your being than someone who has shuffled beside you for a lifetime. I've thought about this question many times and the end result for me is I want to share my daily nuances w/ someone. I want to grow as a man, a person and spiritually w/ someone. No relationship is a guarantee but a constant state of renegotiation as both parties grow and sometimes not in the same direction. No matter what happiness comes frm self first and extends to those around you. Just hope at 85 that you regret little and have enjoyed much.


    Live it,
    Learn it,
    Life it!
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    Aug 12, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    I visited my mom in a senior's apartment complex recently. I will die before I go to a place like that. I don't care how "nice" the people are (questionable assertion by the way). It is a depressing place. Everyone just waiting around waiting to die. Most popular topics of conversation are health problems and the food. Reminded me that modern medicine is an expensive two-edged sword.
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    Aug 12, 2009 5:08 PM GMT
    SurrealLife saidI visited my mom in a senior's apartment complex recently. I will die before I go to a place like that. I don't care how "nice" the people are (questionable assertion by the way). It is a depressing place. Everyone just waiting around waiting to die. Most popular topics of conversation are health problems and the food. Reminded me that modern medicine is an expensive two-edged sword.


    I agree.
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    Aug 12, 2009 7:41 PM GMT
    icon_eek.gif
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    Aug 12, 2009 8:23 PM GMT
    I think it depends on the individual. Some people look for that point in time when they can share and build a life with someone in a healthy, loving relationship. Others, prefer their own company to that of another. I don't think there is a right or wrong - it just depends on personal preference.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Aug 12, 2009 8:34 PM GMT
    Would I like to go steady with someone compatible? Hell yes. Am I desperate for it? Hell no. I enjoy life as it comes, making friends along the way. Some gay, some straight.
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    Aug 12, 2009 8:52 PM GMT
    We die alone. Nobody takes that step with us, even if they die at the same time. How you approach that step, be it alone, or not alone, doesn't change the nature of the step.

    Surreal raises an interesting and uncomfortable point. Whatever you do and whether you do it alone or with someone, do you ever want to find yourself in a situation where you're just waiting to die? Modern medicine can prolong our lives, but so many people wind up in shit conditions. Is prolonging life, without quality of life, worth persuing? Don't we all have an obligation to die?

    Die young. Stay pretty.
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    Aug 12, 2009 9:08 PM GMT
    you dont want to end up in a nursing home or any other eldery care facility
  • zakariahzol

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    Aug 12, 2009 9:17 PM GMT
    As a Malaysian men living in Malaysia , this topic is a big issue for me. Most Malaysian are expected to get married have children that will take care of them when they retire. My grandmother and parent all live their old age surrounded by loving children and grandchildren. Its part of our culture. We dont have a good retirement home like you do in the West, simply because most old folk are taking care of by their children . The old folk houses we have are mostly for poor people, homeless old folk and certainly not for a professional guy with it own house and retirement money like me.

    On this reason alone, I was pressure by everyone to get marriage. A lot of gay people here will get married (mostly very late) or at least adopting a child in order to have someone to love and hopefully repaying the kindness by taking care of them when they get old.

    I always said that my greatest fear is disablity.. When I cant take care of myself. Growing old alone can be a non issue if you keep yourself busy with adventure, fun and meaningfull activity. (time past by so quickly I forget all about myself being alone). However, how to handle disabilty...now that will be and issue I dont know how to deal with.



  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Aug 12, 2009 9:33 PM GMT
    Have you ever been in a nursing home. I was when my mother was dying from lung cancer. The place was clean, well staffed, very well run but still horrible. I will never forget the looks on the faces of the residents who had nothing to do but sit around in wheel chairs all day. It haunts me.

    I expect that I will die by my own hand. When I feel like I've reached a point where life is not much fun and I'm just existing I'll off myself.

    As far as having a family means you don't die alone, I was the only one with my mother when she took her last breath. My sister (the bitch) was in the lounge watching TV. My brother (the selfish prick) did not bother to take the day off from work. Both of them knew she had very little time left but did not bother to be with her.
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    Aug 12, 2009 9:39 PM GMT
    hmmmmmmmmm i thought one of the main reasons for having kids was to have someone take care of you in your old age. hmmm
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    Aug 12, 2009 11:25 PM GMT
    sounds like ypu need to read "The power of Now"
    [url]http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?r=1&ISBN=9781577314806&ourl=The%2DPower%2Dof%2DNow%2FEckhart%2DTolle&itm=1&popup=0[/url]

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    Aug 12, 2009 11:33 PM GMT
    I'm gonna have to make it to 85 first.. the likely hood of that is pretty slim.. specially with the things I enjoy icon_biggrin.gif
  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    Aug 12, 2009 11:39 PM GMT
    No worries, the world is going to end in 2012 anyways (Y2K Strikes Back). First of all, one of the places where STD rates were climbing the most is in retirement communities. So just think boyos, when you're 75 you can be doing exactly what you do now!

    Secondly, if I were to reach that age, there would be plenty of things to do for me. I would be playing or listening to music, reading, watching movies, and playing board/card games all day long. One has the power to make one's life interesting or totally boring no matter how long one lives. Might be something to think about if your only hobbies are contact sports and random sex with 20 somethings.
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    Aug 13, 2009 12:24 AM GMT
    I guess being gay and single has made me think about my future a little more harder than my single straight friends, possibly more from the financial side of things than the relationship side of things. For example, I purchased my apartment with the thinking that it would be some financial security for old age, and making sure I have either the ability to keep working or have enough financial security when I'm old is important to me.

    As for being single or in a relationship, that's slightly outside my realms of control. If I meet someone, it happens, and that's great. To be honest, I think about my future with the expectation that I'll be single; the reason being, is that I want to make sure I'm happy with who I am and what I have in my life. Making sure I have hobbies, things to do, great friends, be around family. If I meet someone then all the better icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 13, 2009 1:10 AM GMT
    KissingPro saidAgreed.

    Does anyone remember the last episode of "Six Feet Underground"?

    There she was, alone in a room, obviously on her last breathe. She enjoyed photography, and on her walls were pictures of her life.

    Memories of a full life.......some good, some not so good. A life engaged with people and filled with love, triumph, disappointment, experience and wisdom.


    she was married though...the guy died before her. and as for keith...he got shot from the robbery attempt....and his lover...well he never found love again because he was devastated and he only lived to see his grandchildren and both his sons get married and have kids...

    i often wonder what my future will be like. if i will be surrounded by people that love me or if i will be alone in a old age gated community..i seriously hope i somehow have a child..that will take care of me and show me lots of love like how im making sure my mom knows how much shes loved everyday.
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    Aug 13, 2009 1:50 AM GMT
    Wow OP, this is a very sad thread. However, when I go out to the bars, i always see old men always by themselves walking around holding a beer in their hands. They make circles around the bar over and over but never have a conversation with someone. It just makes me sad watching them.
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    Aug 13, 2009 2:00 AM GMT
    AggieMan saidWow OP, this is a very sad thread. However, when I go out to the bars, i always see old men always by themselves walking around holding a beer in their hands. They make circles around the bar over and over but never have a conversation with someone. It just makes me sad watching them.

    Yes that is JUST what they need.. your pitty.. your a terrible bullshitter, if you felt so sorry you'd help.. as it is, I bet you sit there and do nothing... just give them your pitty..
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    Aug 13, 2009 2:13 AM GMT
    After having worked as a Nurse in Nursing Homes, I have to say your thoughts of it is purely romantic, and not realistic.

    Many people who had found their life partner, end up alone, because one unexpectedly dies, or end up with dementia, and in many ways the person they fell in love with, is gone, may as well be dead; Just as well I have a spare.

    Your thoughts on being in a Nursing Home, with friends is also a dream, it very rarely happens that way. I would rather die before ever going into a nursing home, and so would many others who have worked in one, as they are so depressing, as old age can be many things but dignified, and enjoyable.
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    Aug 13, 2009 2:30 AM GMT


    ...hmmm I wonder what care homes would be like if they were filled with people in their 20s 30 40 and 50s etc visiting all day, every day, the people living in those homes.

    That might make a care home a very nice place to be......


    ...apologies, the volunteer worker in me coming out.



    -Doug
  • creature

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    Aug 13, 2009 2:48 AM GMT
    meninlove said

    ...hmmm I wonder what care homes would be like if they were filled with people in their 20s 30 40 and 50s etc visiting all day, every day, the people living in those homes.

    That might make a care home a very nice place to be......


    ...apologies, the volunteer worker in me coming out.



    -Doug


    So true. Reminds me of a line from the Golden Girls where Sophia was explaining the warning signs of death. #1: Your children start visiting during the week.
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    Aug 13, 2009 2:50 AM GMT
    Oh Godicon_eek.gif