Be honest: Would you be sad if your kids decide to forgo marriage/parenthood?

My parents did a lot of travelling as grandparents, visiting us across the country or meeting us for vacations. They are slowing down a bit now, but they got to do a bunch in their 60s and 70s while the GK were young and fun. We’ll see how the 80s go.

How did they manage? Very curious - I am looking into how we can age well without having to rely on family.

I think in this case, they hire a caregiver or are in a home. My FIL was in a home as he had dementia and other health problems.

Who made the arrangements to enter the facility? The application, the physical, the fees? Who supervised the regular payments to medicare, the facility, etc? File taxes? Arrange for and accompany on Visits to doctors, dentists, prescriptions? I don’t know any facility that will handle all that


Not everyone declines slowly and needs care. My maternal grandmother was perfectly fine until she had an aortic aneurysm at 86, gone in an instant. My grandfather continued to live in their house in excellent, unassisted health until he died in his sleep at 96. Neither required any type of oversight from family.


You were very, very lucky. Perhaps you will continue to be

Agreed. Just making the point that not everyone will need care. Of course, you can’t know or plan on that.


True. But the vast majority of extreme elderly ( over 85) do, so it might be prudent to plan for it

Very true! My stepfather is in his 90’s and he lives a lone and can still take care of a lot of his own stuff. Though he does have a cleaning lady and a gardener. We do help him with some things, like anything computer related and the like. And though he can do a lot himself, it’s always nice to have a second set of eyes.

It depends on the person. When my mother went into a facility, my stepdad took care of most of it, though my sister and I helped. The facilities my FIL and mother were in took care of doctor visits and prescriptions…

My mother at age 85 lives by herself. She still drives. But, my brother is responsible to make sure her apartment and car are functional. He calls and arranges for handyman to show up. He gets my moms car picked whenever she has any issues. My sister manages her medical care. She makes appointments and look at medical reports. I take care of my moms finances. I am the one who visits my mom most of the time, bu my siblings will go see her from time to time.
It would be a lot if we didn’t split up the work.
When my father went into coma unexpectedly, it was my brother and I who made the decision to let our father go. It would have been very hard for me to make that decision by myself.
I think we owe it to our children, especially if he/she is your only child, to have a discussion on how you want to be cared for when you get old.

1 Like

The CCRC where my mom was takes older folks in when they are independent so new applicants should be able to make their own arrangements to move there. The CCRC does have doctors on-site for physicals, prescriptions, PT, OT, etc. That’s a big part of the appeal. You don’t have to go off-site for any health care needs if you don’t want to, but you are allowed to keep your own doctor if you have one nearby.

Monthly payments can be set up at the time of entry. I would imagine they have someone on staff to help with taxes, too, although we did that for mom. They have social workers on staff who regularly meet with their folks and help them with whatever they need.

My IL’s live at home with a nurse who comes by a couple times a week, 93 and 95. My SIL is a nurse at their local hospital and lives near them. FIL is still driving and shopping (shouldn’t be), he drives to doctors appointments which are right outside their senior complex. They’ve both had multiple hospital stays, rehab, PT, we are an hour away and my husband drives there whenever they need something, pretty frequently, my one SIL drives 10 hours every few months to stay a week, another 4 hours every 6 weeks or so. They are doing awesome for their ages, but would’ve been pretty lost without family. We do have family meetings to discuss their care.

1 Like

That’s great that you are all somewhat close (geographically) to her. Back to the original question, now that I have read a variety of responses. I would be sad if my kids had no children, had no friend network, no extended family network to help them navigate old age. It’s FAR from the primary reason anyone should have children today in our society (thinking of farms that couldn’t be worked without the family-help-economic model). It can be thought of as a nice bonus if one was close to their children and there was bandwidth to help.
In addition to my atavistic desire to have grandchildren, then I think want to add the reason that maybe it’s a nice bonus at the end.

As for myself, I hope we (selfishly) start cultivating younger friends and acquaintances - I was already saying this to my spouse. One depressing thing for the older folks in our family has been the deaths of most of their friends (as around the same age from college or school).

1 Like

Same deal with my mom’s CCRC. She says the challenge is you need to go before you NEED to go. Her place is fabulous and she’s absolutely thriving. MIL was fine at home until her last year, and it was just too much to relocate her. Fortunately, she had money for 24/7 care and a lot of family support.

Many years ago I was at lunch with my mom and we saw an older woman spoon feeding an elderly woman, obviously daughter and mother. Mom asked, “Will you take care of me like that when I get old?” I said (sort of) jokingly, “Best care money can buy, mom!” But that’s how Mom wanted to age, and how H & I are planning our golden years.

Back on topic, I think as parents we need to adjust to our kids not living the lives we had scripted in our minds. It happens in a myriad of ways. It’s okay to be sad as part of that adjustment.


$1000/day! That’s $360,000+ annually + inflation. Are the aides 24/7? Can I be a tiny bit nosey and ask if she/you were just very well prepared for the costs?

Agree, I think we can feel sad and it’s not any kind of judgment (on my part) if one doesn’t feel sad not to have grandchildren.


Not HImom, but I wanted to mention that there are several different ways that CCRC fees are structured. I think AARP has a good article on it: Learn About Continuing Care Retirement Communities

My mom’s care was not $1000 a day, but we did need to sell the house to get the downpayment to get in. We did get a percentage of her condo cost back at the end.

And yes it was 24/7/365 care. Round the clock. Whatever she needed. Meals included.

Some CCRCs do take Medicare. Some do fee for service (which is what my mom’s does.) Some have a monthly fee that doesn’t fluctuate on the level of service so you pay more for Independent Living, but then if you step down to Assisted or Nursing you keep paying the same rate.

I just looked it up. My mom’s CCRC current rates for what she had are a $213,600 entry fee (this is what was partially refunded at the end), and $3154 monthly rent for Independent living in an apartment. Their current Assisted rates are $246/day for a one bedroom apartment. For the nursing home it says it is $380 per diem. They have different levels of apartments and villas, etc, but this is what she had.

We are fortunate that this far mom’s assets are sufficient to pay for her needs.

Thanks! Useful info.


When my dad passed (heart attack) he was a few weeks away from assisted living, he only had $300,000 in a cash account which he needed for a buy in, plus about $200,000 in other assets, plus his home ($600,000). He had no idea him moving was an option, he loved his home more than anything (and hated leaving it for any reason). The day of his funeral was the same day as my appointment to sign papers. His health care costs and live in care expenses really spent down his money.

1 Like