DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a great-aunt who took her own life when she reached retirement age. She was a domestic worker for her whole life, and when she couldn’t work anymore, she lived with my grandmother and felt like a burden.
One day, she sat on a sofa and told the family that she wasn’t going to eat anymore; she never ate another morsel of food. She died some months later. Her rationale was that she didn’t want to be a burden on the family.
I feel like I am in the same boat. I have not worked for several years. I have exhausted my savings; I lost my home and have no prospects of earning income. My family has offered to take me in, but I would hate to be a burden on them. Do you think I should just stop eating like my great-aunt? It seems like a slow death, but at least I would not be stealing food off my family’s table. -- Way to Go
DEAR WAY TO GO: Your great-aunt’s demise is tragic, even if it represents her taking control of her life. I pray that you will not make that choice. Instead, if you truly have no assets, you can look to the government for support. While this may be an arduous, unpleasant process, you may be able to find government housing for seniors that will take you in during this tender period in your life.
Don’t give up. Do your research to find help so that your family does not have to carry your weight and so that you can stay alive and vital. For more details, go to eldercaredirectory.org/state-resources.htm.