Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Moving Your Parents

Marilyn Ellis offers advice on Helping Your Senior Parents Move. Having moved my parents a few years ago and expecting to face it again in the next year or so, I appreciated her wisdom and advice. She addresses the concerns and fears of the senior, as well as the complexity for the Boomer who needs to make the decision. And the move.

Over the past year or so, as I’ve watched Mom become more frail, I’ve begun talking to her about the possibility of moving to assisted living. Just planting the seed. She resists, but I think she understands that the time is coming. She may make the decision voluntarily, but frankly, I doubt it. Unfortunately her health may make it for her. It’s hard to watch her refusing to make what seems like a smarter decision, but I’ve come to believe that as long as she is able to make the decision, it’s hers to make. She understands the risks and so far, would rather remain in her home. As hard as that is for me, I need to honor her decision. Her life.

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5 comment(s):

As you know, my life revolves around my mom and her life. In assisted living since May 2008, she still lives on the brink of disaster from a fall and the spectre of her funds running out fills in the gaps of any quiet spell we may attempt to enjoy. Every time I think I've got her "settled" something new crops up. I've learned to not expect long periods of peace, but to enjoy them when we've got them and to roll with the punches. Growing old ain't for sissies, and it ain't for sissy caregivers, either!

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By Blogger Dr.Rutledge, at 5:18 PM  

Thank you for writing on this subject of moving your aging parent. Moving my mom from her private home to a retirement home was a major ordeal.

We spent three weekends with her, evaluating different retirement homes, trying to point out the unique aspects each offered, until we found what we all thought was the the best.

Somehow we convinced Mom how her lonely life would change when she moved to the frenzy of social activities available at this new center. They had bowling, walks on the beach, dancing, yoga, and a social director with an abundance of energy and enthusiasm. They even had that rare commodity of old folks homes -- single men.

We signed up our mom for every class available, but soon came to realize that it was her life and that, despite our best intentions, we couldn't live it for her.

Sure, she made a few good friends but soon became reclusive, despite my bribes to the social director. It was hard for us to accept her wanting to be left alone at first, but as you mentioned, it was her decision and eventually, we honored it. It was her life, not ours.

-- Bill Grote

By Anonymous Bill Grote, at 11:42 AM  

My mom lives with us, but really just wants to go back home to her place in AZ. I do not think she was ready to become a widow and move all in the same month-despite how anxious she was to move up here with us.
She is too frail to live alone, but not enough to need assisted living-that is, outside of what care she gets here.
I believe that she, like Bill's mom, would simply be a recluse in an assisted living situation, and what would be the benefit of that?
Here at least, she is forced to sit with us, since she has a room for sleeping, writing and computer, but she must eat out with us and the kids keep her talking and interacting.
I often think of how nice it would be to have my home back, but really all it would be is me having to drive there numerous times a day. I just wouldn't be able to keep up with it.
Thanks for this wonderful blog! I also write about the sandwich generation, but I often feel like a piece of wilted lettuce. :-)


By Anonymous Amy Jeanroy, at 1:26 PM  

Sounds like this post really hit a nerve. Admittedly it's one of the most difficult we Gen Sandwichers have to make. We want our parents to enjoy their latter years in safety and comfort, but often they've reached the point where they aren't willing or able to cooperate. Let's keep sharing and praying for one another. It isn't easy.

By Blogger Pat, at 9:47 PM  

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