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A personal struggle with an aging parent

Created date

February 2nd, 2009

It truly is the dawn of a new day! My 95 year old Mom is finally moving to an assisted living. I have written of the struggle our family has had in trying to honor our Mom's wish to remain independent (her definition is living alone in her senior friendly apartment). She has short term memory loss, uses a walker, has grown very hard of hearing, and has become more and more introverted and socially isolated. The last 2 items are the most harmful to the aging person as the motivation to stay engaged is what keeps the mind and body going. ' Those who care for their aging parents are well aware of the ' struggle to keep their parents at home. We hired a part time caregiver who has been wonderful, but expensive. My mom's funds are getting very low. She has fought us about leaving her apartment. I was doing her bills, and mine, her food shopping, her medicine giving, and more. Up to last October, I did it all with the exception that my brother would take her to her doctor's appointments. I work full time and have children and grandchildren also. Last October, I was at my wit's end. I could not cope with all the things I had on my plate. ' I told my semi-retired brother, he had to take over. He did. My Mom was always difficult. People don't change when they age. They are who they are. And as they struggle to define their aging, some qualities of their personalities become more pronounced. And that is true of my Mom. And as typical, she made the decision, not based on her needs, not based on which facility would be best for her, she made it based on what most elders do: who was in the facility that she knew. ' And that is how she made this decision. When alot of her friends moved into a particular facility, she decided she should go also. For her children, this is a tremendous relief. But financially, we only have enough money to cover 18 months, then funds will run out. There is no special coverage for Assisted Living. Everyone should be aware of this. Assisted Living is private pay. Yes, there are a few small group homes that take Medical Assistance, but for the most part it is private pay. ' None of us can afford to pay for this on our own. But she loves this place and when toured, it was clean, bright, staff was caring and when we checked online, there were no complaints against it. So now we prepare for the move. The best part is that it is close to where we live. She will be watched and cared for. She will be around people she knows. The relief is palpable. The cost/finances will be fixed. Amen. While I am well aware of the challenges ahead, and the significance of this move, I chose to see this as ' a new beginning for all of us. Maybe that is why I see myself as a tempered optimist.