Stopped by to see my 88 year old mother the other day. She resides in an Assisted Care Facility. It is a commodious operation. Her home now is a one large room, bath and (by her request) exceptionally large closet. It has a kitchenette. It is really very comfortable.
But, the journey to get to this home was fraught with several emotional road blocks. We had been prudent enough, a few years before, to enroll Mother in a Long Term Care Insurance program. We are, as is she, very glad we did.
That probably was the first step toward the eventual. It was a good one, because it came at a time when we could afford it and her health was, as it still is, reasonably good.
When I was at the facility the other day I was met with the presence of a dear friend who was considering the accommodations for her mother, also in her late eighties. She admitted that it would take considerable convincing to bring it off.
Maybe it always does. But, we learned it is part of the process.
Arriving at the decision to alter one’s life habits is a major 8.5 on the Richter scale event. It is or can be cataclysmic.
So what to do. Here are some hints.
*START EARLY: Since it has taken this long to build up to this moment, seize it. It may come in a variety of ways. Do not ignore discussion. Encourage venting. Avoid promises.
*SHOP WHILE ABLE: Look around, check out the options. Go for an ice cream and happen to pass by one of the choices. Drop in. Be casual. Look it over. (Be sure you have checked it out first). Take notes. Keep a file.
*INCLUDE YOUR PARENT: Don’t circumvent his/her right to be a part of the issue. That will only make it worse.
*READ EVERYTHING YOU CAN ON AGING: Do your homework. Know the signs to look for, ask others to observe. You will know when the time comes. It will be easier to decide if you have already practiced deciding!
*Soon we will go into the details for assisting the decision making process, determining the best advantages for your aging parent and you, and reaching a level of acceptance, mutuality in creating security, and enjoyment.