Taking Care of Mother
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
My first project for the new year is to find a place nearby for my Mother to live. She's about 3 hours from me now and there's no straight route to get there. It's one of those places that you can't get to from here - you have to go somewhere else first, lol.
She's a very independent soul and can't/won't live with anyone. In fact, she has never been able to live with anyone, not even my father who died long ago. Not even me as a child, really.
So she's been living alone all her life, although always very near her sisters and her brother. She was one of ten children and there are only 3 sisters left and one of them is far away in Oregon.
She's 87 and her health has always been good but there are limits once you pass 80. Things that have always been good become a problem, so now she has some diabetes, some high blood pressure, some high cholesterol, etc. etc. The biggest problem is macular degeneration which has left her legally blind. She sees the tv, mostly in black and white, and she can see far away so she can take a walk and go shopping, but the close up view is pretty much gone.
This makes it hard for her, impossible really, to read her mail and write her checks, and the 101 little things we do each day within an arms reach.
So I want to move her here close to me and my oldest son. I'm going to be researching and looking for a community like the one she is in now. She lives in a place run by Volunteers of America. It looks like a large sprawling motel with many units. She has a nice living room, kitchen/dining area, a large bedroom and bathroom. There are emergency pulls in all the rooms. It's not assisted living, you have to be over 65 and live independently to be eligible for housing there, but there is someone on duty at the little community center they have and there is a maintenance man that does all the little odd jobs for them. Rent is based on income and most of the people there live on their social security so rent is pretty low.
If you are looking for a place for your parent(s), Volunteers of America seems to have their act together. They have many potluck dinners and ice cream suppers at the community center and she goes to more Christmas parties than all the rest of us put together.
The best part for her is everyone there is over 65 and home all day. In other neighborhoods people work and there are no neighbors at home, but here she has many friends to talk to all the time. The first time I visited her there I said I couldn't wait until I was old enough to live there, lol. It's a fun place for old age to carry on.
But Volunteers of America doesn't have any communities near me, so I'll be investigating what other ones I can find. Once I've found a good one and put her on the waiting list, my son will help me figure out how to get her to decide she needs to move closer to us. It has to be her idea, you know, or she'll be against it on general principles, lol.
Mothers are always right, you know.