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.


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  • JENNY888
    I hope you find the perfect place for your Mom (and that she agrees). I have a very independent Mom also so I know what you are talking about. My Dad, who had Alzheimer's passed away a couple of months ago. I am amazed at how well my Mom has been doing.
    3087 days ago
    I will be praying for the right community for your mom. Let us know when the right place is found. I'm sure it is there, some place!

    Both of our parents have deceased so we are only taking care of our children and grandchildren, LOL.

    God Bless. Amy
    3090 days ago
  • JUSTJO66
    Karen, I will be thinking about and praying that you find just the perfect place for your Mother. My Mom is 80 and very independent as well. She still mows and weed eats her entire large yard. So far she is very healthy and active with her friends and church. I am very fortunate that my younger sister lives next door and helps her out with things as needed. I dread when she does get where she can't do anymore.... she's always been so independent. I know this will be a very stressful time for you, but once you find "the place" you will be able to rest in the fact you have done everything you can for her. I guess it's a rite of passage for a lot of us...but not one anyone relishes.
    3091 days ago
    I wish you and your mom the best. This is such a hard thing to do, and I dread thinking about what will happen to me when I need help. Sure hope there are still nice places like you just described .

    3091 days ago
    Let us know where your Mom finally moved to. Someplace close, I hope.
    3091 days ago
  • MOGAL1946
    Hope you find something that will make everyone happy! Both my parents have passed on, so have never had the experience of caretaker for elderly parents. Wishing you the best.
    3093 days ago
    I'll be watching for updates about your Mother. I'm the legal guardian for my 76 year old mentally handicapped brother and housing has always been an issue for us.
    3093 days ago
    I hope you find the perfect place for your Mom Karen, I'm sure even though she likes to spend time alone, it will be a great comfort knowing you're not too far away.
    She's a lucky lady to have you looking out for her.

    3093 days ago
    I wish you luck with your endeavor. My parents have been gone for a long time. I remember all the things we had to do to get my mother a place too. Keep strong.
    3094 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/30/2009 8:55:23 PM
    My mom and dad got settled into their complex about 5 weeks before mom died from COPD complications. Dad is still there. It sounds a lot like what you mom is in. It is run by Holiday retirement corporation. He has his own apartment, they have a dining area which serves 3 meals a day, cleaning of apartment 1 time a week, pull cords in the apartment. He is content sometimes I think to content because he doesnt get out and do anything.

    It sure is hard to know how and what to do for our aging parents. Dad is 85 and really in excellent health, but his mind is starting to show signs of Alzheimers/demential.

    I'm sure you will find something close that will work and that your son can help convincing her to move.

    Good luck. PJ emoticon
    3094 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I wish you much luck, Karen and am thankful that she is in such good condition, generally. My mother went from AL to AFC (Adult Foster Care) within 4 months because the first move pushed her over the edge and she was developing Alzheimer's which blossomed after that. My dad had died 9 months before. All in all it amazes me when people actually enjoy their parents' golden years.

    You are so resourceful that I know you will find the perfect place for mom and she will love it.
    3094 days ago
    I understand what you mean. There are some good Assisted Livings. I volunteer at some. At one time, we were looking for one for my dad when he was living. I got some questions from a man that owns an AL. So I was prepared when I visited several. Dad didn't ever go to one.He died before we moved him.
    There are also some questions to ask on the internet. Good luck.

    My mother is almost 87. She has health problems, but still lives at home. At this time, she has 2 caregivers. One comes 3 days a week and the other one 2 days a week. She is used to having one five days a week for five hours. At this point, five hours is enough. Fortunately, my brothers live not too far away. They work full time, but help her on the weekends. We go down once a month, unless she needs us more. I like the agency that we use. Kay
    3094 days ago
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