We Can All Use a Hand Sometime

Helping families find suitable options for their aging family members is what I do.  I’ve helped families work through the stress and difficult decisions many, many times.  I considered myself a capable and knowledgeable person… until it came to working with my own mother.

Being part of the senior housing industry, I have seen what families do to make sure their elders are safe and taken care of.  I have such respect for anyone who caring for their elders; it’s a tough job.  I know that all you want is your family to be healthy and happy and safe.

At the age of 78, it became apparent that my own mother shouldn’t live on her own anymore.  Being the youngest in my family and the one working in senior housing, there was no real decision to be made… Mom should move into my home with my family.  My mother was an independent person did not want to give up her freedom nor impose on my family.  We worked those issues through and she was with us for about 2 years.

Her diagnosis was dementia, diabetes and macular degeneration.  The combination of issues made caring for her more difficult as time went on.  Finally, her health issues pushed her care needs beyond my capabilities and beyond her comfort level with having me helping her.

Being in senior housing, I was sure that an adult family home was going to work out best for her.  I knew she needed more hands-on supervision than the typical assisted living community could provide, but my mother was adamant about being around other folks.

We found an assisted living community near my home and a nice little studio apartment.  She lasted there 6 months.  The community kept working with her to try to get her to integrate into her new surrounding but she never left her room, had all her meals delivered to her room and kept to herself all the time.  She wasn’t getting anything out of the community except for meal delivery and laundry service.  I brought her back to my home.

So, back to square one, looking into adult family homes.  I’d find a good match, set the date to make the move, then second-guess the whole thing and just keep her at home.  Making that call for the third time made it crystal clear that I wasn’t being objective and I wasn’t doing anyone any favors.

I finally tapped one of my co-workers and told her to treat my situation like any other client.  It worked.  She took away the emotional overload and help me make the moves I needed to make.

With any other client, I’m able to do just that, see the forest for the trees, and keep the end-goal in mind… but when it came to doing that for my own mother, I needed a hand.

CHOICE and their wonderful staff was the calm influence in the chaos, an important objective view that they could provide regarding the situation.  The outcome was wonderful.  We moved Mom into an adult family home near my home and she spent two more years happy and well taken care of.

And I became a son again.