Now that the house had sold, the “big move” was only a few months away. Catherine had been sharing how overwhelmed she felt in her weekly phone calls. Apparently there were years worth of knick-knacks and other “junk” that she was having a difficult time sorting through, and mom wasn’t much help as everything seemed to have sentimental value…hence why the collections had accumulated to their nearly unmanageable state.
James felt for his sister. He felt guilty for not playing much of a role in things, but it was hard being so far away. He also didn’t have the sort of money required to fly back and forth from Ontario, and would never ever ask his parents or siblings for help. They had provided some support so he could attend the camping trip, and that made him feel awkward enough. He reminded himself that John hadn’t been out much either. Still, James wished things were different.
Until recently, James had been relying on the advice of Catherine and John, who had more contact with their parents. All decision-making seemed to be influenced by them – well, at least the decisions his dad hadn’t made already. He had been unsure about his parents moving into a private seniors complex, mainly because of the price. When he heard how much it was going to be, he was taken aback. He didn’t spend that much on his mortgage each month! He had also read various reports stating seniors were better off staying at home, and there was a plethora of news articles about poor care and staffing in seniors communities. John had sent him information negating a lot of his fears, but still, he had been worried for his parents.
That was until he started doing his own research. James began by talking to some of the guys at work whose parents had moved into various types of housing and care. The majority of them spoke about how great the places were, and that their folks were doing quite well. Al’s dad had even started dating again after being a widower for 15 years! As great as all the stories were, the one common theme James had noticed was how at ease his coworkers were about their decisions. He remembered how stressed out Tony and his wife were when they were trying to take care of his mom at home. Her Alzheimer’s had advanced to the point that she would get frustrated and angry, and often they would find her wandering at night. Having her in a memory care centre, with trained staff and security was keeping her safe…and there were even recreational activities there that she was enjoying.
James had also come across more information online, including a blog posting about a resident in one of the seniors residences in his community. The resident spoke about the realities of living in a private seniors community, much like the one his parents were moving into. Her “no-nonsense” attitude and honesty was a breath of fresh air, dispelling a lot of James’ own worries. He especially liked how she made sense of and rationalized the expenses. It was true, living at home could become much more expensive for his mom and dad.
There was good information out there, he realized. His next conversation with his brother and sister would go a lot smoother he thought. He also looked forward to giving his parents a call to finally congratulate them on selling the house and taking their next steps forward.
We have shared the online article James found below, as it may be useful in your own research. There is a lot of great information about seniors housing on the web, and out in your own community. We encourage you to link into community resources, talk to other people going through similar experiences, and even take a few tours of sites in your area. There are many myths about seniors housing that still permeate, and we would like to encourage you to find out your own truths. If you come across any great resources that could be beneficial to our readers, feel free to share them below in the comments!