Issue 2.35 – Too Long

The roads weren’t the greatest. Still, Catherine decided to head out to Edmonton with her dad’s Kleenex and soup in tow, after being asked to by her mom the night before. Catherine wasn’t exactly sure why her mom had made such a big deal about it all. The store was literally a block and a half away from the Manor. Surely someone could have helped out. Mom also knew about Uber.

Despite her frustration, she did feel a little guilty. Yes, the whole thing seemed so ridiculous, but she hadn’t been much support lately. Granted, her parents called a lot less these days. It was nice that they were able to keep so busy with all their different activities and friends. The move into the Manor was the best thing that had happened for all of them. Still, because mom didn’t call all the time asking for help, Catherine didn’t go out of her way to offer it either. Maybe this was mom’s way of asking her to simply come out to visit. It had been over a month…maybe even two months.

Catherine also thought about how often she and her brothers had chatted before helping mom and dad move. They had called one another almost daily. A few times, her brothers had flown out to help. She had not spoken with John for some time, and had only touched base with James last week to wish her sister-in-law a happy birthday.

The guilt was growing. Not only was she feeling like a neglectful daughter, she was becoming aware that she wasn’t being a very good sister either.

It was easy to shrug it all off using the old adage that “the phone rings both ways,” but it wasn’t really a good excuse. Just because the decision-making period was over and the chaos had settled, didn’t mean that everyone could just go their own ways. Mom and dad still needed family. She still needed family.

As she pulled into the parking lot of the Manor, she thought some more about how easy it was to drift back into her own life, with her own family and her own concerns. She had to make more of an effort. She grabbed her bag and purse and decided at that moment that she would never go two months without visiting her parents again.

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The great thing about seniors housing is it does offer families support and piece of mind. That being said, a loved ones’ wellness is dependent on maintaining their family connections, however family is defined for them. While social interaction might increase for residents as they make new friends and engage in social activities, visits with family are so important in combating feelings of “being forgotten.”

The move to seniors housing can be stressful for families, but it is a time of increased interaction and communication between members. Taking care of aging loved ones can really bring families together, and it is rewarding when that momentum and frequency of seeing each other can be maintained after they have settled into their new home.

What are your thoughts on this week’s issue? Share your thoughts below.

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