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Well, I made “the call” today. It’s the phone call most children dread having to make: “Hello, I want to set up an appointment to tour your facility.” The “facility” in question is an assisted living facility for my mother.
She moved into our house a little over a year after we adopted our three daughters what seems like eons ago. She had sold her house in Morehead City, NC, and had built a self-sufficient wing onto our house — bedroom, kitchen, living room, two-and-a-half baths. Her reasoning? “I don’t want to live a seven-hour drive away from my new grandchildren!” ‘Nuff said.
When our girls were little, she looked after them a lot. Mom and Dad could take breaks from parenting, which helped us keep our sanity (ok, many of you Ricochetti have met us, so it’s a debatable claim). Now that the girls are grown, we all look after my mother. In this case, payback ain’t a bitch — it’s a duty, but also a blessing. Even though we help her out a lot, she hired a professional caregiver (a sweet girl) to come three days a week to do things for her.
Unfortunately, our bodies deteriorate as we age, and it takes much more effort to do the simple things in life. At the ripe old age of 89, my mother told me this morning it took her almost two hours just to get dressed and that’s what prompted her decision. Having a part-time caregiver isn’t enough anymore.
So, my wife and I are going to check out this assisted living place tomorrow. It’s right up the street from where we live (close is nice) and my mother has visited friends who are (or were until they passed) living there. Even though my mother took the initiative to ask me to do this, I still get the feeling that I’m shoving her away.
I’m not, and we’re not. Still, sometimes doing the right thing sucks…Published in