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Difficult Decisions…

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

The last few weeks haven’t been very easy ones for me. There have been some issues with my mother, who is 87 and lives all alone in England – where we have no family left and she has no friends. So when I say alone, I mean really alone….

There have been falls, collapses, failing memory and not eating enough – but the vagaries of old age mean than mum can’t see or remember any of those things (which may just, for her at least, be an advantage) and so sees no reason to change anything in her life – least of all living in the house she’s been in since about 1957.

Truth be told, I’m worried sick and am now in the awful situation of having to make a decision for her that she doesn’t want made. Its weighing up safety and food and companionship (the latter two of which I think may probably significantly improve the memory situation) against a hatred of change. We are talking about the lady who hasn’t changed anything (or I should add, thrown anything away) since about 1982. The lady who has failed to move with changes in the world in any way whatsoever and for whom even wearing a sweater that isn’t beige is anathema…

I’m sure you see my dilemma. Making a decision which the party affected by the decision isn’t going to like. Which potentially could make her unhappy, although I doubt that, she isn’t really the unhappy type, more the placid content type. But it is going to mean change for someone who doesn’t like change.

I’m going for a flat in a very nice retirement development – where there is support if needed and meals, but otherwise where the old dears live independently. It has to be better than a home, right?

Now we have to address the issue of how exactly we do this when I live a thousand miles away….

Wish me luck folks. I’m certainly going to need it!

Helen

14 Responses to “Difficult Decisions…”

  1. Linds Says:

    Oy. Been there and done that, only my decision meant commuting across the world for 2 years to wind up affairs down south. Never simple. And my advice is simply this – you will have masses of feelings of guilt at times. Ditch them all. There is no need for any of it. And please tell me you have the correct living power of attorney in place. If not, get one asap. It is a tough time, for you – for me too. Caught in the middle. But you have made the best decision. She will actually come to love it. Much love. xxx

  2. Edith Says:

    Hang in there! Those are tough decisions – much more so since you are not close. But you have to do what’s best for her. And I agree with what Linds says – she will come to love it.

  3. Catherine Says:

    Massive sympathy – my family has experienced this issue too. It’s a move better made now than later, it sounds like a splendid place, and in the long run both you, and she, will have a lot less to feel anxious about.

  4. Diane stanley Says:

    The amount of backlash will be well worth the peace of mind knowing that your mum is well cared for and safe. Sending you a hug

  5. jan - isisjem Says:

    First I’ll send you a hug. Secondly I’ll say the fact you’re agonising about this means you care and you will make the right decision. It won’t be easy but it will all work out and in the long run it’ll be better for your Mum and your peace of mind x

  6. Flying Blind Says:

    Hang in there. We went through that with my Grandma, but being in a place with the emergency pull cords and a chap on hand to change a lightbulb if needed, will make you both feel at ease (even if she doesn’t know it!) xxx

  7. Helen Says:

    Not an easy time but as you love your mum you have Her best interests at heart . And when she makes the move to independent sheltered living It will maybe take a weight off her mind too

  8. Lisa Ronan Says:

    Is there a possibility that you can move your mother beside you in Switzerland in a similar setup?. That way you will near at hand. With no friends or family nearby she would probably be just as happy if not more so.
    It is a situation we have to face up to for ourselves, planning ahead to avert this sort of problem while we have the ability to do so. I recently moved continents to come live near to my daughter, and so I have been able to make friends and a new way of life while I can. My main difficulty is trying to learn a new language, but I am enjoying my new life and I am relieved to have taken this step now, both for myself and for my daughter. Lisa

  9. Susie Says:

    A good friend eased my elderly godmother in to a retirement home with using it as a ‘respite’ place for her. Just started with a weekend here and there. She eventually got used to it. Oh I feel for you. My mum retired on Tuesday 4 mths shy of 80. We almost had to ‘make the decision’ for my dad but he sadly passed on. Hopefully no decisions for mum yet.

  10. Carol Wilkie Says:

    I am praying for you. A very difficult decision for you and one we had to make for my husband’s parents. But you need to know that your mum is safe and help is near. All the best.

  11. Lush Says:

    I feel your pain in this, I regularly have to make financial decisions for my son. its a horrible situation however if you didn’t care you would choose to leave her where she is & let her fend for herself.
    It’s tough having to be the grown up & make the decisions. I am sure you will make the right choices.
    Give yourself some credit for all the work involved & be kind to you.
    Lush xox

  12. Leanne Says:

    If you can move her to a location near one of her family or friends, that would be best of course. I often wonder why one cannot convince folks who reach this point to do what is safe and more fun. I wish you the best of luck.

  13. Katy Says:

    Oh dear, good luck with that! After my grandad died my uncle finally managed to persuade my granny (who was in the same sort of situation as your mum, no local family or friends) to move into a similar setup that you’re looking into, a wee flat in sheltered housing, but it was definitely a challenge, especially as the house was considerably bigger than the flat, and all the furniture etc had to be either passed on to someone or disposed of.

    My gran is 90 and still in her own home, but she has home helps to come in and shower her and things, she has an emergency call thing that she wears round her neck when she’s in the house, plus she has very good neighbours who do a lot for her. She gets baffled by her friends and acquaintances that refuse to let anyone in to help them, but she’s very pragmatic, so she knows if she doesn’t do that then she can’t live in her home any more.

  14. Shelley Says:

    Helen, best of luck to you in working through this tough transition for your mom. I hope that she knows you are doing this because you love her and want her to be cared for and safe. It sounds like she will come to like the new place once she settles in. Hang in there. Sending positive thoughts your way!