The great majority of older adults would prefer to live out their days in their own home. This is also known as aging in place. The key to successful aging in place is making the home safe and obtaining the right support before a health crisis or other emergency strikes. Often times this is not an option, leaving parents to rely on their children. This is our current situation.
The hardest part of this situation was convincing Dad he needed help. That task took us more than one year. The continued increase in the cost of living was the deciding factor for him. I found this rather unbelievable. To us, my siblings and my family, the most important factor was his ability to care for himself and his ever growing loneliness, neither of which he admitted to. At any rate, he finally moved in last week. The first step we took was to prepare in advance, a safe room that would feel like home.
Our oldest sons bedroom turned storage room is now Dads room. The room gets morning sunlight and is closest to the bathroom, perfect! After moving all the boys’ boxes and old toys, we proceeded to patch and paint. Once that was accomplished, Hubby and I moved the familiar recliner and a bedroom set to our house. I chose several of the photo collages from his living room as well as several golf awards to decorate his new bedroom.
At some point between paint and moving furniture, we checked on transferring insurances, medications, and mail. Once Dad finally arrived, his first few days were dedicated to unpacking and resting. We had an abundance of household chores waiting laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping to name just a few.
It was a stressful month for all of us and now a full week has passed. Things seem to be moving along rather smoothly except for the lack of cable in his bedroom. He watches the lcd tv dvd in the family room. We know he can not wait to have cable in his room. The next stage of this most delicate process involves daily routine adjustments, teaching Dad the area, finding a new doctor and of course the cable install!
Isn’t it amazing how life takes us full-size circle? In the beginning, a child, being loved, taught, and disciplined taking much more than giving. At some point, life takes a little spin and you are giving much more than taking making the circle complete.