When you are older, – what are your choices for aging at home; at the point where mobility becomes an issue and perhaps your overall health condition has become a major factor in determining your very “declaration of independence”.
As witness to this over a number of years, it wasn’t as if we as children didn’t see it coming. Typical of the way life goes, changing health conditions (not with one but both parents) suddenly hit the tipping point. And the choices became more difficult at the crux, in spite of the things we started to do to help our parents live at home and bring in the care giving.
Let’s not forget the resistance movement to bringing in any level of care giving. After our mother’s mild stroke in her late 70’s, it took us a while to convince her to have a house cleaner. But later with the proposition of home meal delivery and personal care services, the resistance became somewhat agitating to everyone. In the end we all lost the fight, for as soon as we had set things up, within days the crisis came.
Christmas Eve in an emergency ward for five hours with one parent and the other rushed away in the night to stay at my brother’s home over the holiday until larger decisions would have to be made. We gave it the gallant try, holding the balance between respecting our elder’s independence and protecting them from becoming a danger to themselves.