Saturday, August 11, 2012

Preview of Coming Disasters

No, faithful readers, I have not dropped off the edge of the earth, but it's been a very busy month.  My mother's memory problems have escalated to the point where Dad finally admitted she can't be left alone if anything happens to him.  They've put down a deposit on an apartment in a facility with assisted living and memory care options and are scheduled to move there at the end of September.  My sister and I are touring the facility today so we can help them decide what to keep and what to eliminate, and then we're going to their house to start the sorting and weeding.  My mother in particular is overwhelmed by the logistics of moving, but we keep telling her that we'll do all the work and she can just sit back and direct traffic.

And, indeed, I have been doing some of the work already - notifying family members, hooking Dad up with a realtor, reassuring Mom, discussing with Dad which of his possessions (like his van, his golf clubs, and many of his tools) are welcome to live in the empty half of my garage.  Before this situation blew up, my sister and I had paid for a cruise - not the one in November we had originally looked at, but one for the last week of this month and the first week of next month - so I'm having dinner this week with one of my cousins and his wife to give them a copy of my parents' keys so they can be the go-to folks if anything goes wrong while Sue and I are gone.  I also have a date with my lawyer this week to take my parents off my living will, medical power of attorney, etc., and replace them with the same cousin.

Fortunately the contract job I've been working in downtown Phoenix will be over on September 14 and my next online class doesn't start until October, so I'll have a couple of weeks to help my parents pretty much full time with the final flurry of moving.  My cousin's wife went through a similar process a few years ago and I think I'm going to adopt her "day of the move" strategy: she sent her parents off for a nice lunch while she supervised the movers, unpacked all their stuff and put most of it away, and got rid of all the packing materials so they could just walk in and feel at home.  As someone who moved a year ago myself, I understand how depressing a huge heap of boxes in the middle of the living room can be.

Well, time to go pick up my sister and visit "The Home."

Getting old really isn't for sissies.

“Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important.”
~ Sara Gruen,
Water for Elephants


  1. Your parents are fortunate to have daughters with such sensitivity. This must be a terribly stressful time for your father, and both distressing and confusing for your poor mum, but your efforts on their behalf will certainly ease the pain of this difficult transition.
    It's good that you that you have some scheduled "down-time" to share with your sister - this kind of situation can't be easy for either of you.
    Coming to grips with a parent's increasing frailty is always hard.

  2. Hi, Nina.

    I remember a long time ago reading a column by Erma Bombeck in which she said one of the worst days in her life was the day she realized that she and her mother had reversed roles. Getting there fast. :(