Whenever a family considers a move for an older adult so much comes into play. A difference of opinion almost always occurs along with conflict and potential hurt feelings.
Let me share a scenario with you:
Mom is living independently and is in her 90s. She is in her own home and managing her home as needed. She has hired help to cut the grass, plow the snow, clean the house, has a lifeline necklace, and even has some help with grocery shopping. A village of friends and a brother close by. Sounds great, right? Mom feels confident she can stay at home with no problem with all of this support. She does not want to relocate and spend excessive amounts of money on a retirement living facility.
The other side of the story:
Three children, one lives out of Canada and the other two live at least 4 hours away and have busy lives with children of their own. They are concerned because she has fallen more than once and has some injuries as a result. She is refusing to utilize a walker or a cane as recommended by doctors. Someone is helping to get her groceries but she is not eating well. Her laundry is down a steep flight of stairs and she has issues with her hips. The family home is starting to need a lot of repairs. Things are starting to unravel slowly and her children are feeling more anxious as the days progress, worried about Mom and her safety. One of the daughters has been traveling to check on Mom every two weeks for a year, but the cost of gas is really adding up and she is starting to feel burnt out.
Now we can start to see the different points of view. We can empathize with both parties. Mom does not necessarily recognize that her children are so concerned and wants to continue to be independent. The children may not realize that Mom is trying to stay independent as long as possible, continue to be the matriarch, and not be a burden.
Start the conversation early, lay all the cards on the table, and learn about how everyone feels so that when the time comes the plan is not a ‘reaction’ but instead an ‘action plan’ already discussed.
We can help guide you with Northern Ontario Retirement Living Options resources.