We talked to Mom about the senior facility around the corner – she knew people who had lived there and thought it was a nice place. I’m pretty sure looking at it will make her realize that she doesn’t have a lot of options here. So Mom agreed to go look at it with us – I think for more of an outing than a place to live – but we thought we’d give it a shot.
As soon as we stepped into the lobby of the senior facility I got a sick feeling in my stomach. Sure it was a beautiful building and well kept, but unfortunately for me, seeing elderly people sitting in wheel chairs all alone made me feel bad for Mom. I never thought of her being that old or dependent. So, we met with the Director in her office who explained how everything worked, and it all sounded great. Then I looked at Mom and she had this look on her face that said, “Do you really want to dump me here?” Talk about feeling guilty! But we continued on the tour and checked out the apartments (which were obviously much smaller than Mom is used to), and went into the dining room, library and courtyard. Mom was quiet the whole time.
And to make matters worse, just before we left, the Director pulled me aside and told me I better get Mom a walking aid because she was very unstable on her feet and would probably fall. I can’t believe I didn’t even notice or think about that! I’m pretty sure Mom thought she was just fine, being so independent and all. Not only do I have to figure out how to help Mom, now I’ve got to worry about her falling.
Well, that “outing” sure didn’t go well – there was no way Mom would move there. So much for that plan!
What I Learned: Be sensitive to their feelings.