Caring For An Elderly Parent: First Week With Mom

Blog - Pic 57“This is supposed to be the time of my life – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

The first week having Mom live with us in California has certainly been an adventure! And my husband and I can’t believe the improvement we see in her from the day we arrived in Florida to moving her out here.

The other day I came out of our place and Mom was actually sitting in the courtyard. I can’t remember Mom ever wanting to be outside (being allergic to light and all), but there she was sitting there with her dark sunglasses and heavy sweater. Did I mention it was 86 degrees out! I’m not sure how long she was sitting there because she gets confused with time, but I had mentioned earlier that we’d be going out when we were finished what we were doing. I guess she only processed the “going out” part. But hey, she was getting some sun and seemed to enjoy it; I guess we’ll just have to start wording things differently.

And what’s with her having to be on a schedule anyway? Yesterday I told her I was going to have a shower and then we’d go out; well I got to doing other things first and obviously (for her) took longer than expected. She called out her back door to my husband (who was working in the garage) questioning where I was. He knew I had just jumped in the shower so told Mom that, but she had to argue with him – “She can’t be taking a shower because she already had one. She must be doing something else.” Yea, I was doing something else alright – trying to de-stress in the shower! 🙂

But things are going pretty well considering how new this is to all of us. We’ve been trying to keep Mom busy so her mind is not focused on Florida. My husband gave her the task of folding  the paper that came in her boxes from the move (you never know if she’ll need it again!) – you should have seen the perfectly placed piles around her chair in the living room – too funny! I’m pretty sure she loved having something important to do.

What I Learned: Everyone has their own way of going about things – try to understand.



Caring For An Elderly Parent: Managing Mom’s Management

Blog - Pic 47“This is supposed to be the time of my life – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

My husband and I arrived in Florida about a week before the movers were to arrive – we still had so much to do. We’ve got the movers and packers figured out but still have to work on suspending utilities and phone, letting her doctors know she is moving, redirecting her mail and making sure we have all important papers with us.

It was important to make sure I was an account manager on all my mom’s accounts that she held – credit cards, utility companies, phone companies, doctors – basically everyone that my mom dealt with, because my mom was just not able to handle any type of cognitive work any more. Her bank book was a mess, she was behind in credit card payments, utility payments, phone bills – you name it, she was behind. And the sad part about that was she was paying late fees and interest for no reason – the money was always there. Poor Mom, she just couldn’t keep up with it.

I literally spent days just calling everyone to try to get her out of that mess. I must admit, I did a pretty good job! I got her all caught up in her delinquent bills and got her set up on automatic withdrawal for most accounts. The hardest thing was getting the companies to put me on as account manager. They (obviously) needed my mom’s consent which meant mom had to talk to each of them – not too much of a problem, but my mom gets confused easily and it was a little stressful getting through it.

So we were all set for the big move; as you may recall, Mom won’t fly, so let’s go get the RV!  Yup, we are driving Mom across the country in an RV. You realize we’d be home in like 6 hours if we flew, right? But hey, ROAD TRIP!

Should be interesting….

What I Learned: I realized that Mom wasn’t super woman any more – someone really needs to step in at a certain point.



Caring For An Elderly Parent: Mentally Moving Mom

Blog - Mentally Moving Mom4“This is supposed to be the time of my life – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

OK, so we’ve figured out where we all will live; the next step was to figure out what Mom will need to bring with her for her new living arrangement. Her place is much smaller than what she’s used to so she definitely can’t bring everything. Maybe we should just rent what she needs until we figure out if this situation is going to work – for all of us.

Well looking into renting everything just didn’t make sense, so how much can she bring and how will we get it here. U-Haul? Long distance movers? POD? So much to think about while trying to work it out financially as well – any way we choose will be expensive since we are moving across the country.

After days of calling around we decided on using a long distance mover since they could handle all the packing, loading, moving, and unloading. Although expensive, this was the most convenient way for us to coordinate things from California. There were less expensive ways (like U-Haul, PODS) but that involved doing a lot of the packing, loading, moving and unloading ourselves, which was way too much work for us to handle.  

This was one of the most stressful times for me and my husband – we realized someone had to be in Florida to see it all come together.  Time to call in some relief!

What I Learned: With being such a stressful time, try to manage things to relieve stress.