I assume at some point in every child’s life you realize when your parents can no longer make sound decisions on their own. Or at least need some direction. I had no idea I would have to be making one of these decisions in my late 20’s. Mom is only 61.
You grow up being taken care of, nurtured, and loved by your parents. They are there when you need financial advice, career directions, you name it… they are there for you. Then, out of no where the realization comes that you must make decisions regarding the person that gave birth to you. Before you may or may not have your own children. Heavy stuff.
My mom is one of the most amazing women I have ever known. She was always a light to me and everyone that has ever known her. She has this ability to love and care for people like I have never seen. Her smile is contagious. After her husband passed away in 2004 from cancer she hasn’t been the same. I thought that moving her back to Texas from Georgia three years ago would help her. She would have my husband and I, my brother, his wife and her grandson to keep her company. After a year or so my mom still wasn’t acting like her old self. I blamed a lot of it on the big move she just had, but there were signs that something wasn’t right. She was having problems remembering things and it started to become very noticeable. I finally convinced her that we needed to seek some medical help to see what was going on. After spending all last summer at various doctors, neurologists and getting an MRI they found nothing. They said it must be early dementia. Special.
Fast forward to the last few months…. I noticed not only was my mom becoming a recluse and not leaving her house, but she was having problems balancing her checkbook and many other important tasks. I also learned that people had stolen money and taken advantage of her! I needed to find a way to make her happy. I was helping her with paying her bills, but I knew that being alone was also contributing to her memory/anxiety. She isn’t happy without social interaction and being around people. I knew I had to do something.
Long story short… I spent many months researching Retirement Communities and getting opinions and advice from friends. With my mom being so young it seemed like a crazy thing to do, but I had a feeling in my heart that it was right. Monday was our lunch appointment at Independence Hill. I was so nervous to actually take her because I knew she was hesitant, but thank God she trusted me. She was pretty uneasy walking in and seeing that most of the population was quite a bit older than herself! I have never seen so many walkers in one place! We toured the community, the apartments and then had probably the most entertaining lunch I have EVER had. Some of the residents were absolutely hilarious! Mom was the center of attention and everyone ended up coming by to say hello because they heard all the laughing and wanted to see what all the commotion was about. It was a special moment. For the first time in many, many years I saw my mom really smile. She was in her element. Around people and making relationships.
After lunch we went back to the office to ask any more questions we might of had. This place really is incredible! They have a ton of activities for people to do, they feed you (great food I might add), and have hundreds of other residents that are enjoying life. We didn’t meet one person that was unhappy!
She looked at me and said, “Let’s do it, I want to move in!” WOW… I had no idea she would love it that much 🙂 She was practically bouncing off the walls about moving in. She gave a deposit and we have 30 days to get her in! HOLY MOLY! Not quite what I expected, but we are going to make it happen 🙂
I’m not sure why I doubted myself on what was best for my mom, but I guess I was just scared. I never thought I would have to be making these kind of decisions for my mom before I had my own children, but I know God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. I could not be happier about her new adventure, this “cruise ship on land” they call it. And I KNOW I will have tons of fun stories about mom and her new friends when I visit 🙂 I also know that Independence Hill couldn’t be luckier to have my mom. She is going to be an amazing asset to the place and will have more friends than she knows what to do with in no time!