To Each in Her Own Time

November 3, 2014

I can speak out of both sides of my mouth on this one… this business of assisted living. The 58-year-old version of me feels pretty darn resolute about the idea of aging in place, that is, staying in one’s home, thriving on one’s own sense of independence and surrounded by familiarity and serenity.

But there was no question, sitting down today with the 93-year-old version of June, that assisted living is the place to be, at least for June, at least now. She sat in her favorite chair (the motorized one that can be raised to help her stand) in a sparsely (though totally adequately) furnished apartment, thermostat set to 74 (but thermometer registering 78), sun streaming in. She fell contentedly to sleep a couple of times as we spoke. We’d put a load of laundry in (just down the hall!), re-hung the clock, reset the levels on her hearing aids, hunted for a couple of misplaced items and then settled in to chat. Before nodding off, she said (a couple of times), “I really like it here.”

She gets a lot of exercise walking the halls, she loves the food, she’s started to reach out to a couple of folks.  It’s quiet and easy. She’s happy. I’m happy for her.

My mom? Come hell or high water, she’s never leaving her house.

For me, us?  I just can’t imagine being anywhere but home. But I allow that there may very well come a time when simple and accessible is best. Not passing judgment at all.


6 Responses to “To Each in Her Own Time”

  1. blk4609 Says:

    I should talk with you sometime about our parents. Aging in place only works under certain conditions. If those are not met, it can be lonely and dangerous. – laurie laurie.rollins3@gmail.com

    • Kari Says:

      I hear ya! I’m terrified thinking of my mom at home by herself. On the other hand, she’s happy. But we are keeping our many eyes on the situation. What’s the story with your parents?

      • blk4609 Says:

        Some day we’ll have lunch or something together, and we’ll tell you all about them.

    • Kari Says:

      I would enjoy that, Laurie.

  2. Bev Says:

    When I get back to Davis we should do one of our “coffees” at Atria with June and my mother. This facility in which I’m living while helping my cousin is very, very nice. Lots of stuff I like better than Atria and it’s half the price. But it’s in IOWA, so no chance of switching!

    • Kari Says:

      I would enjoy that. She’s been there for two weeks now. She’s reviewed the list of residents and knows some, but said she was a little bored. I said I’d take her out next week for lunch… change of venue. She’ll adjust, I think, but would benefit from meeting people. I told her about your mom, but I actually don’t know your mom’s name.

      Did you see me leave you a note on the sign in sheet last week? I saw you’d signed in after me, and as I was signing out, I scribbled a note next to your name. Sure the Atria folks didn’t appreciate that. 🙂

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