If you have followed my story at all, you know that my brothers and I are trying our very best to care for our aging mother. And, like most of you who have followed this blog, you were not prepared to be a caregiver for your parents either. We seem to be at a difficult spot. . .what to do when Mom isn’t quite ready to give up the house and home she loves but can’t quite take care of herself the way she once did.

Mom does appreciate our efforts, to be sure. She is 87 years old, and will often say to us that “I don’t need a walker. Walkers are for old people, not for me.” She says it with a half smile, knowing that a walker probably is for her. Her silver-white hair says that it is for her, too.

We want Mom to be safe and to be comfortable. As long as possible, that will be in her own home. We know the time may come that we have to make difficult decisions, and we’ve paved the way with a local long-term care facility. Mom has met the people there. She knows the intake nurse and even knows several of the residents. And she likes them all, but not enough to leave the familiar surroundings of her home. Not just yet.

So what else can we do to relieve some of the daily worries Mom has?

We have always helped Mom if something BIG came up. Now, we’re moving toward helping her with her everyday expenses.

My brothers and I are now paying Mom’s utility bills. My wonderful sister-in-law, Sue, did all of the leg work to arrange to have the utility bills remain in her name, but to have them sent to the three of us. We’re taking one more thing off Mom’s plate — most of her daily expenses are now our expenses.

This is not rocket science, I know. Neither is it all that original. But, it is a great way to show Mom we love her and care about her. And it takes away one more little worry that she has.

Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories or comments with us. I will continue to update my story and tell you how we are doing, caring for Mom.