My brothers and I are doing our best to care for Mom. If you’ve followed my story at all, you know that we, like most families, are struggling with things like when is the right time to address living arrangements (having the talk with your parents), financial matters, appointing an attorney in fact through a power of attorney and so forth. We never thought about mobility. . .

When you think of “Mom” your mind goes to a picture of your mother. For most of us, our mental picture of our mother is one where she is smiling, vibrant and full of life. But what is the reality today?

My mother cannot move as easily and fluidly as she once did. She enjoyed digging in the garden, doing yard work in general, and walking. She loved to walk. Where we lived, there was a shopping center about a mile away. She worked at the drug store there the whole time I was growing up. Mom would walk to work, she would walk to the grocery store. She would sometimes walk to her sister’s house, about four miles away. Today she has a hard time walking across the living room. She stubbornly refuses to use her walker. She says “That’s for old people,” and laughs. She is 87.

When we think about what Mom can and cannot do for herself (a question, by the way, she never even considers. . .in her mind she can still do anything she wants to do!), we are forced to first consider her mobility and her tolerance for sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time. She isn’t the “Mom” in my mental picture anymore.

We are trying to remember that she is still the same loving, caring Mom. And she isn’t the same, in all respects. And we’re trying to help Mom. Honestly, we’re not being mean with those walkers and handles near the bathtub. Just leave them there so you can use them ‘when you get to be old.’