My brothers and I continue to try to make Mom’s life comfortable. We can’t always seem to find the right ‘mix’ between comfort and safety. We want her to use a walker and she has finally begun using one from time to time.

”Except when I take the dog for a walk,” she says. “I hold the leash and he holds me up.” We’re not exactly thrilled with that response.

We now have someone in her house seven days a week. She wasn’t exactly thrilled with us when we insisted on seven days a week. It was less than two years ago when we began sending someone in one day a week and she fired the first two caregivers upon arrival!

The caregivers tell us that she is sometimes a challenge, but that she is cooperating with them. And they are delightful, taking her for ice cream, making sure she gets out to socialize.

There was a day when Mom and Dad would go to the neighbors and play cards until late into the night. It was fun. I long to bring some of that ‘fun’ back into her life. Dad has been gone for twenty-nine years. She still misses him every day.

We’ll keep making changes to help her. If you are reading this and asking what you can do to help your aging parent, be sure you have the protective documents in place (last will and testament, power of attorney, medical directives and living will) and be sure you are giving your parent the ingredient against which there is no law. . .your time and your love.