“Your mother fell,” was how the phone call started. When you hear that, and you know that your 88-year-old mother is not as sturdy as she once was, you are concerned.
As my brothers and I and our extended families try to make the best decisions for Mom, we have also been trying to remember her consistent request to us: “Please let me stay in my own house.” So we struggle between safety and her peace of mind. At some point, safety wins out over Mother’s own peace of mind. But where is that line?
Too often, the line is drawn angrily by a disastrous event, like a broken hip. That line was drawn by circumstances and events, not forethought and careful planning. Sometimes I have seen that line drawn under the guise of “elder law” when a parent is ‘put out to pasture’ in order to preserve the assets. For the children, not the parent. Uggh.
For us, we are trying to wait as long as possible before forcing a move or a change that might upset Mother’s peace of mind. If Mom will begin using her cane or her walker, she will likely be able to stay in her house a little longer, maybe until she passes. If she is stubborn, and I get another call, we may be making a change in her daily care before you finish reading this article.