Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It sounds so simple ...

How many times has someone told me they just moved their parent into an assisted living home or a nursing home?  Stated matter-of-factly, without pouring out their whole story.  How many times did I basically ignore their statement and continue with my own concerns?


Not everyone shares openly about the decision or the process, but I'm learning that there has to have been a story.  Even if their parent was in full agreement with the move, or unable to protest the move, there is still a story.  Even if every sibling agreed on every detail along the way, there is still a story.  Even if there is only one choice for where to place their parent, there is still a story.  A story filled with strong emotions, indecision, confusion, difficult discussions, overwhelming fatigue, regrets, and stress.


I will never again hear those words, and glibly say "I'm sorry" and move on in the conversation.  I will stop, look them in the eye, ask how it went and let them know I care about them and the struggle they've faced.  And since the struggle rarely ends once their parent is moved, I'll continue to ask how it's going.  I just never knew all that was wrapped up in that sentence.
April E.


  1. I can defnitely identify with your posts. My mother is in the last stages now - unable to talk, feed herself, etc. Your mother might not need it yet, but for the last couple of years, we've gotten a lot of help from the Area Agency on Aging (20 hours a week of help) and hospice (baths, nurse visits, etc.) You'll be in my prayers.

  2. We bought our house because of our dear friend's story. He had to sell his mother's house that he had lived in for more than 30 years, taking care of her--the same house he lived in as a young teen. It was heartbreaking. The only way they could afford a nicer nursing home was to sell. He couldn't afford what even an economy was going for. So, after putting off buying a house for years, we took the leap. We bought their house as is and rented our two bedroom townhome to him at cost.


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