Life with Mom
—-This is a story of a shared life with Mom after her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.—
When Dad died in 2004, Mom began living alone and carried on well with her life. We went on a family cruise, she went to Italy 3 times with Brian and I, and we took trips to NYC.
But a few years ago, while thinking of her future and how burdensome living alone can be, I began discussions with her about alternative living situations. She went along with the idea of possibly moving, saying that anything was possible. I kept an eye out for a small house or town house in and near my neighborhood. Her and I also checked out 3-4 senior living apartments. As I kept the conversation alive, I was slowly realizing that nothing was settling right for her. She explained in so many words that she just couldn’t fathom breaking down her home and leaving.
I continued to secretly worry how I would manage things for her from a distance if the need arose. If she had decided on one of the senior living situations, I realized that I would have still worried about how I could be there in a moment’s notice if needed.
So, the next logical thing was to explore adding on to our house to create a space that Mom would feel comfortable and independent in, while being close enough to Brian and I to help her if needed. This option proved to be financially out of the question. Done properly, the addition would have cost more than Brain and I paid for the house.
Shortly after exhausting this last possibility, Brian said to me, “We should just move in with your mother.” I thought he was kidding. He said he wasn’t. Then I thought he probably didn’t fully think it out, and would retract his offer in a few days.
So I let a few days go by before checking in with him about this grand offer. He said he meant it. I then proposed it to my mother, and she thought it was a great idea. She thought it was even better when I told her it was Brian’s idea.
Several months later and a serious dose of planning, packing and painting, we’re here with Mom – and her cat and little blind dog.