I have been off-line for over a month as my time has been mostly filled with helping my aging mother work through medical issues and a possible move to a senior community in Arizona. Getting old sucks best I can tell and getting old by yourself without a great support system double sucks.
My mother currently lives in Kentucky which for the most part has made helping her more challenging. Luckily, we have a good relationship, she trusts me but quite frankly doesn’t always heed my advice or follow through on some of her medical issues. Very frustrating for me??? Yes indeed it is and I often just have to take a deep breath, try to be patient and keep trying to move things along.
When my mother recently decided that it was just getting to hard to live alone in her cute 2 bedroom condo, I took her lead and got busy trying to find a senior community that would provide her more support, activities and social interaction with folks her own age.
We decided that Arizona would be a good place to look as she had lived there in the past and really liked the climate. Bonus points for the great availability of medical care and for at least being on the West Coast. Our route plan for the winter was perfect as we were going to be in Sedona Arizona in early October so I made plans to look at communities in Prescott, Peoria and Mesa.
Earlier in the year, I had reached out to an organization called A Place For Mom. A Place for Mom was founded 15 years ago to help families navigate the maze of senior housing options. The consultant that I have been working with was incredibly helpful and in addition to help with housing options she educated me on possible resources to consider in the future including financial aid, veterans benefits, etc.
Our week in Mesa was busy with Mom stuff but we did have time to see friends, take in a baseball game and do some hiking. We parked the coach at Usery Regional Park which is one of our favorite Maricopa County Regional Parks.
The good news is we found a great senior community that I hope my Mother will love living in. She will still have her own apartment that opens onto a pretty courtyard with a pool. With a small kitchen and a screened in patio in the back she will still have lots of privacy but so many more options like assistance getting to the store, medical appointment, the bank or the post office. Both Wally and I really liked the setting and the community. We had lunch in the one of the dining rooms and I was giggling about how all the ladies coming to lunch were dressed up, had their faces on and looks so adorable. Being a southern lady, my mother will be right at home here…all her clothes have matching shoes, purses and jewelry! There are so many activities, 2 great dining rooms with white table clothes and menus, a hair salon, laundry service…heck, I could live there right now. Well, okay I would definitely have to step up on the snazzy outfits.
Feeling good about our recommendations, we made the 5 hour drive to The Outdoor Resort Palm Springs in California where we are spending the winter. It has been great catching up with friends we met there last year, playing pickle ball, hiking and getting settled on our new lot. More on that soon….
Seeing my mother aging and how isolated she has become has been an up close and personal reminder to continue enjoying our gift of health, honor and cherish our dear friends and family and quite frankly, party like rock stars while we still can!!!
6 thoughts on “Off-line but back in the Desert”
I’m sure you understand this resonates so much with me. It’s more than a little familiar to hear about parents who don’t want to follow medical advice, but refreshing to hear that she is willing to move to a more appropriate setting. Sounds like you found a great spot that will make her life, and your stress level, infinitely better. After all that’s happened, I’ve also been feeling like we’re doing exactly what we should be doing at this point in our lives. Getting old does, indeed, suck and I’d much rather take advantage of every good day we have while we have them than endlessly wait for ‘some day.’ Glad to hear you guys are settling in for the winter! Enjoy the sunshine and some much needed downtime!
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Thanks Laura… I appreciate your kind words especially knowing what you have been through recently.
Sounds like you found a great spot for your mom and it’ll be much easier for you to check in on her during your travels. I tell my daughter all the time, “Getting old sucks. I don’t recommend it” 😆 She and I spent the day in Sedona yesterday… always a fun place to visit!
Sounds like you’ve found a wonderful place for your mom—I hope she loves it! You are absolutely right about the challenges of growing old without a good support system. At ages 87 and 90, my mom and dad are in a similar situation, but they absolutely refuse to leave their home. So we just do what we can to support them long distance and travel cross-country every year to spend a couple of months nearby.
Your mom is so lucky to have you advocating for her. Even if she doesn’t always take your advice. 🙂
We’re with you on living life to the fullest NOW. Party on!!
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Thanks Laurel… sometimes aging in place makes sense and luckily both your parents are alive. They tend to operate as one at that age… meaning what one can’t do, the other one picks up that role. We saw that with Wally’s parents as they went into their late 80’s. It was a real eye opener when his father passed as his Mim was really unable to function alone.
My mother is at the point where she needs more help because she refuses to deal with her treatable health issues. Such a shame because at 78 she could have such a better last chapter.
Just taking it one day at a time but I suspect there will be a very honest frank discussion when I am back there in a few weeks. Not sure it will help or change anything. But I am still going to try!
Wish me luck…
Wow, Brenda, you are wonderful to help your mom this way. I know in her own way she is glad to have you do this! She looked good when I visited her a while ago…maybe 2 years now? She was still in the house at the time. I hope she gets settled in and you can spend more time with her. I hope she makes this transition and accepts some help as I remember her being very confident and independent. The place sounds lovely! Kind of hard to believe she would leave Kentucky, but good weather is always a plus!!