When Elaine’s father died at 80, her mother decided it was time to sell the home in California and move to Idaho to be closer to Elaine and her family. Happy with the prospect of having her mother nearby, Elaine was nevertheless concerned about how she would manage this new responsibility in addition to her existing commitments to family and career. “I was looking forward to having mom here, “says Elaine, “but I really had no idea how it was going to affect my life.”
Elaine and her husband thought that the apartment complex for seniors just 15 minutes from their home was the best housing option. But her mother, accustomed to living in her own home, wanted something similar to what she had left behind in California, she insisted on buying a house miles from where Elaine and her family lived.
The problems associated with this decision were apparent almost immediately. “I was spending hours a day on the road between mom’s house, home, and work,” says Elaine. Although Elaine’s mother was mentally and physically able for her age, she had to be reminded to take her medications, and unless accompanied by her daughter, she never left the house.
When her mother called asking for assistance and Elaine couldn’t go because of work, or prior plans, she felt guilty. “I thought I had to be available 24 hours a day, but I had these other responsibilities that I just couldn’t ignore,” concedes Elaine. “After 8 months I felt overwhelmed, and my relationship with my mom was suffering.”
A co-worker, who had recently been in a similar situation with her father, suggested that Elaine might want to consider outside help and recommended Care for Living. “I hadn’t thought about elder care,” Elaine admits, “And I didn’t really know enough about what was available to appreciate the benefits.”
Care for Living conducted an in-home safety and personal health evaluation to arrive at a range of recommended care options. From that, Elaine and her mother were able to agree on a care plan that included medication management, weekly physical activity, occasional meal preparation, and transportation to the senior center on Fridays. Months later, Elaine couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. “Mom is happier and healthier, our relationship has improved, and I feel more in control of my life,” she reports. Elaine knows that in time, when her mother requires additional care, Care for Living will be there, for both of them.