October 27th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
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If You are a Caregiver to an Elder, You’ll Understand This

by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR

I recently had a brilliant idea I shared with Mom. I thought her usual sense of whimsy and adventure would kick right in. I was wrong. How could I have been so wrong? I thought that my octogenarian mother would enjoy joining me in checking out the latest and greatest assisted living facilities that seem to be sprouting everywhere?

Mom knows I write, and also have an interest in eldercare. I truthfully mentioned that my exploratory adventure was for my benefit only. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not contemplating placing my mother in assisted living and/or a nursing home, unless I reach that fork in my caregiving journey one day where I have no choice. Apparently, my mother doesn’t know? If she knows, maybe she’s just not taking any chances? Why tempt fate must be her logic, I guess? Mom’s too cute.

I had the brilliant idea as I drove past yet another assisted living community under construction somewhere. Mom and I were enjoying our daily drive to nowhere. Our drives are all about seeing what we can see. I couldn’t help but notice the construction trend in long-term care. As an aging Baby Boomer, the construction trend energizes me. More assisted living facilities are needed now that boomers are reportedly 78 million strong in 2010. Frankly, I am thinking strategically for my own future by keeping an eye on social developments in long-term care.

I could not help but be amused by my mother’s reaction to my news, though. Our conversation went something like this.

Me: “I have an idea, Mom. I think it would be fun! I’m planning on visiting a couple of the new assisted living communities under construction….” (Mom didn’t allow me to complete my sentence.)

Mom: “What’s that?”

Me: You know – senior assisted living housing, like your friend in Maryland lived in at one time. Remember what a neat apartment she had and what fun we had when we visited her place?”

Mom: “Why would you want to go [there?]“

Me:I just think it would be fun, plus I am interested in eldercare, including assisted living, nursing home operations, and all things related. I write, remember? Learning is a good thing! Beside all that, I am your caregiver.”

Mom: “No, that’s a BAD idea….” (Notice no exclamation sign needed by my Mom, who knows when to put her foot down in life? Her face was precious!)

No sooner than Mom pronounced my idea “BAD,” we both got to laughing – the way we always do whenever one or the other of us “gets it,” whatever the Fawcett insider “it” may be. I got it, Mom!

Guess I’ll be making those assisted living rounds all by my lonesome? Mom’s too cute for words. I so thought she’d enjoy the adventure and the socializing, extrovert that she’s always been. What was I thinking? I’m still smiling!

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