artfulCARE

the art of caring for your aging loved one

Moving to a New Home

To Move or not to Move

The time may come, desired or otherwise, when your Aging Loved One must leave her home and move, perhaps to a nursing home, seniors' care facility, or to someone's home. Ideally, you began the discussion with your Aging Loved One years or months ago. You have a sense for her preferences.

Bear in mind that what is right for one person or family may not be right for another.

Mum may have made the decision herself. Big sigh of relief on your part. Often, however, the decision is forced due to any of several circumstances; the next few months won't be easy for anyone, assuming you have the luxury of a few months as opposed to a sudden, anxiety-ridden situation such as an emergency hospital stay and no chance to return home.

Are there choices in your area? Try to shop around with Mum. Ask friends. Discuss the situation with the professionals involved in the care of their patient. Ask the residents of a care facility ... Do you like it here? Is the staff helpful? Would you recommend it to others?

You will find detailed information re. moving at www.helpingseniors.ca.

On the Steps to Success page you will find practical suggestions and strategies to make the move smooth and pleasant. With careful planning and some hand-holding, the impending move may be exciting.

Put on your Compassionate Hat. Make sure it's the biggest you can find.

Respect.

A memorable

The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table but the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

"We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.

Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before dinner, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?"

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama for your food when I grow up."

The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. For some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.