What do you do when Mom says she wants to move but isn't pulling the trigger to make it happen? This evening I spoke with a daughter that finds herself in this exact situation.
As Susan and I spoke she shared with me that her Mom loved the community she had chosen, it was a community that already felt like home to her because she had regularly visited her sister who lived there many years prior. The daughter also loves the community and is eager for her Mom to move because she lives 3000 miles away and is always worried about her Mom's safety and well being as she lives alone in the family home. Susan has been to California several times and each time it was to "make the move", however, each time ended the same...with Mom staying home.
As we discussed the situation tonight I shared with Susan that the circumstances she finds herself in are not uncommon. I am absolutely positive that her Mom is being honest when she says she wants to move. I am also certain that her Mom really does love the community she is going to move to eventually because it's a beautiful community with fond memories for her. However, being in the community and wanting to live there becomes an overwhelming idea when her Mom walks back through the doors to her current home.
Imagine living, really living, in a home for 30+ years...
You have raised your family in that home and you have filled every nook and cranny with "stuff" that you can't just discard without looking at it, touching it, and being willing to let much of it go. That's a difficult enough task to comprehend when you are young and energetic but try to imagine being in your 70's or 80's when you've slowed down a bit and no longer have the energy you once did. In addition, this particular generation is very proud and they don't particularly like the idea of asking for help because they feel it is an imposition they are putting on those that they love. Of course there's also the fact that when her daughter, who lives 3000 miles away, comes to town Mom would much rather spend her time enjoying her daugher as opposed to moving and packing.
I see this all the time and it was not a surprise to me that they, time after time, find themselves at a stand still in terms of actually making this move happen. At the same time I am 100% positive that the moment we sit down to chat with Mom this move will begin to head in a different direction...a more positive direction.
You see, most of the time all it takes is for someone to walk in and say "I understand your difficulty and I know how to accomplish this with ease." Someone that has been there and done it time after time after time who can offer guidance, suggestions, and an actual plan to get it done. Someone who is sensitive to your circumstances, your fears, and your uncertainty but can also share with you stories of success. Someone that brings confidence, knowledge, and solutions to the table as well as a roadmap for how to get from here to there. With this particular generation it also helps that the person providing all of this assistance is someone outside of the family, someone they are hiring to help them vs someone they are "imposing" upon.
A later in life transition can be exceptionally challenging when you are tying to navigate the path alone, the good news is that you don't have to do it alone. Reach out and ask for help, no matter what your situation there is likely someone that can assist you in navigating the murky path "from here to there" and they can do it with ease.
I love what we do because we are making a difference in the lives of families each and every day. We are taking what feels like an impossible task and making it possible. We allow the seniors we serve to continue being the parents of their children while at the same time allowing the adult children the opportunity to just simply enjoy the time with their parents. A move into a Senior Living Community can be trying for everyone involved. When done proactively and with professionals in tow there is no longer the need for the parent-child roles to be reversed which ultimately leads to a stress free transition that happens with ease.