What should I do with my independent grandmother after my mom just passed away??

Asked by

My mom passed away in May..totally unexpectedly. She was ill but we did not expect for this to happen. Her and my grandmother lived together in Nys in the smae apt for 31 years. I live in atl. I moved there 3 years ago with my husband and children. We were planning to move them both to ATL but mom died before we had the chance. Now my grandmother is by herself and she does NOT want to move to ATL. I am the only child. for my mom I have and aunt and cousin but they live in Canada. My grandma is very active in her senior center and very independent. She does almpst everything for herself. I tried to convince her by taking her for a week and she was like no way. Now, do I pack up my family and move back to nyc..or do i travel back and forth from nyc to atl and get a part time care giver for her. She says she will be fine and its up to me but I feel guilty and obligated.I am worried about her by herself. I really don't want to move but I am still feeling the guilt of my mom's passing as well. i feel i should have been here when she was sick but i did not know or expect what happened to happen.
I grew up here in ny but nyc is not the ideal place for my children who love the freedom of ATL. My husband would love to move here all his family is here and he would be happy either way. I like my space and home in ATL. Will it be ok for me to leave her here? sorry for the disorganization of this letter. So many different issues...please help..

Answers 1 to 4 of 4
Top Answer
Hey JBgirl, I empathize with how overwhelming it all must be to you, especially with the grief from your mom's passing. I can only imagine how conflicted you feel

Perhaps you might begin by breaking down all of the what if's as components - that are actually separate issues. It makes it easier to find a way to answers that will work if you map them out in a diagram. Visually you can start to process the issues in different ways.

I'd like to suggest that if your grandmother is active & competant it may be best for her to let her live her own life and remain in her neighborhood where she is involved and wanted. Perhaps talking to the SW and others at her senior center might be a place to start - she seems to have a support network in place there, they may be able to help answer questions on how to make her support network as strong as possible - with or without you. As she needs more help, she may even find an AL facility close to her friends and the center.

What I am reading is that despite the conflicting obligations you really want to continue to live in your home, which is understandable. Perhaps you might set up an online video connection at her home for communication & security and have an honest talk with your grandmother about the future, if and when she is unable to get around or falls ill. With the fresh memory of your mom's passing, it may be easier to talk about the future & what if's. Your husband sounds like a great guy if he is so willing to accomodate a move - either way.

Hope this helps - everyones situation is different, so decide what you truly want for yourself & your kids. Ask your grandmother what she truly wants for herself & then work backwards to a solution. I know it is not as easy as it sounds, but the results will be worth the effort.
My Aunt is 92 and I went with my brother and his wife to visit her a few Sundays ago and she lives alone but have caring neighbors one does her shoping and cuts her grass and she is able to get to MD visits and someone brings her books and someone else visits her routinly she has a sister who is 90 and also lives alone but they are not able to live together and she does fine and another neighbor calls her every day so it depends on the person I would just keep in touch and see how it goes she semms to be doing fine and once she is not then you can step in and do what needs to be done,
Have you thought of hiring a Domestic Couple in exchange for room/board and possibly a small salary? If you find the right people, this can work out wonderful. My cousin did that. She and her husband lived with an elderly lady who was scared to be alone at night. They lived upstairs and used a baby monitor to hear if she needs help during her night time bathroom trips. It was a great experience for both families and the daughter of the elderly lady had a piece of mind knowing that her mother was not alone in the house. I hope this helps! :)
You seem very conflicted. If your grandmother is fine and happy in NYC, then she should stay there. Hire live-in care if you feel it is necessary.

Best,
Jackie

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support