My 103 yr. old mother has lived, alone in her home, a few houses from us, for 24 years. My husband (79) & I (75) have been responsible for her & her home for those years. Due to macular degeneration, she stopped driving 13 yrs. ago & from that point on, her needs have slowly increased.
We are now at the point, where she sees very little, is severly hard of hearing & doesn't like to wear her hearing aid, is unsteady on her feet, severely stooped, due to back problems & is having increasing memory lapses. She has experienced difficulties with remembering how to operate the oven & range, how to work the irrigation & alarm systems & TV remotes. She also opens the door to strangers. However, she is still very alert, mentally.
She makes the statement that she will stay in her home, as long as she can maintain it. She dusts & cooks & my husband & I maintain it. I have heart problems, my husband can no longer do the physical chores & the bottom line is, we're tired.
I have a sister, who is 10 yrs. younger, but she works & lives in another part of town. It has been much easier for us to manage Mother's needs.
We talked with Mother & presented the option of someone coming to her home to assist her, but she doesn't need someone on a full time basis & they would not be able to assist her with the physical needs of her home, so my husband & I would still be responsible.
We took her to a lovely Independent living facility for lunch, a tour & to observe activities. It's located less than 5 miles from our home, she would take her own furniture & her cat. You could see her shut down, as we discussed it.
We fully understand her reluctance to move from her home. We've told her we would not do anything with her home, until she was established in her apartment & had everything she needed.
We also understand that with her vision & hearing limitations, adjusting to new surroundings would be very difficult, but the facility makes provisions for that. We know she's afraid, but we certainly wouldn't dump her & not be there to help her.
We've accomadated Mother for many, many years, but we now have to take a stand & essentially tell her that she will move to independent living. How do we do this, without completely destroying her?