Assisted Living: A New Perspective

I believe I have found my light at the end of the tunnel. It hasn't quite happened yet, but I'm hopeful. At the risk of jinxing it all, I'm going to share it with you, so that maybe you can find a light in your tunnel too.

As the Baby Boomer generation, we sail uncharted waters, in having an unprecedented amount of caregiving responsibility for our aging parents.

Some of our situations share common threads, but most are unique unto themselves. We have to think outside the box, to figure out solutions that work for everyone involved. To some degree, there is going to be compromise. But if we can come to a place where we don't feel guilty, which seems to be our nemesis, I think we've accomplished a lot.

I moved in with mom two years ago in order for her to remain in her home. This is her ultimate desire for the rest of her life. It's working out great for her, not so great for me. In enabling her to have a home, I have lost my life. I need a home of my own too.

Mom lives in an expensive area and I don't make a lot of money. I've decided to go into "Assisted Living". The new definition of that term is... mom can assist me in living. I'm going to move into a rental nearby. I will have a home of my own and so will mom.

She has a retirement fund I will never achieve. She can help me financially and I will help her in every other way. This will make us both happy.

Having been independent all my life, at first it didn't sit well with me to take money from mom. And society surely frowns upon grown children living off their parents. But as the time goes by, I realize that I have to make a change.

I am here so that she doesn't have to go into Assisted Living. If I wasn't here, she would either pay for someone to come into the home or she would be paying a facility somewhere. There is no reason why this can't be a win-win situation.

This may only be a temporary solution. As we well know, our situations change on a daily basis. But if I can get some relief at this stage of the game, I'm going to take the chance. And when we come to the next hurdle, I'll come up with a new game plan.

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Staying Independent: You and the Elder Parent
by: Anonymous

That solution is exactly my solution. My mom sold her Condo in Florida, moved into her own apartment in the same apartment complex and I help her and visit her as needed.

Laying down boundaries and learning how to cope with her behavior and health problems was very hard. She also had to adjust. I think she realized her demands at first took a toll on me and lately she has made a few new friends who take the emotional dependency off me.

Financially she has helped me some and I sure don't feel guilty about it! I don't get paid to be at her beck and call or to drive her around.

I too felt angry, resentful, fearful of losing my own life, emotional happiness, and all the great things I made for myself. The stress was really getting to me so I decided to make changes: since I work for myself I figured out work that will be interesting and which gives me a social life and gets me away from her so I feel like myself again.

I held my ground on boundaries. I changed my behavior too: I vowed to myself that I will not be defensive and get sucked into her emotional blackmail games. I will not expect her to be the same person she was for me when I used to enjoy doing things with her.

I will accept that she is older and is a different person. I cannot share things with her: she doesn't do conversations or have any interest in hearing me talk about anything for more than a sentence or two.

I spend a lot of time just grunting, Yes, oh isn't that nice, and stuff like that. If that makes her happy, fine. I find my own friends and love elsewhere. I know she loves me but she is just unable to be different.

I am much happier now and my mother has less temper tantrums.

If my mother makes lousy decisions or different ones than I would make if I were in her shoes, it is still best that she is in control of her life.

She refuses a walker, a cane, or rethinking taking statin drugs. If she falls, I have tried to warn her but she refuses to listen to me on anything.

I am not responsible for her happiness, for her decisions, or her life. I love her and am here to help as needed, when I can and IF I can. I accept these conditions and feel much better about my life with her.

And lastly, I am working on forgiveness. The more I let go, the happier I am. I hope this helps someone.

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