Old age can be terrifying for those living alone! #mgtab

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Last year, my ninety-year-old mother-in-law took a bad fall and ended up in the hospital. This woman had been living alone in a little house that she managed with a lot of help from her angelic, next-door neighbor. With me visiting every few days to take her shopping and for lunch treats so she could get out of the house, things were working out…. just.

We had been urging her for years that she might think of looking into choosing a care home because she was going downhill quickly. We suspected mini stokes but being very stubborn and quite foolish, she refused to see the doctor. Laughed and told us it was old age. No doubt, she was right but some of her symptoms were happening overnight and in my mind, old age tends to be a slower—a lot slower. But there was no talking to her when she adamantly refused to listen. All she wanted to do was stay in her own little house until the end. Said if she had to go into one of those old-folks homes, she wouldn’t last a month.

Turns out, that’s not true. After her fall, and her hospital time, she ended up permanently in a wheel chair, and her hands, which had been giving her a lot of trouble, now refused to work. Again, I’m thinking more mini-stokes, which the doctors eventually confirmed. So, we had no choice but to arrange for her to be in a home knowing that way she’d get the proper care.

Since she’d always refused to seriously look at facilities, we were forced to take the first bed available in a residence closest to where we lived. Thankfully, they had a very good reputation and the girls working there were known to be kind and gentle with the people in their care.

As much as our little rebel hated the idea of giving up her independence, she was now forced to depend on others for everything. And all we wanted was for her to be treated with dignity and affection. Thankfully, we did find the right place and I’m happy to say that they celebrated her ninety-first birthday yesterday with her caregivers fussing over her with a present and a song. Her happy tears were heart-wrenching and also satisfying.

I know it wasn’t what she wanted. To be forced into living the way she is now. But sometimes the higher power has a different road for a person to travel than the one they’ve planned. My prayers were always that she could find some happiness in her final years. I’m just glad it seems to be true.

Have any of you faced this situation and has it worked out well for you? I hope so…

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Because my mother-in-law was also a dear friend, I dedicated one of my favorite books to her called Loveable Christmas Angel. She was thrilled. And the book has always gotten great reviews.

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