Distance Caregiving – D’s friend had warned us that we should be prepared for resistance. People feel threatened with the loss of their independence. They may not want others making decisions for them. They might be angry that we put down a deposit on a place without asking them first. (When it became apparent that Dad’s illness negatively impacted his ability to spend wisely and plan for their future financially, we girls saw the need to protect their limited assets. We asked our parents to appoint D as Power of Attorney.) Due to an excellent promotion offered at the community we chose and the financial constraints I mentioned before, we had to move forward and commit.
Let me add here that my Mom is a traditional woman of her day. She went along with what Dad wanted all of their lives. So, while we were going to be pitching both of them, we expected Dad to be the biggest hurdle. Still, we knew we might encounter hurt and anger with a question like “Why did you do this behind our backs?”
Distance Caregiving and Long Weekend
I flew to Miami for a long weekend. The time came for us to have “the talk” with our parents. We began as lighthearted and upbeat as we could. We told them we’d found a fun survey on the Internet and we were going to ask them some questions and they just needed to answer yes or no. (And my sister doesn’t consider herself a salesperson!) Here is a sampling of some of the questions we posed:
- Would you like to not have to clean your house?
- Would you like to not have to pay electric bills?
- Would you like to have your meals cooked to order and served to you?
- Would you like not to have to pay a mortgage?
- Would you like not to have to pay someone to cut the lawn?
- Would you like to hear a big band and go dancing?
- Would you like a private library with a fireplace?
- Would you like to be debt free?
- Would you like less stress and time to just enjoy life?
- Would you like to have your money invested and earning interest?
- Would you like to not have to grocery shop?
- Would you like to go to a museum or a play without worrying about cost?
- Would you like to live in beautiful, lush surroundings?
- Would you like to have your linens and other laundry done for you?
- Would you like to stay in a place like a first class hotel?
As you might guess these questions were met with “yes!”
Well, SURPRISE, we told them. It’s with tremendous love and care that your family has arranged all of these things for you. We love you so much and want you to be happy and enjoy your golden years to the fullestHow can it be? Simple.
We went through the list of reasons why change made sense. Things like:
- Your home is too big for the two of you and caring for it takes a lot of work.
- Hurricanes have increased electric bills by 35% and insurance by 50%!
- Hurricanes are very frightening and stressful to have to deal with.
- Roof repairs (even with insurance) will cost over $3000 out of pocket.
- Real estate market and home values are beginning to decline.
- Money is so tight with house upkeep that even grocery shopping is stressful.
- Without money to spend, the past year has been restricted and unhappy.
D and I carefully gauged their reaction. Here two people we love so very much are looking to us with hope and intrigue. We feel encouraged that they are listening intently. Mom is beginning to look a little leery, though. Mom hates change.
About the Author:
Terry Lynne Hale has over 30 years of sales, marketing, writing, research and training experience in a variety of industries. Terry thrives on sharing information and credits many authors with being instrumental in developing the person she is today. Passions include family, the Internet, pets, the planet, the Internet, writing, the Internet, publishing, the Internet, marketing, and the Internet. Her never-ending quest for learning led her to explore WWW after buying her first computer in 1995. Naturally, she wanted to share her enthusiasm for the internet with others. Her training and writing background fueled the passion that led her to write and publish her first eBook, Ageless Internet – Internet BASICS for Boomers and Seniors. It’s a simplified guide to the World Wide Web and is available for immediate download through Amazon or in all formats on Ageless Internet.
Terry’s experience sourcing and locating independent and assisted living for her parents was the beginning of her exploration into care giving and elder care issues. Subsequent assistance finding housing for loved ones of friends and family has cemented her interest in Boomer and Senior care. Terry is committed to getting the word out that it is possible – even preferable, to begin a search for this kind of housing via the Internet, thus her new position as Boomer Care Adviser for SilverCensus. With an invaluable resource like SilverCensus offering Free Placement Assistance for Home Care and Assisted Living, your efforts are streamlined, and you save time and money.