"Are Your Parents Safe At Home?"

It became apparent to me that my Mother was in danger

Life is never easy. As the son of an ageing Mother, it became clear to me recently that my Mother was in danger. Suddenly I was faced with finding a safe place for my Mother, and getting her to agree to moving out of her home. Of course my Mother thought she was just fine and didn't need any help yet.

My Mother was living alone in a mountain community. She loved the Sierra mountains in Northern California where her family had vacationed for years. When she retired she had a new house built close to her brother's home in Arnold California. At the time it seemed like a good idea.

My Mother has always been a self reliant individual. I have never had to worry about Mom. She was taking care of herself on a daily basis. She was still doing her errands and keeping her appointments rain, shine, or snow. After Moms second husband died I started calling her daily. She was eighty six years old, and I didn't want her to get lonely.

My wife Betty and I would drive up every month or so and spend some time with Mom. I started to notice little changes in her daily life. Mom always seemed to be working on some sort of project, but I started to see that she was losing interest in some of the things she was working on. Her cooking habits and appetite were changing, so I started to ask her more about what kinds of meals she was cooking during the week. She said that sometimes she would heat up a frozen pre-prepared meal from the freezer. Then she laughed and said that most of the time she wasn't hungry so she would just eat an ice cream cone.

One morning I received a phone call from a frantic friend of my Mother's. Mom was in her office that morning when she heard the front door bell ring. She got up to answer the door and as she left her office she got tangled in her oxygen supply line and tripped. She became airborne hitting the wall, not unlike a torpedo face first. Mom was in bad shape, she had injured her neck. The ambulance was on it's way and so were we.

We met my Mother's friend at the Sonora Regional Hospital only to find that there wasn't anything the hospital could do for her injury. They were already preparing Mom for a helicopter flight to Modesto, California. It was touch and go for a while. Mom was stabilized and a Neurosurgeon was chosen. The surgery was a success.

Talking with my Mother after the surgery, Mom reveled that she had tripped a few times and had taken some falls as a result. It suddenly became apparent that my Mother was not safe at home alone.

As Children we depend on our parents for everything, but we depend on our Mothers more than our fathers. None of us think of our parents as not being able to take care of themselves.

When we visit our parents, on the surface things look fine. As our parents age we need to listen to our parents, we need to read between the lines. We should ask questions about their eating habits, and what they are doing for exercise. Most important we must realize that our parents aren't going to volunteer any information about accidents that they have in the home. Its up to us to look for the signs that our parents are losing their ability to take care of themselves. While my Mother was still convalescing at home my wife and I took turns staying all week with her. We soon found organizations that could help Mom through county services such as Visiting Nurses.

Finding A Safe Place for Our Parents:

There's a whole industry geared to step in and take care of the elderly, without taking their freedom away. You as your parents children must be proactive and take the time to visit these Senior Assisted Living establishments. Meet with and inspect each Assisted Living establishment and their staff. One of the things that helped my wife and I with our final choice was looking at the demeanor of the residents that are living in the Assisted Living apartment complex. If the residents were happy and outgoing that was a testimony to the facility and the staff.

Selling the Idea to Your Parents:

I remember talking to my Mother about moving into a Senior Assisted Living Apartment. She thanked my wife and I but made it very clear that she was not ready for that kind of change in her life. We told Mom she could try it on a temporary basis, but she still was not interested.

At one point I had to make it clear that I wasn't going to continue to come up every weekend; and watch her demise. For Mom that was the game changer; she looked up at me and said, I guess I'm moving then.

We moved my Mother to a facility that was about an hour away from where she lived. Her friends were important to her and she most certainly didn't want to leave the mountains. Things worked out very well in our situation; we could visit monthly and also keep an eye on the house. Before long my Mother's friends were visiting her when they went to town. Sometimes they would go out to lunch and then do some shopping.

I don't worry about mom now as all indications are that she,s healthy and happy.

Comments 6 comments

Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

Dont Taze Me Bro 3 years ago from Tazeland Islands

God bless your mom! You must remind her that, "living alone in a mountain community in the Sierra mountains in Northern California," she has already been to heaven!

My mom will be 95 this month. She lives with me and my family, has her own rooms and only shares the kitchen. We are just lucky it has worked out that way and that she has no medical or mental problems.

Hey I only see two hubs for you...where are the rest? Any juicy subjects? :)


Writer Chuck 3 years ago Author

Thanks again,

My mom finally passed away, but taking care of her was a real blessing. I miss her and think about her daily.

I have something like 12 or 13 hubs on my list. Thanks for your comments.

Chuck


Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

Dont Taze Me Bro 3 years ago from Tazeland Islands

They don't show when viewing your profile - if I click on show all they are not there. I can only see 2.


Writer Chuck 3 years ago Author

Thats strange I just went to my hub and profile page after reading your comments and there are 19 hubs there. I was away from hubpages for a while taking care of my mom. I was inactive for about four years. The stories and such are there but maybe inacceptable. I'll try to re-publish one and see what happens.


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Senior citizens seem to be fiercely independent when it comes to staying in their own home, regardless of the impracticality of doing so when health is failing.It's difficult to convince them that you are not just trying to fob them off into some old care/nursing home.

You're lucky you had a good mum, and I'm happy for you that her surgery was a success.Mine has been as cold as the hairs on a polar bears behind for most of her life lol! but, no doubt, she will still miraculously expect to be looked after, and doted upon, when her health does leave her.I think you've done the right thing under difficult circumstances, and I'm so sorry for your loss.

Best wishes,

R.Q.


Writer chuck 3 years ago

Romeos Quill,

Thanks for your comments. When Mom started to take a fall now and then my wife and I didn't realize it but the first effects of dementia were setting in. We never considered dementia because she was always so bright. She held a high level job at Cal State university. Her demise was unthinkable.

Again thanks for your thoughts.

Chuck

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