In My Mother Emily, Part Three: Tim talks to his mother about moving back to New York. Her memory issues make him think about other possibilities. This blog series is about the journey my Mom and I are going through, specifically moving her from her home in New York to assisted living here in Cary.
By Tim Murray, Co-Founder and President of Aware Senior Care
Previous blog – My Mother Emily: Part Two
My Mother Emily, Part Three: The New York Conversation
I had the conversation with Mom about selling her main New York residence in Warrensburg and discussed the steps I’m taking to get her to New York. How did it go? Easier than I anticipated, mostly because of Emily’s continued memory loss.
I had two things I wanted to share with Mom:
- We need to sell mom’s primary residence in Warrensburg to continue to have money to pay for Mom’s ongoing care.
- Answer Mom’s frequent question every time she sees me, “When can I leave here and go home?” Since we’ve not yet identified a place for Mom to stay in New York, how do I address her questions?
As always, my wife Gina made a good suggestion about how to approach #1: Selling her primary residence. We have to explain to Mom that it is very expensive to maintain the house and it would be helpful to sell it in order to have the money to help her children (my brothers) and help pay for her care.
So, that’s what I did. After explaining it this way, especially emphasizing that it helps her sons and grand kids, she was very receptive.
She thought about it and said “You know, I never expected to have the New York house this long and I have not really given this much thought.”
I then asked “Mom, do you remember your houses in New York?” She paused and went deep in thought. She started talking about growing up in Greenwich Village in New York City on King Street. That’s where she grew up. I listened and said “Mom, do you remember the house you bought eight years ago with Jack in Warrensburg?”She thought about it and sort of remembered it.
I also mentioned the house her dad John Krejci and my dad Robert bought in 1966 on Kelm pond. She smiled at that and said, “How can I forget?” It was clear to me her memories of New York are fading.
I then went on to explain I’m going up to New York on Memorial Day weekend to look at places she could live. Since we are selling her main house and because the lake house is just a visit house, we need to find a place that can take care of her and is close to her two sons in Glens Falls. She asked why I can’t go home. I said because we’re selling the home and mainly because she needs care like she has her 24-7.
She nodded her head to start to acknowledge she does need more help. It was hard and I felt bad but I felt she really understood and is more accepting of where she needs and the help she needs to live.
I asked Mom, “Mom, am I doing okay? I’m trying my best to follow your wishes.” Mom said “I think you are doing well. I trust you.” That was really good to hear, but I can’t help but feel mad about how this disease has robbed my Mom of the ability to enjoy the twilight years of her life. I know of course Mom and I are not alone.
This discussion has altered my perspective on New York or bust. If we can find residential assisted living in New York that is close to family and will provide a structured and active life for Mom, it’s an option.
It has to be really good. Otherwise, I feel she can live a good life here in Carolina in a small residential assisted living and enjoy her grand kids and Great-grand kids. Perhaps one a year we can fly her to New York to stay at the lake house for a couple of weeks. Why? Mom, because of cognitive issues, doesn’t really know where she is.
For all intents and purposes, we are in New York.
Next stop is Warrensburg, NY for Memorial Day weekend. I’ll be meeting our care manager, realtors and senior move manager. I’m looking forward to meeting them and exploring the assisted living options available in the area. We have a full agenda for four days.
Next blog – My Mother Emily: Part Four
This blog aims to help those currently navigating how to take care of an elderly loved one. For those looking for home care in Cary, Apex, and Raleigh, read the “Deciding on Home Care Guide” to see if it’s the option for you and take our Needs Assessment.