My uncle who is 96 recently left his once beautiful home for over 60 years and moved into an assisted living facility where he has his own one bedroom apartment. This move was one that was at times easy, and other times it was gut wrenching. As one of the people in charge of this move, I called on everything in me to get through this. This journey is one that many women (and men) of a certain age will be responsible for as we mature, and our parents, aunts and uncles find they can no longer stay in their home.
This process took a long time to complete with many different factors coming into consideration. I had not physically seen him for some time, but talked with regularly on the telephone. He was forever telling me that he was doing just fine. Maybe physically he was, but for some unknown reason the state of his life was spiraling out of control.
When his brother, my uncle called to inform me that he had been taken to the hospital, but would be released in a few days I was a little concerned, but feeling okay since he could go to his home. My cousin informed me that the house was no longer a home but something that was unsafe and unclean.
My cousins and I were not prepared for what we saw. Our once dapper, sharp dresser was thinner than usual which was not the shock, but he was disheveled, dirty and so unkept. This once proud man was sitting in this once grand house smiling his brilliant smile at my cousins and I.
Our mothers oldest brother could not live like this–we wouldn’t let it happen. The good part about this is that our uncle’s mind was as sharp as a tack.
Mentally there was nothing wrong and physically he was as fit as any 96-year-old could be. We immediately went into action. Since taking the truck keys would be hard and leaving home would be a hard sale, we went with home healthcare workers. The decision was made by everyone concerned, he even told us what time he wanted them to come each day–noon to 6. While they were coming, we got together to find an assisted living home for him, one that he could make into his home.
This was not an easy chore, we did not need a nursing facility, we needed a place that had space, gave him independence, but still looked out for him. The supervisor of the home healthcare workers was amazing, she gave us the name of someone and we were off. We visited three different ones, and all of us decided on the second one. On the day that he was to make his visit to see if he like it, he was up, sharply dressed and ready. He passed all of the assessments. His only needed assistance was to make sure he took his 3 daily medications. They could not believe he was 96 years of age. He hadn’t had so many pictures taken in years–he was the man.
Even though the visit went great, there were still many hurdles to jump. Some were more paperwork, doctor visits and more. Moving day came, and the rain drops were the tears we all were feeling. To our surprise, he liked his new home!!
We know that there will be other obstacles that will come up, but we are so happy and pleased that our uncle, our mothers oldest brother is safe, clean, making new friends in his new home. He made us all remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and it is a blessing to have a great family that works together for the good of family. I love them all.