Call to Action: Start checking out housing options for your loved ones long before they are forced to move.
We three local sisters visited multiple housing options, even before the house was on the market. We visited expensive senior housing complexes with progressive care levels, places with independent living and assisted living. Money would be an issue, they could not afford anything too costly.
The “Perfect” Option
They needed to be in a one-level, handicap accessible home. Mother’s main desire was to have her own washer and dryer. (Aka the promise Dad made when they were married.)
I knew just the place! A friend of ours was in a local complex with progressive care. This friend told us that this community would always take care of their residents, regardless of future resources or health. The complex contained independent apartments, assisted living, and a nursing home. We took my parents there to look. All was going well, until my father went off wandering on his own. He came back red in the face.
“We’re not living here!” He announced.
“The Catholic church is right down the hall!”
It is important to point out the times they had lived through – there was a division between the Catholics and the Protestants in the 50s and 60s. In my grade school years, the Protestants were sure all the Catholics would not be in heaven, and all the Catholics were sure the Protestants would not be there. Now later in life, my father had many Catholic friends; I believe his dementia aggravated old prejudices.
They did not move into that complex, in spite of each apartment unit having its own washer and dryer.
The Housing Hunt Continued
The selling of the house collided with my mother’s kidney surgery. It was becoming urgent that we find a place for them to live.
We were off on the housing hunt, when a friend of mine told me about another housing complex nearby. They had a series of one-level Villas, along with a senior-living apartment, and nursing home on the premises. We took our Dad to look, and described it to Mom. She agreed on signing the lease, even though she was not able to go look herself.
Dad just grunted, and signed the lease.
We were able to sign them up for a three-bedroom, one level Villa. It had reduced “tax-credit” pricing – and a washer and dryer in the unit. And it was owned by Mary T, and amazing and devoted Catholic entrepreneur. (I’m not sure my father ever realized Mary T was Catholic, and I wasn’t about to tell him!)
This was perfect, closer to both Patty and me than their home, with plenty of space. It was truly God’s provision.