Friday, January 31, 2014
Change is inevitable but...
I recall years ago attending a workshop with Stephen Covey who said that the best we could do for our children is teach them to adapt to change. He went on to point out that in this information age change is happening faster and faster. I find that to be true on many fronts. But it doesn't mean it is easy. Right now it seems damn hard.
The process of clearing out years and years of stuff in our house is going slower than I had hoped. Much slower. If I thought it was overwhelming for me, my Alzheimer's spouse is creeping through piles and piles of papers and keeps printing more. The shadow of the big change coming hangs over us both.
Information and brochures about retirement communities here in the Bay Area of Houston and San Antonio are arriving along with lots of phone calls from representatives marketing them all. Many of them look inviting with tantalizing pictures of delicious food and heated swimming pools. Of course few of them tell you what they are charging. I'm hoping to find an independent living facility that has graduated care including a memory care unit that we can afford. We are not wealthy but neither are we poor but it is obvious that memory care is expensive. I had lunch at a local memory care facility which runs around $5000 a month. Some I understand charge as much as $6100. It seemed very nice, the patients all clean, well-dressed and it didn't smell like a nursing home.
Interestingly San Antonio has more options for retirement than Houston and we will go there in a couple of weeks to tour some of their facilities. Our son is living there now which makes it attractive but the thought of giving up friends, family and church here is daunting. My grief comes in waves...sometimes I can imagine the excitement of starting over in a new place and then other times not so much. I did have an ah hah! moment the other day though. Change is happening whether we do anything or not. It is happening to my friends...they, too, are having to make significant changes in their lives....selling their large houses and moving closer to offspring. And bless the Internet and Skype...we can all keep in touch.
We are fortunate to have options, one of which is to move into an apartment complex near here with the idea that at some point hubby will transfer into a memory care unit not too far away and I'll stay there. Another is to find an independent living community with activities and amenities to keep me happy like art, exercise, excursions.
So each day is filled with decisions...what to keep, what to sell, what to throw away...which place to tour, which one to contact, who has been in this one or that one and what did they like, not like.
All this while maintaining what we have and keeping doc appointments, meals and laundry going.
And there is joy in much of it all. Lots of support from friends and family and hubby is having some very good days. Last night he attended a foreign policy lecture with friends at our church and had a great time. Meanwhile, I'm getting support for keeping this blog going. A good friend said he had no idea the illness had progressed this far and is grateful for the blog to let him know. Others have said the same as when my husband is in casual conversation, he is great as long as it all stays in the present and demands no recall. He enjoys being in social situations and I am grateful for that. Life has been good this week...he got a haircut and beard trim and looks handsome and healthy and totally lovable.