Jamie had long been a fiercely independent person. Even when he and his wife Heather were having some struggles in their later years, he didn’t turn to his adult children or even friends for help. He tried to do things on his own. Now that he is alone, Heather long since passed away, he has continued trying to do things on his own, his own way, on his own terms.
He never thought about assisted living, either. Even when one of his children would bring up the topic, he scoffed at the notion. He wanted to stay put. He wanted to remain in the same house he and Heather lived for much of their adult life.
This house was where they raised their children. This house was their home. Even though it was far too much house for an 82-year-old man now, living alone, he wasn’t ready to give it up.
In time, the physical challenges become greater.
The older a person is, the more likely they are dealing with some difficult challenges in life. This might involve physical, mental, or even emotional.
Jamie was dealing with all of the above. He missed his wife tremendously. There wasn’t a day that went by he didn’t miss her, think about her, or long for her companionship, conversation, and touch. But he was a realist. He knew that was not going to happen again, not in this life.
He was also noticing some mental challenges. He was having more difficulty keeping track of things, but he adjusted and adapted. He started writing things down more often, especially on the whiteboard on his refrigerator.
If he spoke to his adult son, he would jot down what they talked about. If he spoke to a neighbor, he would do the same. If he had an appointment, he would write it down where, in the past, he didn’t have to.
The longer he stayed put, the more difficult each day became.
He didn’t like to complain, but he found himself doing that more and more, especially to his children. That’s when the option of assisted living was presented to him once again.
This time, though, he started thinking about it. He recognized the loneliness, isolation, and the challenges each day was posing. If he could still do things himself, but have somebody to turn to if he needed help, he recognized that would be a great thing.
That’s when he realized staying put wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, especially when assisted living is a viable and positive option.