What Does “We’re Managing Fine” Really Mean for Eldery Parents?
Senior-care experts advise over and over to make decisions about long-term care before a crisis strikes. And that’s just what Marni Jameson and her family did, but it took a year of talking to get there.
Jameson recounts her family’s journey in a column featured in the Orlando Sentinel. She says her brother had been bringing up concerns about their elderly parents for a year. He’d seen some of the typical signs that his parents needed help, including falls, forgetfulness, hygiene and weight changes. Yet the parents insisted they were getting by. “We’re managing just fine, thank you,” their mom would say.
To me, ‘we’ was the operative word. As long as they had each other, they had a cross check system in place. Dad’s vision is poor, so Mom distributes the pills. When Mom falls, Dad gets her up. It works somehow, if precariously.
“What will happen when one of them goes first?” my brother asks me.
“What do you mean when one of them goes?” I say, sounding like Mom.
“We would have to instantly move the other one into assisted living, and that would be more traumatic. It would be better to move them together.”
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.