I sit and listen to a new friend, age 82, who talks about why she relocated to this community to live with her daughter. She also has a son and made the decision about one year ago that it was better to live with her daughter. The daughter is single the son is married. She did not feel comfortable living with the son and his wife. A bit of tension there as she described it.
Lots has been said about the wisdom or not so wise decisions of living with your children when you are old. Bottom line it comes down to wanting to be with someone you trust when you become infirm, unable to drive, the little grey cells don’t click as fast as they used to and the fear of being with strangers when you get to the stage where you are totally dependent on other people.
When the children do not offer, when they do not acknowledge that you are fast approaching a time when you will need help, what does one do? A good friend says to me often when we talk of children. Who else is going to love and forgive them. I ask, who else is going to love old parents except their children. At least that is how it is “supposed” to be and certainly what I hope for.
Asking for advice and help at this stage is difficult, especially when your entire life has been one of independence.
Do I want to live with my children? I prefer not, however, I do want to be close enough to them to see them often, have them make important decisions for my husband and I and visit as frequently as possible. Living in the same house would not be a first choice for any of us.
Living next door or down the street would be perfect. Can we make that happen? Very difficult in this high priced housing environment.
I give thought to all of the above, see the stumbling blocks, feel sometimes overwhelmed and then depressed. There are no easy answers.
For my friend who is living with her daughter, in my opinion she is very fortunate. Daughters care about you, take care of you, do the nurturing thing that women do. Daughters in law do the same, sometimes under circumstances that are not ideal. I am reminded of the story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible.
Getting older by the day. For once in my life I would like someone else to help make the decisions.