As the senior population increases, more seniors are opting to age in place. My 91-year-old mother is choosing to do just that. Mom still lives on the family farm and has emphatically stated to her nine living children that we are not to even remotely consider moving her out of the home where she raised her family. It’s hard to dispute her request. She still participates in senior water aerobics twice a week at her Fit Club, stays involved in her farm operation decisions, drives herself to church each Sunday, and does her own grocery shopping and cooking. Recently, she relinquished …
her volunteer work as a theater usher at the local university and discontinued delivering meals-on-wheels to seniors much younger than herself.
Mom said to all her children she will consider moving when she is no longer able to drive. A couple of weeks ago, she had a driving mishap that caused some alarm. As she was getting ready to back out of her garage, the garage door descended causing irreparable damage to it and a few minor scratches to her car’s bumper. Understandably, this incident precipitated conversations and speculation this might be the first of other driving issues to come. Mom assured us this mishap was the result of adjusting her car’s visor and accidentally hitting the garage door opener which now has a new home on the passenger’s visor.
Over the years, we have respected our mother’s wishes to stay in her home by gifting her with practical presents for her birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. We moved her washer and dryer from the basement with its rickety stairs to the first floor of her home. We installed wrought iron handrails along her outside steps to help prevent a fall. And, we had a motion detection light mounted on her garage. This light helps her safely retrieve the newspaper in the predawn hours from her mailbox at the end of her driveway. All of these gifts, given out of love and compassion, honor Mom’s wishes to stay in her home.
At 91, Mom is well aware she may one day need to move. She documented where she would want to live and what possessions she would want to take with her by filling out the Personal Property chapter of my book, Lifetime Legacy Planner. Sharing this information is the most loving and generous gift she could possibly give her family. We love you Mom and we hope you are still living in your home when we celebrate your 100th birthday.