Living far away and sandwiched in between
March 13, 2020
Stories from the Orlando Senior Help Desk
Lydia is an only child with a mother in early stage Alzheimer’s. Her father has no patience with her mother’s shifting personality and needs. At 90 years old, he is resistant to change and doesn’t understand or like what is happening. He yells a lot. They are not getting along. Lisa has been trying to handle the situation from over 1,000 miles away while taking care of her three teenage children. She is part of the Sandwich Generation that is in the middle of raising teenagers and elderly parents at the same time.
Lydia called the Orlando Senior Help Desk for guidance. She had already made an appointment for her mother to be evaluated by a neurologist the following week. She was concerned her father would not be able to understand or accept the assessment. Nancy Ludin suggested Lydia hire a companion or home health aide to accompany her mother to the appointment and record the doctor’s findings on her phone and take notes. The aide could forward the conversation to her. Then decisions could be made for her parent’s future.
Lydia’s father was resistant to having some stranger help in his home. Ludin also suggested that an aide could take her mother out for shopping and lunch regularly so her father could have peaceful time alone. Another option was sending her mother to an adult day care where she could have socialization and activities. This was just the beginning of decisions to be made.
Of course, Lydia wants to be near her parents as they age, but with high school children active in sports, drama and music; her career; and a husband with a thriving business, she can’t move. Her first challenge is to convince her father to move to Florida and into an elder care community. Lydia began investigating assisted living and memory care in the Orlando area. Her parents were used to a Jewish community and Lydia began her search. Ludin explained the difference between independent living, assisted living and memory care. She also explained Continuous Care Retirement Communities that often offer all three living styles and where you buy in and are guaranteed a place.
Based on the neurologist’s recommendations, a lot of decisions need to be made. Thanks to the Orlando Senior Help Desk, Lydia now has the resources to make her decisions. She knows if she needs more advice, she has the number to call. You too can call 407-678-9363 for help. You can also visit our website at http://www.orlandoseniorhelpdesk.org for information navigating senior services.