I’ve experienced this twice now. That moment when you realize a loved one in your life has slowly stopped participating in life. Their social habits gone, and fear and anxiety replacing them. The last straw? A fall. One that has you thinking, “Man, we’re so lucky you didn’t break a hip.” That is followed by a visit to the best independent living facility in town. So begins the gears spinning to making the move. I did it last year with my Grandma(who is doing beautifully in her new place) and we started the process this spring with Mark’s dad, C.F.
C.F. had polio as a child. He is now 77, and suffers from muscle loss and fatigue. At one time he camped, fished, golfed, and ran a successful business. He now can’t go anywhere new for fear of falling in unknown terrain. He sticks to his comfort zone of the grocery store, our house, his lady friend Jeri’s house, and his buddy Mike’s house.
The short list of places he can safely go really limits his social interactions and quality of life. He’s a personable guy, and he should be enjoying hanging out with a groups of people he can relate too. More importantly, his house has become dangerous for him. All the changes in levels and flooring has caused him many falls over the last year. It’s too much house, and too much yard to keep up with.
So after a lot of thought, C.F. chose his apartment at Fox Run and moved in. As luck would have it, Uncle Mike is not only a long time friend, but a realtor also. He drew up the paper work, and the house will go for sale soon.
Mark has spent countless hours getting C.F.’s affairs in order, packing, and facilitating the move(the joy of being an only child). Jeri was super helpful with the packing process and getting him settled. C.F. was cooperative, and that in itself is helpful. It’s been about a week since he got his keys and turned an empty apartment into a home.
We are so excited at all this place has to offer! First, there’s a pool, and family can swim:) He can now get his own mail, walk the hallways for exercise, go to dinner and meet people to socialize with, and he can go to happy hour! In a week he’s taken advantage of all these things! So proud of him! Funny story…Mark took him to the dining room and he enjoyed it and had a great meal. The next day he was a little more resistant to go down. He said he wasn’t going “out” to dinner every night. Mark told him that was fine, but that he’d like to go anyway. When they sat down, C.F. finally said, “What bothers me about this place is there are no prices on the menu!”. Mark explained to him that he pays nothing, it’s part of his package! That made him a lot more excited about not cooking! Imagine his joy when he found out you don’t tip either!
It’s funny how leaving your home signals loss of freedom in your mind. It’s the opposite of true in these places. I’ve seen my Grandma gain so much more independence by living in a place that is conducive to her needs. I know Covert will find the same. Change is never easy, but sometimes it’s right. There’s no doubt C.F. is in the right place at the right time.