Monday, May 14, 2007

Thinking Ahead

I’ve felt pulled in many directions lately. A healthcare need of a member of our extended family has cropped up and appropriately taken precedence over our typical day to day activities. That includes posting here on Pink Granite. I’ve also been thinking a lot (probably too much) about aging, independence, loss, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. A few months ago, I posted here about a wonderful concept called Beacon Hill Village. It’s a terrific, easily replicable support system which allows older folks to remain as independent as possible in their own homes. I want it to multiply and spread as fast as a rumor on the internet. I want it cloned and made available, as the saying goes, in every Middlesex village and town.

I know I’m not alone in my concern about what happens when we, or folks we love, need more care, more services as we age. A friend of mine is coping with this in an immediate and painful way right now as she tries to help her elderly Mom. We all have parents, grandparents and friends who have faced challenging, complex decisions related to growing older. With any luck at all, we will grow old enough to face such choices ourselves! So take a look at what I wrote previously about Beacon Hill Village, follow the links I embedded in that post and spread the word. Thanks.


Roo said...

What a lovely thought and I hope it expands across the pond.

I had two grandmothers, who both had different experiences. One stayed with my aunt up until the day she died, the other went into a care home.

Those two people couldn't have been any different if they had tried. My Nana (Mum's mum) stayed at my Aunt Ethel's place and was warm and tender and everything a grandmother should be. My Nan (Dad's mum)was different, a hard woman.

Both had lost their husbands early (I never met my grandfathers, seemthing I feel I have missed, even now)and both had to bring up large enough familes, 4 and 5 kids.

Maybe Nan was hard because she had to bring up 5 boys, and I always grew up with stories about how downright prickly she could be, and she was hard work. But you know something, there isn't a time goes by when I think that maybe, just mabye if we worked a little harder at it, and stopped whingeing when we had to go and see her,and made the trip with a little more joy in our hearts, maybe she would have been happier.

I'll never know, one thing is for sure, we need to start looking after our folks better, and that starts at home.

Tonya said...

if your friend's mother is in the low income bracket they can probably get some assistance from the aging department of your state. I work there in for the state of TN. Have them check on Medicaid Waiver. It is an alternative to nursing home care but in the home.

Pink Granite said...

Thank you so much for the information Tonya! I took the liberty of incorporating it into today's post. It''s so important to keep the information flowing!
- Lee

Roo, I think we had parallel grandmother experiences.

Gagee, my mother's Mom, was the quintessential grandmother - warm, loving, and kind, with a big open heart. I adored her! Gagee had just two daughters.

Grandma, my Dad's Mom, was anything but warm and fuzzy. She had five sons, her eldest died in infancy. She herself had lost both her siblings and parents by the time she was little more than a toddler. She lived with us for many years, but I never felt close to her.

I was lucky to have Gramps, my Mom's father, in my life into my twenties. He was somewhere between curmudgeonly and irascible. But he had a loving, caring side as well.

Grandpa, my Dad's father, knew me as a baby. He too was a tough cookie, and very strict with his sons. For some reason, he thought I was the bee's knees and although he passed before I could really remember him, I have always felt loved by him.

We never know when these pillars in our lives will pass on. I hope we all get better at finding ways to honor, love and care for them as individuals and within societies.

- Lee

Roo said...

Thanks Lee ;o)