I have spent the last several weeks trying to get my parents (Dad – 88, Mom – 82) organized for their move to an assisted living apartment.  In addition, Mom ended up in the hospital in pretty bad shape, so it was quite a stressful time with lots on my plate.

The House was Sold

An offer was finally accepted even though it was about $30,000 less than the original asking price.  Shame on the realtors and potential buyers who thought they were dealing with a senile old man and presented ridiculously low offers and even more ridiculous conditions.  As an example, one man wanted to be reimbursed if his utility bills were higher than what my parents were currently paying.

The fellow whose offer was accepted then wanted to store all his possessions at the house because his house was sold and he had nowhere to put them.  We had enough of my parent’s possessions to deal with (what stays with them, what goes) without having to trip over someone else’s boxes.  My dad’s still pretty sharp mentally but I’m still glad I was there.  I don’t think I have said the word “no” so often since my children were toddlers.

Mom in the Hospital

My mother ended up in the hospital due to a severe drug overdose (legal medication over prescribed by her doctor) which made her almost psychotic.  A simple (but severe) arthritic pain in her neck resulted in being prescribed thirty-six different medications!  We knew things were not right because of her behavior over the past year, but the doctors saw nothing wrong with her and suggested we all see a psychiatrist.

Admittedly I don’t have much to compare to, but the B.C. health system is so frustrating to deal with I almost lost my own mind.

No one will actually deal with her pain problem and until it is looked at she has to stay in a respite facility, which just seems like being in a really bad motel.  More doctors’ visits to come in the next week so I hope it can be resolved shortly.

Moving Day

Due to Mom’s medical condition we decided to leave them in Kelowna instead of moving them to a retirement community in Langley.  Luckily an apartment opened up and we jumped on it right away for an August 1st possession.  They have separate living quarters and go to a communal dining room for meals.

Medical personnel on staff and constant monitoring gives me some peace of mind when I’m not there.  Hopefully my mom with soon be joining my dad and they can both take advantage of the many facilities.

Living in Different Provinces

One thing I never anticipated when deciding on my retirement goals was the expense of travelling frequently to my parents’ home to take care of them or their affairs.  It’s an eight-hour drive.  The flight is only one hour but when the trips are sudden you can’t take advantage of seat sales so the flight there and back can cost up to $800 each time.  Then there’s renting a vehicle and loss of income when I’m not at work.  It’s all adding up.

Dealing with elderly parents can be very difficult.  They are frequently crabby, argumentative and demanding.  Before my patience wore too thin (and I started to turn into an alcoholic – Alberta Vodka was on sale while I was there), I had to remember that they are ill, have their own worries and are making a huge lifestyle change and everyone else seems to be making their decisions for them.  Nevertheless, I hope I remember this experience in the future so I can be easier on my own children when it’s my turn to be taken care of.

To all those people who ask if I had a good vacation I say – “Not so much.”

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