For the past few years, my siblings and I have thought about how to get our parent to move to an independent living facility, but couldn’t bring ourselves to make the decision.
Interestingly, I get a call from my dad. He was at his girlfriend’s apartment in Kings Point, Tamarac.
“Hilary, we are thinking of moving to an independent living facility in Lauderhill,” he told me. “Yes, there are way too many young people moving into Kings Point.” his girlfriend added, “This is our time to move on.”
My brother and I had been thinking that an independent facility would be good for our dad. He’s starting to have memory issues and the thought of him on his own was a little scary for us.
For years, I have invited my dad to live with me but he refused. He loves Florida and he loves his recent girlfriend.
So, the next day after this conversation, his girlfriend, Harriet, her aid and my father, took a road trip to see a “place.” The next thing I knew, I was getting a call from Harriet’s daughter telling me her mother signed.
Panic set in. I became so anxious! I knew that it would be the best thing for him, but the thought of dropping everything at that moment and going down to Florida to pack him up and set him up in a new apartment, felt way too soon.
I wasn’t expecting this.
Nearly a year ago to the day, my sister, Lori, went with her boyfriend to Florida to visit my dad. At that time, she went to visit this particular Independent Living Facility. “It’s gorgeous,” she told me. “It looks like a hotel. You really need to see this the next time you come down.”
Last year was a trying year and the last thing on my mind was to visit that place.
Then, months before this happened, I received a call from my dad, “Hil, I’m not ready to go to independent or assisted living. I may go in two years but not now.” I always assumed that statement also came from his girlfriend.
But as you know, life takes strange turns all the time. As much as you want it to be the same and predictable, it never is.
A Phone Call in the Ladies’ Room
My brother called me to discuss. “Hey, I think you should take dad over to this place and let him see it again,” I said. He agreed.
That Monday, he drove from his home, which is about 30 minutes away and picked up my dad and they headed to the Independent Living Center. When they were there, my brother snapped a few photos and texted them to me.
“The place is gorgeous and dad would be fine in a small studio apartment,” he texted. “Can you talk?”
I was at the dentist office in their public restroom. The phone rang. I picked up. I was talking with my brother, the sales person and my dad. “Dad, do you think you will be happy there?” I asked him.
“Oh yeah,” he said.
I hung up and as I was walking out the door, a woman followed me. “You did good,” she said. “You did real good.”
I didn’t know this woman and didn’t understand what she was talking about. Was she talking to me? Was I receiving a message from someone? Could that happen? She seemed familiar and within moments, she was gone.
So, how do you get your parent to move into an independent living facility? You let them decide on their own!