Taking It a Day at a Time!

EllysGdaughter

Taking It a Day at a Time!

EllysGdaughter
autumn-242628_640This isn't really what I expected after Elly's move.

Just a catch up here: Elly, my Grandma is 95 years old. My husband and I moved in with her five and a half years ago. I  work part-time in a high school but last year my hours moved up to six hours a day. It was quite an adjustment for me. Elly doesn't need personal care but it wasn't safe for her to live in her home with a huge yard alone so I was responsible for housework, gardening, shopping and cooking meals. She has that yard that she would sit and look out at but couldn't take care of anymore.

We rented out our house when we moved in with Elly and just a month ago decided to sell it, letting our tenant have her notice. When my sister (who lived next door) told Elly that she was going to sell her house and move, Elly decided she was ready to move out too. It was an interesting process; Elly didn't want to go look at any assisted living or senior living places so my sister and I did. My prayer was that when we found a place that had an opening that she could afford, then it would be the right place. That is just what happened. Without Elly seeing it, we rented and waited for her to pack. I rented it on October 31st and we moved her November 11th. She never packed a thing, not a suitcase or toiletries, I was afraid she wasn't going to go! She took her knitting with her in the car, she was to join the knitting group at the senior living place while "The Boys" moved her stuff into the apartment. Lunch came and then the trailer of stuff was unloaded and arranged before she was done eating. It was quite a scene as we were told everything should come through the front entrance and wheel down the hallway to her room, and it did: Bed, couch, dresser, desk, lift chair, table, TV stand ,etc.!

So, how has my life changed? Well, it's complicated. The first week, my sister and I took turns staying overnight with Elly. Elly had fallen the weekend before the move so she was a bit fragile and disoriented in the new place. Even though Elly should be going to the dining room for meals, I will get a shopping list of items for Elly that she wants to have on hand. I have enjoyed the freedom to wash dishes or use paper plates, leave dishes in the sink and have less housecleaning to do! I still don't have a regular schedule, finding myself going to sign paperwork with the Realtor or errands to hunt down what Elly needs thwarting my intended "schedule". I guess it will be this way for a while since AH is sleeping at our house (in escrow) since it was vandalized early in the escrow process. We are spending time on the weekends looking at houses to try to buy. Everything is going very fast in our price range.

We have the job of cleaning out Elly's house, making sure family gets the momentos that they want and then boxing things up for a real estate sale. As soon as we are in escrow in the home that we buy, we can put Elly's home up for sale. There is a juggling act going on to try to keep us from being homeless!!! We know of several people who want to buy Elly's house--people from the neighborhood and folks who looked at sister's house next door and really want Elly's property. She will get a great price; we get the work!

Last weekend, Elly called me and I told her that my cousin and sister were here looking at things they might want. Elly told me emphatically to make a list so that there is no question later on about who got what! So now, there is a list on the dry erase board of what items they took or are going to take. The living room and family room have been cannibalized--missing main furniture pieces (in Elly's apartment) and trinkets that we were used to seeing around are gone. I let my cousin take what he wanted and my sisters had certain things they wanted. It looks like I get to have the things I really wanted so I think right now, everyone's happy.

Elly is very sure about never coming back to her house. Her apartment really carries her essence with the things we put into it. The pictures on the walls and furniture are the comforting pieces. She is content and like my uncle says, "I never hear a negative word out of her about anything at the senior living place." It was the right choice. I like visiting and going to lunch or dinner. The ladies at the table are so very kind to Elly and each other. The food is very good with decent portions, small but variety with excellent service. Most of the food is home made, not from a can/institutionalized. I have gotten to know several of the ladies and they assure me that it takes about a year to adjust to the whole senior living experience. I am welcome to eat with her any time, I buy meal tickets for $5 a meal except for Sundays; it's $10. We had a wonderful "Welcome Dinner" for the family in honor of Elly's move in, held in the private dining area with excellent service on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My sister, AH and I are the regular visitors and caregivers. We know that Elly is where she wants to be and we definitely have more freedom at home.

The next few weeks with Christmas coming will be so different than in the past but I need to just take one day at a time. Shopping for a new house for us, applying for full-time jobs and giving away/boxing up Elly's things fill the "spare" hours of our days. That's what my life looks like right now. I couldn't do this without the support of everyone here on Caregiving.com. I feel we are coming to the end and will finish strong!

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jan

EGD, you are so doing everything right, and one day at a time is all anyone can do, including Superman and Wonder Woman. And you will do it. I am so happy for you that Elly is content and in good care. The peace of mind that brings will carry you through everything else. I love the idea of the dry erase board to list household items that are spoken for, that is brilliant. You have my support, and I look forward to hearing about your future victories.

Jean

I'm so glad you updated us. You've certainly been in a whirlwind of change and uncertainty. Elly sound like such a jewel. How wonderful she is adjusting so well. I agree, you are coming in with a strong finish to next act.

Mary1072

I'm glad Elly is happy in her new place! That real-estate limbo is a challenge. I have had/will have my own version of that. We are slowly preparing to put this house on the market--maybe too slow, as the next-door neighbor either passed or went into care. We don't know--his family held an estate sale last weekend. We expect a for sale sign anytime now. Not so great to sell two homes side-by-side.

Hussy

I echo Lillie in thanking you for the update. I know how stressful \"real estate limbo\" can be. Good luck in your job search and please keep us posted. Lots of big changes in the works! But a positive time for you, AH and Elly. :)

Lillie Fuller

Thanks for the update EGD, been missing you in chat. Come in when you can. You are always in my thoughts and prayers!