As we age, we can lose many of the faculties that we have taken for granted for years such as, hearing, sight, balance, memory and mobility, to name a few. Even with very good health, these functions upon which we have depended for years can fail us. The familiarity of our homes becomes one of the things that we can count on. So why move? In fact, at PBWS we often hear the chorus “No way will I leave my home!”
Staying at home is often equated with independence. Is that really true? A friend of our firm recently told me about his 94 year old father who lives alone in New York. Our friend had just been to visit and had an up to the minute report. Dad is alert and cogent at 94. He gets around by himself. But a daughter who lives nearby checks up on him every day. A son in law stops in regularly to make sure the house systems are all working, grass is mowed, garbage taken out. A granddaughter has moved from Albuquerque, and one responsibility of her young life is to be the primary point person for her grandfather’s day to day needs. So, while our 94 year old elder is living independently, the family, even from afar, is on daily alert for him.
This is not to say that families should not look out for one another. By all means. But let’s not under estimate what it takes from others for us to live alone when we are very old.
During the recent visit, our friend was out, and Dad fell in the yard and could not get up. A neighbor found him. He is okay. Whew!