I have this picture on my desk right now and I can’t stop looking at it. Partly, not to be too dark, it makes me wonder, Really? Is this where we’re headed, those of us with cash? There’s a handsomely paid individual in my office who keeps his mother in a hoity-toity home and he says there are 100 people per employee, which makes him wonder how bad the Medicaid homes are.
I’m helping my folks plan their long-term care, which is an overwhelming request and typical of my mother. When she said “can you figure out what will happen to us, whenever, you don’t have to get back to me right away,” it’s sort of like her tossing off “oh, can you solve the world’s economic crisis? Thanks.” Like, ay caramba, this is a problem well beyond my skill set, but whatever, here we go. After asking some people, I think we’re going to make an appointment with an elder care attorney for $500, which is killing my mom’s spirit, and I told her to suck it up b/c this is not something you can Google. From what I found out, it’s not like one solution fits all. Totally depends on what you want and how much you have. (I’m providing more detail than normal in case you’re dealing with this or have in the past. Maybe you can benefit from what I’m doing, or you can share your experience with me.)
And then Mom said something like “what is the meaning of life when you think so much about death,” which is typical dark Mom. She really needs some Project Runway in her life (…but maybe she’d see a sign of death in Heidi’s Auf wiedersen?) I tried to guilt-trip her. I told her my other friends have parents who already took care of this so their children wouldn’t have to, but she just looked at me blankly, completely oblivious. Normal, everyday manipulation doesn’t work on Mom. She’s a smart lady but blunt in sensitivity, which allows her to give and receive un-subtle statements without blinking, e.g., telling strangers like Paul Giamatti they look fat. If it did hurt her feelings, I’d be nicer, but as it is, I keep up my Joan Collins skills.
Anyway, the silver lining, and there is always something, is that Husband and I can think about what kind of old we want to become. Do I want to be 80 beading necklaces? I go both ways. I can see it being a simple pleasure…or something that makes me smother myself with a pillow. Ha.