I spent this past Saturday visiting my elderly friend, L who lost her husband in April. She is living with a mutual friend, Dee of ours who fortunately has the space, time and income to take her in. Visits to the doctor confirmed what we both suspected; our elderly friend just can not live alone at this point or probably at all any more. She just physically can not handle a house or even an apartment. I ended up with one of her dogs and may end up with another~oh that is going to make my life oh so interesting………
Dee bought a house a couple years ago that had a handicapped accessible bedroom suite (bedroom, bathroom, and living room) on the first floor. Dee figured it was just a nice first floor guest bedroom suite, she never thought it would be needed, in fact, using the extra living room as her office for her home based business. Our friend L has a multitude of health issues that she has been living with for a number of years, With the death of her husband, she just had a total and complete mental and physical breakdown. She is slowly getting better mentally. She had dinner with us, interacted with us and was coherent. When I first visited her when she arrived in Southern New England, she was barely functioning, mentally or physically. The depression was overwhelming and we both had concerns that she would not “snap out of it.” She is making slow progress, but progress non the less.
Dee had extended conversations with L and the decision was made to sell L’s house and have her live permanently with Dee. L has no other family. Dee, myself and two other good friends are her family. She does have an adult step daughter, but she has her own life and while she is fond of L, she is not the appropriate person to take care of her step mother.
L is lucky, the money from the sale of her house will be put into some prudent investments and will be used for her medical care. Dee has already said the basic living expenses, heat, electricity, cable, phone, food, are going to be absorbed by her. If L wants a private phone line, that will be set up for her when that time comes. L and Dee have been friends for a number of years and as Dee said, I’m only treating L the way I would like to be treated if this ever happens to me.
This scares me. I’m a bit like L in that I don’t have any close immediate family. I do have the family I have made, a circle of friends that are closer to me than many of my relatives. I’m a good twenty five years younger than L, but the thought of being totally alone and unable to care for myself really freaked me out this weekend. Really freaked me out. Who will take care of me and my animals in my old age. On my To Do list is to look into Long Term Care Insurance. Sometimes I wish I could have stayed 36 forever.