So my parent’s licenses were revoked and they kept driving so we hid their cars. Then my parent’s started to take cabs between their two homes. This created a whole new set of issues since they would arrive without money or keys.
When they broke into their town house and called the police to report the break-in, we were dumb-struck. My dad realized what happened while my mom argued about it as I drove them to their apartment at the retirement community.
At this point, their retirement community was starting to get alarmed at my parent’s behavior. They called me to share the concern over them getting into cabs. We met with the staff who suggested we consider petitioning the courts for Guardianship / Conservatorship and force our parents into Assisted Living.
This process would have devastated my parents. The struggle over the cars and driving made us very aware of how much ego played a part in the needed transitions. We were also hesitant to make this a matter of public record. I was berated many times by my mother when she felt that I did something without first discussing it with my parents. I treated my parents the way I would want to be treated and did always discuss the issue with them, however, they often forgot the conversations. Eventually, the retirement community called in Adult Protective Services. My parents failed to remember their visits.
Eventually, what we found out was that as a resident of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), the community had the ability to force my parents from Independent Living into Assisted Living. The community respected my parent’s privacy and never told us about this, but when they called to tell us they were going to move my parents, we quickly understood the silver lining in my parent’s choice for this retirement community.
While the organization of getting the move done was monumental and stressful, my siblings came into town to support the move and one of my brothers along with his wife, returned to clean out their town home and Independent Living apartment.
The three steps that helped us support our parent’s transition were:
- Address driving if you think it’s an unsafe activity for your parents and their doctor agrees.
- If they continue to drive disable or hide the cars.
- Look to their retirement community to see if they can help make the transition when it’s needed.
Finally, my parents are in the environment that suits their current needs and they are very happy in their new apartment. Accomplished.