Change Is Difficult – Sunday, July 18, 2010

This will not be our usual Sunday after the bike ride post. Since the purpose of our blog is to keep a record of our journey into retirement, we need to write about other stuff that is going on. While most times the journey is fun, there are times that are more difficult. Perhaps this will help someone facing a similar situation.

The last few weeks, Nancy and I have gone through a difficult period, particularly for Nancy and her mom. If any of you have aging parents, you will appreciate our situation. Nancy’s mom is approaching 88 years young and it is time to makes some changes to prepare for her future needs.
We are in the process of helping her move to a Senior Living Community. Her new home will be in a beautiful two bedroom, two bath apartment in the independent living section of 
The Lakes at Litchfield.

Mom's apartment, outlined in red, faces the lake.

Courtyard in the middle of the apartments

Living Room

Sun Room

Kitchen - Pantry - Laundry Room

This community is designed to meet the needs of seniors during the latter stages of their life. The complex has both homes and apartments for independent living, an assisted living complex, an Alzheimer’s care complex and a skilled nursing care facility. They are fully prepared to meet all the needs of the residents that may occur as they age. It is very comforting to us that the facility has been rated one of the top Senior Living Communities. Their slogan says it all… ”Live Long, Live Well, Live.”

While it is a beautiful community, that does not make it any easier. Nancy’s mom is in relatively good shape and is struggling with the decision to move. The older we get the harder it is to change. She really loves her home and the view of a small lake out back. However, it is on a large lot and is 1800 square feet…too much house and yard for her to manage.

Front of current home
Back of Current Home

She was able to get an apartment with a beautiful view of a small lake. We are hoping that will help with the transition.
View from Sun Room

However, change is difficult!! There have been a lot of tears, some resentment and denial, but it is time to make the change.

To Nancy’s credit, she has the ability to be compassionate and stern at the same time. She has spent numerous exhausting days helping her mom pack and try to downsize. Moving from a house to an apartment requires a significant amount of downsizing and understandably, Nancy’s mom doesn’t want to part with a lot of things.

This coming Friday, July 23rd, we will actually move her into her new apartment. All the preliminary work is completed. The necessary paperwork, telephone, insurance, etc. has been done. So with a few more days of packing, we will be ready to make the move and help mom get adjusted.

Nancy and I feel confident that her mom will come to love her new home. She will be in a healthy and safe environment. She will be able to meet people with common issues and not become socially isolated as was happening in her current home. She will live in a gated and secure community which provides the following: a variety of on-site health care options should she need them with 24-hour on-site staff, all exterior and interior maintenance, weekly housekeeping, country club style dining, social activities, a wellness (fitness) center with full-time trainer, swimming pool with exercise classes, and transportation to any place she needs to go. Right now she is still driving, but once she gets adjusted, we hope she will be able to leave the driving to them.

Dining Room
Heated Pool

Fitness Center

 Apartment Floor Plan

We have learned so much as we move through this process with mom. We know we will learn much more over the coming months.  But if nothing else, we now realize that we need to make a plan for our future and not leave that job up to our children. What has become apparent to us is that by the time you need to make the move, you cannot make the decision and execute the plan.  So we want to have a plan and a time frame to execute it.   


  1. Our prayers are with you two through this transition. I know it's difficult. I had to help put my Grandmother in an assisted living facility years ago, and she fought it every step of the way. After she was settled in, she loved it! She was around more people, and made more friends until the day she died. "This too shall pass"

  2. Sometimes it's very hard to do the right thing for your parents. You are providing a great place for you mom to live, I think she'll realize it and learn to love her new home. And you'll have peace of mind knowing she is safe, well cared for and watched over.

    May God bless you both and keep you strong in this trying time.

  3. Thanks Paul and Marti.

    You are so right...doing the right thing can be very hard. But caring about mom makes it easier to do the right thing.

  4. I sure hope there is such a nice place for me to go when I can no longer be on the road. It looks beautiful and I know she will be sad in leaving what she knows well but I agree with everyone that ultimately she will be happier there with other folks around her and lots of things to keep her occupied. Hats off to you both for doing such a good and compassionate job in such a very difficult and delicate circumstance. I may need some specific advice from your experience very soon. My 89 year old father is still living alone in a retirement community and refusing to move into the assisted living facility he needs to be in because of his macular degeneration. Otherwise his health is amazing which he never forgets to mention when the subject comes up. But he's lonely. We'll be going to his home in Florida, my brother and I and our families for his 90th b'day in October and hope to at least begin the search for somewhere as nice as you've found for a price he can afford which will be a trick.

  5. That sounds like a great place for your mom, Nancy. Can I join her there? I think she'll love it once she gets settled in.
    A few years ago, my mom downsized from the house in the country where we grew up and moved into a smaller house in town. It was her decision but it was a little hard to say goodbye to the house.


  6. Looks like a very nice facility. Hope it all works out for your mom.

  7. Randy and Pam, thanks for the good wishes.

    Thanks also for introducing yourselves and your blog. I spent my childhood summer vacations in Little Current on Manitoulin Island. It was just a ferry ride from Tobermory to South Baymouth...or by car through Parry Sound, Sudbury and Espanola. So it is fun to visit some places from a very happy time in my life.

    Safe Travels, Nancy