Thursday, February 11, 2010

When Grandma won't leave...

I met with Frank and Joy the other day and they described a problem that is not only very common but more and more of my clients are wrestling with the same issue.  So I thought I would share their story.

Grandma is a feisty, spirited personality who has been living in her same home for that past 40 years.  It is what she knows and it is where she raised her kids and where she spent her best years with her now deceased husband.  She wants to stay in her own home.

The problem isn't the house - it is being able to function in the house on her own now that all her kids have grown up and started their own lives.  She unfortunately doesn’t really have the ability to function safely on her own, day after day. She isn’t necessarily a danger to herself at this point but there are things that go on that make this a difficult situation.  There is the issue of physical security, getting around to the store for food and supplies, basic upkeep of the house and a host of other day to day issues.  Not overwhelming - yet - but she is headed in that direction.

She has several children including Frank and Joy, who are trying to grapple with grandma's situation. They came to me looking for an experienced voice to give them a heads up on how to deal with this very sensitive and personal issue - not to mention the accompanying financial issues. And as with many in this situation, it is a a first experience for both the adult children as well as the Grandma.  Sound familiar??

In this case, Frank and Joy were able to put together a plan over the next few years, include Grandma in the planning and allow her time to "get used to" the idea of not being in her home.  There were a lot of emotions and issues to deal with but eventually Grandma moved out, one of the children took over living in and caring for her house and it had a happy ending. 

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