Andrew and Mildred were in their early 90s before they needed senior care. Andrew had been in the Navy during World War II and had seen combat. Upon his return to civilian life, he enjoyed a long career as an electrical engineer. Mildred had been an elementary school teacher for many years. They had raised their son, Keith, who had long since moved out of state.
When they retired, Andrew’s love of the sea had led them to settle on the Sonoma Coast. They both fell in love with a charming old cottage, and turned it into their retirement castle. It was a modest home, and that suited them perfectly. They preferred to spend their retirement income on travel.
They made friends in their new community among the other retired professionals and enjoyed the small town pace. A former high school principal was among their friends, sharing their old-fashioned values and closest memories of a different era.
Senior Care is Needed…
All went well for many years. Then Mildred developed macular degeneration and later began losing her memory. Andrew retained his mental ability, but his hearing and vision were failing. They outlived their friends and there was no one to look in on them and lend a hand. They needed senior care at this point but did not seek it out. A combination of coastal mist and neglect caused mold to start growing in the carpets. The shower started rusting and eventually became unusable. The house was cleaned less and less frequently, and the smell of mold and neglect was evident as soon as you opened the door.
Resisting In-Home Care
On his infrequent visits, Keith was shocked to see the change in his parents, but when he tried to bring up the subject of getting some in-home care or moving to a senior care facility, Andrew would become enraged. This was a longstanding pattern that Keith knew well, and he followed the path that had served him well until now, the path of least resistance. He kissed his mother goodbye and went home, but not before calling a social services agency.
Andrew and Mildred were referred to Sequoia Senior Solutions by that agency, which had also alerted Adult Protective Services to the growing problems at their home. In-home care was urgently needed. No one who knew the couple ever imagined such a turn of events.
Solution – Accepting a Senior Care Provider
It wasn’t until Adult Protective Services had been called that Keith finally had some ammunition. “Dad, APS says you have no choice. They will go to court and appoint a conservator if you don’t get some senior care.” Faced with this ultimatum, Andrew hired Sequoia Senior Solutions. At first he had an in-home caregiver for eight hours a day. After a series of hospitalizations, the hours were upped until the two finally had the around-the-clock in-home care that they needed.
Result of Solution – Relief
The house is clean again, the carpet replaced with an easy-to-clean, spill-tolerant surface. It smells like fresh-baked cookies when you walk in. So resistant at first, Andrew now finds that he enjoys having the senior care providers around. He likes having someone to talk to, since Mildred, now diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, doesn’t talk much anymore. He enjoys the fresh-cooked meals prepared by his senior care providers and the fact that everything is ship-shape. Both Andrew and Mildred still enjoy the salt air and the ocean mist. An old Citizens Band radio is usually on, relaying ship-to-shore conversations that are a nostalgic pleasure for Andrew and a familiar, soothing sound for Mildred.
Keith finds that his visits to his parents, not exactly frequent but more regular than before, are actually enjoyable. Knowing that Mildred’s needs are being met and that the household is under control, “Dad has finally settled into his old age gracefully,” says Keith with relief.