I'm The Good Stuff In The Middle
Guess what? We did it and it can be stressful. It can also be quite rewarding. It wasn’t long after my Dad passed before it became obvious that Mom couldn’t manage on her own - she had dementia. We built an addition onto our house and she came to live with us. Jake, our only child, was 11 at the time and it was a big adjustment for him. Suddenly, he wasn’t getting all our attention. Not only did Mom have dementia, but she was depressed, missed her husband and was in a new environment. I’d be lying if I said sometimes Kevin and I didn’t feel stretched.
Here’s the rewarding part. I took care of my mother at a point in her life when she really needed me. As a result, I got to know her in a whole new, more enriching way. Jake also developed a deeper relationship with her. Many evenings, they would sit in her room eating popcorn and watching shows that we wouldn’t let him watch (like Sponge Bob Squarepants). I’d hear them laughing and talking. She taught him to love Elvis, the Three Stooges and Leave It To Beaver. He heard family stories I never heard. Together, they’d sneak ice cream and candy and then blame each other when it was discovered missing, laughing the whole time.
As a Realtor, I speak with families trying to navigate these housing issues all the time. Because I’ve been through the issue myself, I can say it isn’t always easy, especially at first. We recognized early that we wanted Mom with us and we had to make a space to give her some privacy and room for her belongings. In our case, it worked out for all of us and created some beautiful family moments and memories we’ll never forget.