Originally from Clara City, Minnesota, my mom Carol moved multiple times prior to retiring in Arizona. She raised 10 successful children. She spent 34 years in Arizona before deciding to return to Willmar, Minnesota in 2005.
Her desire to return to the winters in Minnesota was because she wanted to be put to rest next to my father. He is buried in Clara City. No one loved a lively game of Rummy or Bingo more than her! She loved every family event!
She truly enjoyed weddings, baptisms and graduations! She didn’t miss many! She was a lifelong smoker who finally quit at 75 years old. By then, emphysema had claimed her lungs and she struggled with breathing. Being tied to oxygen was her least favorite thing but necessary. Dementia slowly began to take over her cognitive functions between 75 and 80. She lived independently with some caregiver support until she was evaluated and accepted to a Memory Care facility in 2016. Luckily, she had the resources to provide for her care but there were concerns that she would run out of money.
Even though I have extensive training and experience with dementia, it is different when it’s your parent. After finishing a phone call with my Mom, I would experience the frustration, guilt, and grief of the repetitive nature of the call and the knowledge that she wouldn’t remember my call the next day.
All my siblings, except for 2, lived many hours from my Mom. All my siblings responded to be as helpful as best they could. Most of her housing, healthcare and financial decisions were left to my younger brother. He never complained but he had health issues of his own and a family to care for. He responded to every need and every doctor’s appointment. I personally cannot thank him enough for his compassionate and constant support.
My Mom caught pneumonia in January of 2018 and passed away under Hospice Care in the hospital. All Senior Options is dedicated to her memory. I will treat every family like they are my family. I couldn’t be there for my senior loved one, but I will be there for yours.