Mom’s Big Decision (An illustrative story)

I wouldn’t say my mother was ever a social butterfly, but since Dad’s passing the home health nurse and physical therapist had become the week’s highlights.

We just could never get there often enough! Then the pneumonia and fall in the bathroom last winter scared us all.

My brother said there was no way Mom could afford a senior home because a coworker told him what it cost for his dad. I did an internet search and made a few calls but there were so many types, terms, and care levels that I gave up. My brother and I both have full time jobs!

A few weeks later I had coffee with a friend whose elderly neighbor just moved into a retirement community. They had an advisor who helped the family discover the right place for free. My call to the advisor gave me incredible hope! He came to Mom’s home and asked about her health, where we lived, Mom’s lifestyle before last winter, her finances, and just listened to our story. Right then, the advisor described some communities that seemed exactly what Mom needed. I was totally surprised how Mom responded – it was like she was catching the vision of what it would be like to share everyday life with others again!

We toured four assisted living communities, met staff, observed resident activities, viewed units, and sometimes had lunch. We returned for a second and even one third tour. Our advisor was with us on as many tours as we wanted, and he helped us compare our feelings, observations, and costs.

Well, it has now been four months since Mom made the big decision. I am convinced this went so well because we just patiently gave her more information, showed her what assisted living looked like, and considered the little things that made a huge difference. The same home health nurse and physical therapist are still seeing her. Now we visit Mom and hear stories about who moved in, the lady’s son who builds rockets, and the teenager who plays violin and is coming this afternoon. The word “thrive” comes to mind…and “relief.”

Byline: Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Jim Ver Meer, Owner and Advisor of Senior Living Decisions. You may reach him at 719-629-9224 or by email at