Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Listen to This!

For the past 4 years Jack and Carole have shared my townhome in Colorado Springs. They moved in with me after I suffered a fairly serious accident. They had planned on renovating their house in Manitou Springs anyway so the temporary move was practical for them---and has proved a good thing for me too.

The kids purchased their house about 20 years ago. It sits alone on the top of a hill smack-dab between Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. The views from every window are breathtaking and the privacy is almost complete. I can understand why they want to move back there. But I don't want to.

The house redo is major and could include a mother-in-law suite for me. But I don't want it. My suite would have a door that could shut out domestic critters and give me plenty of privacy. But I don't want it. The driveway is being lowered to make driving easier for me. But I don't want to do it. Let's face it. I Don't Want IT!

Think about it---the Machiavellian cats, the dumb and dirty dogs, the constant unexpected, noisy company---not to mention the bears, mountain lions and stinky varmints on the other side of my windows. Did I mention I'm 85 years old? I want to walk out and socialize with refined, congenial, seemly folks without wondering who---or what is going to jump out at me. I want to drive to the library without piloting my little car down streets with 45 degree grades---and ice.

I love my townhouse but it's much too large for me by myself. It is also too far from senior activities in which I look forward to participating. So...after suffering many sleepless nights and nail-biting days I decided to move into an independent living retirement community. I've been investigating my options here.

Unfortunately my research has not been very encouraging. I'm completely horrified by the cost of most desireable communities. It's crazy. I'm totally independent and yet it seems most places want me to pay for all kinds of "amenities" I don't need and certainly don't want to pay for. The kids have suggested I look for a regular apartment within walking distance of the senior center. It sounds like a sensible idea and I'll be looking into that possibility this week.

So that's what's been up with Lucy this past week. Oh, and did I mention a new leaky puppy moved in here? But that's another story! Here's a picture anyway. And BTW, his name is Rashi.


  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger Miss Cellania said…

    The idea of a regular apartment at a better location sounds good. If you are closer to the services you want, then it will be easier for them to reach you also, if the need ever arises. Keep your independence as long as you can, but convenience is worth a LOT. Best of luck in whatever you decide!

  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger bunnygirl said…

    Your story sounds so familiar! My grandmother's son wanted to build an apartment onto his house for her, but he had THREE young boys. They were very smart and well-behaved, but they were still boys, still young, and there were THREE of them.

    She would've had no peace and quiet at all!

    She chose an assisted living center, but she also had Parkinson's, which meant she had some additional needs. Nevertheless, it turned out pretty well for her, for the most part.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Joy said…

    Rashi's very cute; but it looks like he's just been scolded. Lucy?....what did you say to him? You can't fool're a big softy. Your bark is way worse than your bite.

    I know just what you're talking about trying to figure out where you want to be. I know you want to keep your independence as long as possible...I don't blame you. I truly hope you can find an apartment that would be just right for you. That sounds like the best solution for you now. But isn't it nice to know how much you are loved...and wanted Lucy? Good luck in the hunt...

  • At 9:22 PM, Blogger kenju said…

    Lucy, the new puppy is adorable, but if he is leaky, I wouldn't want to live with him...LOL

    I understand how you feel. And the assisted living places around here are exhorbitant in cost too. An apt. (maybe with a roomie) is a good idea. Good luck!

  • At 12:04 AM, Anonymous claude said…

    The last suggestion, the one of an apartment withing walking distance of the senior centre sounds reasonable. As a friend though, can I say something? Are you sure you don't want it all? You've been living with Carol and Jack for the last four years and didn't sound like you didn't enjoy it. Make sure that you actually don't want it. And that what you don't want is the CHANGE!
    I am of course speaking for myself. I hate major changes.
    If you go on living with them, it would be a major change, but not as huge as living on your own in an apartment, whether near the senior centre or not.
    Well, that was my two cents.
    Lots of love.

  • At 5:25 AM, Blogger Suzann said…

    Hi Lucy!!!! So good to see you back :) I am helping my mom look into the same type of new living arrangements and wow, you are right - they are definitely expensive, especially for when you do not need those "amentities." I am so happy to see you blogging again, I have missed you and Happy, happy belated birthday. Hugs.

  • At 2:39 PM, Anonymous millie garfield said…

    Wow Lucy, you sure have a lot to think about. I like the idea of independent living retirement community but as you have found out, the cost is high. Do you know anyone who lives in that type of place? It would be helpful if someone would give you an insiders view.

    At this point in time if I were looking for a new place that's what I would want. I don't like the idea of living in an apartment by myself. Eventually I expect to need some type of help, things like shleping in the groceries, maybe a prepared meal etc. Living alone in an apartment would not do it for me.

    Keep looking and asking around, even the local senior center might help steer you in the right direction.

    Good luck.

  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger Roberta S said…

    Dear Lucy,

    Not a good place to be in. Some decisions are so difficult. This is not to be intended as 'advice', but out of my own personal concern, (though we are only virtual friends), I worry about you and would rather you stick with family and leaky puppies. The puppies will warn you of any intruders and when roads are icy you can cancel your trip to the library and come talk to us. Most of us are ameniable, and reasonably civilized. The rest of the time as long as you have a cell phone, I'll rest relatively easy that you are safe.

    Besides, whose going to help Carole out when she's exhausted from morning shopping -- you know -- put the groceries away and bake banana bread?

  • At 2:22 AM, Blogger joared said…

    Sure looks like a cute smart dog, but the leaky part I could do without, too.

    Sounds like you have a pretty serious decision to make, choices to consider that many of us may well find ourselves having to make at some point in our lives, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it all.

    Food for thought, not necessarily intended for you to answer here on your blog, but...I hope you are able to realistically consider just how much you are able to do for yourself. In light of any health issues you may have, how comfortable are you with living alone in an apt. now? (I know you were in one in Fla., but that was then, are you physically different in any way now?) Do take time to list all the pros and cons of each of the options you mentioned.

    Adjustment to any change in independence is probably the most difficult issue to be faced as I've had so many tell me, and know will be true for myself. I just hope, if the time comes, I'll be able to recognize my need to lean on others a bit more and graciously as possible accept that fact. Sometimes we don't like any of the choices we have which makes selecting one more difficult.

    Can appreciate the desirability of being able to come and go a little more easily on your own, especially in the winter time. Really nice retirement communities, or assisted living facilities are very expensive, as you say. Also, they have all sorts of criteria that must be met, to get in, and then to be allowed to stay there if the person's condition changes. Investigate them carefully, if you go that route. Good to talk to residents living there before committing.

    The new house setup does sound inviting in many ways. Have driven in that general area in years past, and the view is awesome. How much of the year are the roads bad for driving in that area?

    I'll be thinking of you.

  • At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Terri said…

    Sounds like you're going through another of those "passages" in life. Major decicions to be made. Just do what's best for YOU, Lucy. Here's wishing you all the best on whatever you decide. Please keep us posted.
    Rashi is TOO cute! Is this your dog? I remember when I got Duncan, you indicated you might like one.
    Take care, Lucy.

  • At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Maria said…

    Hi Lucy,
    I left a comment back it must have gotten lost in cyberspace. Since I wrote it you have received excellent advice from so many people that my ideas pale in comparison.

    Follow your heart, but mix that with a good amount of reality. I will drop back later to see if this comment was posted. Ah sweet paranoia!

  • At 6:25 AM, Blogger MizMell said…

    Sounds like you know what you want... go for it!

  • At 6:17 PM, Blogger Maya's Granny said…

    My experience has been that making the decision and resisting whatever change I'm going to have to make are the hardest parts, and usually the change is not as bad as I thought it would be.

  • At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Janice said…

    Poor Rashi. I'm a little leaky myself sometimes (cross my legs everytime I sneeze)!

    Not to be nosy, but was your husband a veteran? My friend's Mom went to live in an assisted living facility and was able to get almost a $1000 mo in veteran's benefits. But, the only way she could get these benefits was to be living in the home. There are lawyers who specialize in this type of counseling -- might be worth an inquiry. Good luck, Lucy. We're all on the train with you headed toward these same decisions -- not easy to give up your independence.


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