A Closed Mind in a Dangerous Thing Connie Mason Michaelis
Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging
I hear it again and again, families saying that their parents won’t consider moving out of their big house. They have difficulty breaching the subject because of the argument that will ensue. I feel bad for them because they are doing their best to be supportive. Sometimes the parents refuse to come for a tour; many are so sure that they already know what it is like; after all, they’ve visited their predecessors for years in nursing homes. Modern retirement communities bear no resemblance to those of the early days, but the paradigm is set. The kids are worried about falls, medication mistakes, nutritional needs, and isolation. The parents continue to think there are no problems. A closed mind is really about fear of the unknown. The sad thing is that a closed mind can put you in danger.
My mom traveled that same path. She kept saying she was capable of living alone, but my sisters and I knew she was just being stubborn. She believed she knew all about it. She finally consented to take a look at an independent living apartment, and when she did, her mind opened just a crack. The rest is history. She made the move and experienced a whole new life chapter of active senior living. Mom was afraid of losing her independence, but the truth was that she never lived more independently in her life. She had no worries, no responsibilities. She got up every day and had so many choices to make. There was bridge, bible study, singing group, exercise, and parties every week. Her big worry was managing to get everything done that she wanted to. It was the greatest gift she could have ever given to my sisters and me. We had peace of mind that she was safe and having fun too!