This is a very sad situation among seniors today, particularly in this economic environment we are living through and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. They need to sell their homes and belongings in order to pay to live in assisted living or nursing homes. There doesn’t seem to be any assistance for seniors who have some moderate income sources. They have too much for assistance but not enough to live in the style that they have been living. With the housing market down significantly, their homes are not worth what they could have sold them for 3-4 years ago. The furnishings and stuff that they have acquired cannot be sold for any significant amount of money. They are caught between a rock and a hard place.
My friend Miss Daisy is in this situation. She moved to an assisted living community because she could not continue to live in her beautiful condominium that she and her late husband purchased 15 years ago. They purchased all the best appliances and put in all the most wonderful upgrades. They lived a great life! Family members don’t live close and they are having financial struggles of their own and Miss Daisy has been trying to help them.
The situation is getting desperate. The condo will sell for only a fraction of its’ true value and it might take several month for it to sell. Miss Daisy’s health is frail. Everything that can be sold has been sold. The money from these items was minimal and is now gone. Miss Daisy is FRAZZLED, but her faith is helping her to deal with the situation and she has not lost her sense of humor. She is sharp as a tack and sees a light at the end of every tunnel.
Let me tell you a humorous story and I know that Miss Daisy saw the humor in what was going on and enjoyed every minute of the day I drove her to a doctor’s appointment. Miss Daisy is a retired HS English teacher with a master’s from Harvard. She is a very elegant, refined black woman who in her day was active in the civil rights movement. During the course of the most recent election we had many conversations about our new president. Miss Daisy’s doctor’s appointment was the day after the inaugural and I looked forward to her views of the celebration.
When I arrived at the assisted living facility, not in the best neighborhood of Boston, she was all ready to go, and she was dressed in her full length mink coat and matching hat sitting in her wheelchair! So off we went! At the top of the handicap ramp she told me that she would be riding in the back seat! Okay, not a problem except I felt like I was in the movie DRIVING MISS DAISY – of course the role was reversed.
Now as I am reflecting on this field trip it makes me realize how in spite of all her troubles Miss Daisy thoroughly enjoyed herself, and so did I. It made her feel good to have someone drive her around, wait on her, and she loved riding in the back seat. I saw her faith and humor that day. I know the irony of the reversed roles was not lost on her.
Take a moment to appreciate and understand the difficulty our seniors are experiencing.