Proactively Planning Ahead for Our Dear Seniors


A sweet deer for Kaye Swain real estate broker agent and her senior mom in Washington 250
By Kaye Swain

My senior mom is doing fairly well. She's definitely not as active as she was about four years ago. Two surgeries coupled with some ongoing health issues have definitely slowed her down a bit. We're both quite excited, though, that she is having fewer allergy symptoms here in the evergreen and lovely state of Washington. That coupled with feeling better means we've been able to enjoy more walks together when I'm not out working with real estate clients. Especially now that spring is showing lovely hints of springing!

She definitely can't walk as far as she used to though. Most of the time that's fine. We walk as far as she would like and then we turn around. I have suggested taking a wheelchair with us in case her back gives her grief, which has been happening a bit more. She keeps saying "No," as she really hates the idea of using one. That's OK with me. Sometimes, though, she gets a bit sad over not being able to go as far as she used to. She really enjoys seeing the different flowers, trees, and houses. And we do see plenty of those on our walk.

A bit further on than she can handle, though, are some gorgeous views of the Puget Sound. Plus, I discovered four adorable deer munching a flower salad in a neighbor's yard along the way. They were so used to people, they just stood there and let me take several photos. Once I finished and walked away, they just went back to grazing.

After I got home, I excitedly told my senior mom about them and showed her the pictures. She was so disappointed that she couldn't walk that far. I added the photo to her iPad, which she loved but I suspect things like this will eventually help her to accept a wheelchair occasionally, when necessary. And that can be a fairly easy way for her to break into using it. I'm really glad we have the wheelchair available, even though it's gone years without being used.

If you are caring for an elderly parent who is starting to show signs that walking is getting a bit more difficult, I would encourage you to think about getting a wheelchair before it is needed. Do talk to your doctor first as it may be covered by insurance. Since you would be getting it before it's totally necessary it might not be. But you can often find wheelchairs used at Goodwill or other thrift stores. Ours was an inexpensive transport wheel chair that is lighter for me to carry and to push. I've learned over the years, that's one item I'd just as soon have handy before we need it so we don't have to be shopping for one in the midst of a crisis.

Having a wheelchair handy will make your life a bit simpler in the long run. It could be a major help in the event of a fall or other unexpected injury. And might open up the world a little wider for our senior parents. What do you think?