By Gayle Lagman-Creswick
Dear Gabby Gayle:
I am toying with the idea of having my mother come to live with us. We have a big house, and right now I am going over to her house almost every day after work to see how she is doing. It would save me a trip over there, and she would be with us in the evenings. Have you or your readers had experience with this? If so, I could use your opinion. Thank You.
I have seen this work on occasion; however, more often I have seen it not work well. You did not state the ages of yourself and your mother, so I am supposing that she is old and living alone in her house. Here’s the deal: If you are wanting Mom to live with you to save you a trip each day, I do not believe that is enough of a reason to uproot your mom. Here are questions I think you should consider: How is her health, and what if it is good now but begins to fail? Will you be able to care for her, or will she have to move again? Moving is hard on us older people. Has Mom given any indication she would like to live with you? Living with my kids, even though I love them dearly, would be the very last resort for me! Are there other members in your household to consider? Even though you may get along very well with your mother now, living together is different. It will definitely change both of your lives and your family’s as well. It has been my observation that two women in a household is one too many. I suggest you cautiously discuss this with your mom and anyone else in your family. Try to look ahead at Mom’s future needs and what will be best for her as she ages. I am impressed that you would consider having her with you. Please let me know how it goes.
Dear Gabby Gayle:
I have a friend who has also been my neighbor for years. When our husbands were alive, the four of us used to go out together, and I guess you could say we were drinking buddies. I have cut my alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day. My dear friend still drinks as if she were 25. I have hinted that she cut down, but she just laughs at me and says, “What else have I got?” I’m not sure if I should approach her again or just mind my own business. I’d like to hear what you say. We read your column together at coffee each month.
This is a touchy situation. Alcoholism among the older population is a very real problem. It is a problem for their health. It is a problem for their relationships. It is a problem for driving. I hope she is not driving like this! Her drinking is bound to cause a fall, which can be the nemesis of older persons. I think, as her friend, you owe it to her to have an honest and kind heart-to-heart talk with her, showing her that your reason for the talk is that you care about her. Offer to go to an open AA meeting with her if need be. Encourage counseling. Try to get her interested in volunteer work, going to the gym, going to church, joining clubs or singles groups for seniors – so that she has something to look forward to other than drinking. Good luck.
To my dear “Spring Chicken” readers Vicki, Mikki, Edna, Bonnie, Sally and Tony:
Thank you for the uplifting card! I appreciate you. Wish I were there to have a good time with you. You sound like a fun bunch! Even “Old Bags” need cheering up from time to time! Thanks again.