Thank You, Susie, for Paving the Way

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​​Thank You, Susie, for Paving the Way

By Elizabeth Shean

I always thought it would be difficult to get my parents to accept the idea of in-home care. I felt sure they would see it as unnecessary ("we can take care of ourselves") and a financial burden ("I can't afford that"). But it turned out to be very easy to get them onboard with the idea, and for that I can thank my late mother-in-law.

Lee's mom, Susie, was a very special person in my life. I've never known a person who had more zest for life than she did. She was always up for socializing and enjoyed throwing impromptu parties.

Susie also was a pro-active planner who didn't believe in leaving important life details to chance. In one conversation we had while she was still in robust health, she told me she knew she would not be able to take care of herself forever, and she planned to hire various types of helpers as the need arose. I told her I would be happy to help with whatever she might need in the future, but she professed a strong belief in not "burdening" her children or daughters-in-law with any kind of caregiving duties.

And so, in due course over the years, she first hired a crew to take care of the yard, and later a weekly house cleaner and ultimately a Home Instead® CAREGiver.

Naturally I talked about Susie's caregiving experience with my own parents, and from the stories I told they could see the benefit of hiring in-home care for themselves eventually. They still expressed reservations about the expense, but we were able to overcome that argument when they investigated assisted living and realized in-home care was far less expensive—with the added benefit of allowing them to stay in their own home.

Recently I overheard Mom talking to her brother on the phone. Explaining her living situation to him, she said, "I have a CAREGiver coming in twice a week now. For me, it's basically assisted living at home." She used the phrase "assisted living at home" to me later that week, too. "I knew I'd never be able to afford an assisted living facility," she said, "but I feel my current arrangement is like assisted living at home. I mean, having a CAREGiver gives me the benefits of assisted living, but I don't have to downsize. I can keep all my own furniture and books and DVDs. And it's a fraction of the price of assisted living."

I'm thankful my mom recognizes the value of home care because it relieves me of the stress of being solely responsible for her care. I'm thankful to Home Instead Senior Care® for finding us such an excellent CAREGiver for my mom. Most of all, I'm thankful to my late mother-in-law, Susie, for pioneering this option. It's because she was willing to "go first" and give in-home care a try that I was able to easily get my own parents to open their eyes to this option. I love you, Susie!

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