Our parents had a town house and had transferred ownership to me and my siblings. They suggested we sell it on and off for several years now, but continued to want to stay there several nights a week. From the time the retirement community initially met with my parents to suggest they consider accepting a personal companion and they refused, I increased my visits.
I found if they had things to do in the retirement community on the calendar they wouldn’t jump in a cab to return to the town house. For two months, I saw my parents every other day and we would go to the commissary, I’d stop by for a visit take them to the town house to look for my mom’s gold necklace, or join them for a meal.
During this time, we were also working to move their last few items to the retirement apartment and my siblings had already come on two visits and had made good progress.
Given the impending notice that my parents were being moved to Assisted Living, we knew we had to get the town house off the table. There was no way for us to physically prepare and sell the townhouse within a week, so we created the story and timeline to communicate the sale.
I share this story with mixed feelings. I think lying is the coward’s hideout to telling the truth. I knew that for the well-being of my parents, in this case, we needed to be sneaky. I still reflect on the psychologist telling me this would be required as we help our parents almost a year ago and I initially fought the idea. I want to treat my parents as I would want to be treated. In every instance, up to this event, I had a conversation with them about what was happening. In most cases, they never recalled the conversation, but at least I tried (as well as did my siblings.)
I realized that to help them make this transition, which was desperately needed, we had to manage the options around them so their only choice is to accept the move since cognitively, they are unable to make this choice.
Each sibling has a role in our plan – from making a phone call to coming to town to move their final items out of the town house, everyone is ready to help. United.