Ask Goldie - May 2010

By Goldie Carlow

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Dear Goldie:

I hesitate to write to you about my problem. I am sure you will see me as a selfish grandmother. For the last five years, I have been the babysitter for my daughter who is working to support her three children ages 10, seven and four. She has a well-paid job, but will need her money for the children’s education. Their father does not support or contact them.

My problem is that I have no time for my own life. I was active in community organizations, but had to resign. With so little spare time, even my friends are disappearing. I love my family, but after bringing up my four children as a widow working full-time, I really need a breathing spell without all these responsibilities.

What choice do I have? -O.P.

Dear O.P.:

I do not think you are a selfish grandmother. On the contrary, you are giving far more than is expected in any family: if you never complain, your load will likely increase.

Perhaps your daughter is so busy she does not realize what is happening. You need to speak up for yourself before you have a breakdown in your health. She has a well-paid position, so could afford to pay for help and still have enough later for the children’s education. If she is in doubt, suggest she see a financial advisor. She also has a legal right to seek financial assistance from their father. You managed with much less available help.

If you can’t make your daughter understand you have lost associates and friends and you may be facing a breakdown, speak to your family doctor, he/she can verify the stress you are under. Make an appointment today.


Dear Goldie:

I am 82 years old, a widow, healthy and active in the community. Two months ago, after a bout with the flu, I thought I should move into a care home and did so immediately. Now that I am better, I realize I acted in haste. I have regained my health, walk every day and travel on the bus to shop in the mall. I want to go back to apartment living again.

What do you think? -B.W.

Dear B.W.:

You don’t mention family, so I take it you are self-reliant and it sounds like you are capable of making your own decisions and acting on them. It is unusual for a senior to move back into the community from a care home. If you have not discussed this with your physician, you need to make an appointment before making any plans. If he/she agrees, then you can begin the process of moving.

Your former apartment will likely be unavailable, but another might be in that area. Familiar surroundings are important as you age. Conveniences are a necessity such as a grocery store, pharmacy, bank, post office and restaurant. Nearby bus stops should also be considered. Sometimes, taxi companies have reduced rates for seniors, which might be safer for evening travel.

Take your time when selecting a residence in a suitable area that meets all your needs. Best of luck!




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