When I returned home yesterday, my cross street neighbor Barb, was obviously in shock over the contents of a letter she received. It was from Mary, the daughter of a good friend. The friend in question is Pauline, who was recently accidentally injured at home, resulting in her placement in an assisted living facility. Barb and I visit Pauline every other Wednesday morning, something which we all enjoy. This is why the aforementioned letter was such a shock!
Although technically sent by Mary, it was in every way a ‘lawyer letter’. The purpose for it was to STOP us from visiting Pauline any more. It was a ‘cease and desist’ order, prohibiting us from having ANY contact with her mother. The stated reason was that our continuing presence was not allowing Pauline to settle into her new circumstances.
If she had thought to PHONE, instead of issuing that vitriolic missive to poor Barb, we could have easily reassured her that we were trying to encourage her mom to enjoy the luxury of this upscale facility. In fact, any time Pauline would mention coming home, we would discourage the idea, listing all of the wonderful aspects of her new home. We would ask about her latest art classes, admire her adorable bachelor apartment, and fuss over Kiki, her cat that has been recently repatriated to her owner.
We would NEVER encourage her to plan on returning home! She is just too frail, especially since the fall that put her there. She is SO enjoying the companionship of the other seniors around her, which is very obvious as she makes her way across the room. Smiles, nods and waves decorate her path, as she smiles beneficially.
Glenn’s reaction to news of this letter was to suggest that it basically constitutes elder abuse. To forbid an older person from having contact with their usual friends and contemporaries, is against the law, at least it is in Canada.
To compound matters, her beloved home went on the market a couple of weeks ago. It is now “offer pending”, which is the first step in the sale process for real estate here in California. The asking price on her house was $1,010,000.00, so that quick sale probably means that they got their price.