Sunday, April 1, 2012

Matriarch Bear ...

… begins a new life....
The house on Annabelle Drive
gone but not forgotten
Today I am posting from the megalopolis of Fairport NY situated on the historie Erie Canal from an enriched seniors’ housing unit.

For those who are uninitiated in senior-speak,  enriched seniors’ living is the lowest, least intrusive level of assisted living.

the magnolia Patriarch Bear, a true Southern gentlman
planted in the early 1970's
the first year it was but a mere twig with two blossoms 
Not a nursing home, Matriarch Bear has her own one-bedroom apartment.  She sleeps in the same solid maple bed she’s slept in all her married life.   All her bedroom furniture moved with her as well.  The pictures she’s painted over a lifetime of being an amateur artist decorate her walls.  The table that was originally her own mother’s sits in the combined living/dining room.  Patriarch Bear’s secretary (NOT a female but rather a combination, old-fashioned writing desk and bookcase with glass doors) dominates her living room.  Thus, she is surrounded with old, familiar, treasured items.  Memories that neither time nor age can dim.
Enriched seniors’ living means that the residents must be relatively active and alert; able to take care of themselves.  Nursing staff is available 24/7 as are aids.  Meals and meds are provided.  Laundry is done once a week.  As well, there is a small, free laundry room on each floor for residents who want to do their own laundry.

the backyard as it looked at the time of sale 
Each apartment boasts of it’s own small kitchen should the resident decide to cook.

For Matriarch Bear to move from the home she’d lived in for more than 40 years in one state in the Midwest and move several hundred miles northward to a completely new community albeit one in which one of her own cubs lived, was a difficult decision.  But a necessary one.  She was increasingly becoming prey to con men.  There was the increasing possibility of a life-threatening illness happening undetected since Matriarch Bear lived alone.  Most of her family grown and gone.  Ditto the old neighbours who once upon a time looked after one another.  

It was time for a change.

All of Matriarch Bear's life was in that house.  Most of it would have to be disposed of.  Only a fraction of her treasures would be able to move with her.  The house had to be sold.  Her beloved garden said goodbye to.  Life as she knew it changed drastically with that decision.

Saying good-bye
She had to mourn her loss.  She felt that she’d lost her independence and for a while succumbed to apathy as at the age of 90, Matriarch Bear moved into a new, somewhat frightening stage of life.  That of living completely independently to living semi-independently.

Yet, she herself had acknowledged that it was a good decision.  She likes not having to cook her own meals and although seniors have some similarities to children and teenagers, the Matriarch of our clan sees people and socializes with others daily.

Best of all, the distance to visit her has been cut in half for this cub and weekend trips are doable.

More from the seniors' place tomorrow....

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