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45 Comments

  1. You know that I totally understand what you are going through Lory and it’s tough. This is going to be gorgeous and I hope that your mom falls in love!

    1. Thanks so much, Janet! And yes, I know you understand… πŸ™‚ I feel so enmeshed in this since Haven, that I’ve barely had a chance to read anything, but I have seen some gorgeous Shabbyfufu photos go by, so I’m looking forward to getting back to reading them… πŸ˜‰

  2. Thank you for sharing such a personal event. It helps to hear what others are doing to make this process easier.

    1. Thanks, Regina! So many complexities involved, but yes, hopefully we’re doing the right thing for this current stage… πŸ™‚

  3. I’m sure your mother will LOVE her “part time” environment! It’s going to be gorgeous, Lory. And yes, we’ve all been there or soon will be. It’s never easy, but such a great transformation you’re creating. I know this makes your dad happy and grateful for his wonderful daughter ?
    Ginger

  4. Respectfully well written and beautifully decorated…. great job!

  5. Good luck to you and your parents. For most of our lives, the transitions we go through are exciting moments. Not so much when it comes to leaving our home. My dad also wanted to move and my mom fought tooth and nail. In the end we convinced her to go to an assisted living apartment, very nice with two bedrooms and a kitchenette. I took my mom furniture shopping, as their sofa wasn’t going with them. Important details: a firm seat that’s not too deep, to make it easier to get out of. She picked out a very feminine, flowery upholstery–she wanted to look at a field of flowers. I was careful not to choose for her and to limit my role to enabling her. As someone who grew up in the Depression, she was allergic to buying anything new and needed “permission,” to hear that it was OK. They also got matching electric recliners. Most of the rest was brought from the house, to have a maximum amount of familiar stuff.
    There may be a state agency, like an office on aging, that can provide or connect you with experts to visit their apartment and make suggestions for safety. They are good at spotting tripping hazards and such.

    1. Thanks so much for your input! The funny thing is, for my dad, this is joyous, as there’s nothing he’s wanted more than to live near the family. But mom is a tricky one… πŸ˜‰ My parents are dancers, and she’s always been adamant about going dancing on a daily basis and insisted there would be nowhere to go if they moved near us. (She also still wears stilettos every day!) But in the last few months, they really stopped going, so ironically that has made the potential for change easier. Time will tell how it goes, and no doubt it will be a fluid situation. And yes, we are looking at getting in home help, as well… πŸ™‚ Glad to hear your situation worked out well!

  6. Teddee Grace says:

    Well, if I had been able to have children, I’d probably be the aging parent! As it is, at 73, I’m still fully capable of doing my own decorating, thank goodness, and have enjoyed doing so in a one-bedroom apartment in senior housing. However, you certainly have had your challenges needing to select items that would not only wow your Mom but might possibly end up in your own home! I’m not a “blue person,” but it appears you have done an excellent job of both. Best of luck with the transition! P.S. Storage, storage, storage!

    1. Thank you so much! And you’re a child compared to my parents… πŸ˜‰ (Dad is turning 88!) I did forget to mention that the apartment has tons of built-ins, as well as excellent closet space, so storage will hopefully not be a problem… πŸ™‚ I will post photos when all is realized!

  7. Your Mom (and Dad) are so lucky to have you Lory. You have to love your mom for having the defiance of staying with her roots. My thoughts are with your plan and hope it all goes well. Keep doing what you do best. πŸ˜‰

  8. Your story about your parents sounds familiar. I never cared for my parents in my home, but I was the one responsible for them for 14 years. First, they moved to my city, then to assisted living, and then a nursing home. They passed away within 9 months of each other. My Dad was 94 and my mom was 95. My Dad passed away 19 days before their 75th wedding anniversary. These are very hard times for you to see your parents go through this. Use every resource you can find to help you. I pray all will go well.

    1. Thank you very much, Nancy! How lucky that you had your parents well into their 90s… πŸ™‚ It is difficult, but it’s actually a pleasure to spend this close time with my dad. I do hope once my mom is nearby that we can work around her issues and establish a relationship that makes her comfortable and secure.

  9. Hi Lory, I admire you for all you say and do. Your parents did a great job raising you up.
    Blue is also my favorite color. I love the blue Sideboard, I am considering buying myself
    The best to your parents
    Eileen

  10. Lory – prayers with you. I recently went thru the same “memory care” experience with both parents and one of the two step parents. Very, very difficult indeed. When Dad went to Memory Care living one of things I took with him is a large well done framed memory board of his service in WWII. It had his picture with his buddy, all his medals and a framed print of the letter his commanding officer sent to the family regarding his service. No matter how bad it got with his memory, that picture was a good trigger for him and he knew it was his room. I have it hanging in my house since he has passed and it is a wonderful memory for me now too. Also had his WWII army picture processed at Walgreens on canvas (small black frame) and blown up to 16×20 in the lovely sepia tone of the original! It is absolutely beautiful (cost was ~ $30) and we used it at his funeral too. The honor guard of young men all surrounded the picture and not a dry eye around. Remember in the difficult days ahead, they will always give you a small blessing – so please remember to be in the moment. Great job with the dΓ©cor!

  11. Elizabeth Roderick says:

    She will love it! You do everything so beautifully!

  12. Joanne B. says:

    Lovely room Lory…but can I rain on your parade with the best of intentions? I am a former registered nurse and a lot of my past experience was working with seniors with memory deficits. While the room you have planned is certainly beautiful, I would like to suggest that you seriously consider moving your mom’s furniture from their home into the apartment. Being surrounded by the things she has loved for a long time will help to make her think of the new space still as her house. I fear she will be confused having to get used to (and she may never) new furnishings. The most important thing you can do for her is to reinforce familiarity in her new surroundings and her daily routine. While it certainly is exciting to plan decorating this new space for her I am concerned this could cause issues and then you could feel slighted that you did all this work and she seemingly didn’t appreciate your efforts. You’ll know in your heart that could never be the case, but you don’t need the added stress, and your dad will feel so much better seeing that while this decision to move from their home is a difficult one, when he sees how well she might fair with things being as similar as possible, it will ease his conscience to know it is the best decision considering the circumstances. I know my suggestion is not as much fun as yours but I would be remiss in not sharing my thoughts with you. Godspeed to you and your family during this time of transition. Again, please accept my suggestions with the best of intentions.

    1. Joanne B., I totally agree with your recommendations. Keeping things as familiar as possible should help her feel at home. Pictures of loved ones also help with memory issues. Even if you put labels on the glass telling who each person is.
      I can’t imagine wearing stilettos n my 80s I gave them up when I retired! And my feet thanked me. She sounds like an amazing woman. I hope Lory gets lots more time to spend with them. I took care of my parents for several years. Wouldn’t trade it for a bigger Social Security check!

      1. I’m not sure how to even answer this. The furniture is all sitting in my house waiting to be moved in. My mother is violently against moving anything out of her house. We’re happy to move her stuff as soon as she is willing, but right now that would be a disaster. I’ll pop back in a few weeks and let you know how it went.

        I will add, however, that this is not my first experience with dementia, as my MIL has it too and I’m one of her caregivers.

        1. Lori, I understand your position based on your mother’s opposition to moving things out of her home. One of my client’s had to decorate her own living room with her mother’s things because her mother wouldn’t let them go. She made her daughter promise not to get rid of any of her own furnishings until she died! What a condundrum that placed me in as a decorator when the daughter asked for ways to update while keeping all the 1970’s furnishings! Bless you Lori for your desire to work through this difficult time.

          1. So appreciate your understanding, Anna, as it’s hard to give people an accurate picture of how tricky this is to navigate. In my mom’s case, most of her furniture would fit in the apartment so if she wants it, it can easily be moved there. Unfortunately, she doesn’t recognize much of her stuff. We’ll just have to go into it with a flexible outlook… πŸ™‚

  13. Nancy Walden says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom You have my admiration for doing all you can to make your mom and dad happy in their new home. My husband was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in early 2014. His anxiety and agitation can be treated but nothing can be done for the underlying cause. He doesn’t need to be watched 24/7 since he can dress himself etc but he needs to be in a secured environment so he won’t wander away. He actually loves living in his little one-bedroom apartment because it gives him the feeling he’s in control of something in his life. His memories are tricky. He has REM disorder so his dreams often seem real to him and you can’t convince him it was a dream and not a memory. Paranoia and hallucinations are also symptoms of LBD so life is challenging. I’m thankful that we found a place that keeps him happy and safe. I hope your mom quickly adjusts to her new environment!

    1. Thank you, Nancy! And my heart goes out to you. Best of luck to you too, in taking care of your husband. It sounds like you have it worked out well… πŸ™‚

  14. Sara LeSueur says:

    My parents bought the condo next to me, and it is a similar situation. My mother was reluctant at first, but now she has slowly adjusted. Truly, your parents will love your design skills which is a super bonus! Your ideas are always lovely!

    1. Thank you, Sara! I do hope she comes around. It will make life so much easier. How lovely for you to have your parents close by!

  15. You will be glad you walked this road with your parents..keeping them together in an apartment for their safety. My mom refused to move while my dad was alive in spite of her memory issues. Now with my dad gone the burden is greater for her having to leave her home. You have honored your parents in everything. Blessings.

    1. Thank you, Lorraine! That’s exactly the position I expected to be in. If you told me 6 months ago they’d be moving I’d have said it’s never going to happen. Let’s hope she acclimates reasonably well. I’m well aware it won’t be easy… πŸ˜‰ I wish you the best, too! One way or another, they have to wind up moving to be cared for.

  16. Beautiful plan, Lory. I am sure your mom will love what you picked out for her. We are also going through some issues with aging parents lately. I think giving up control and some of their independence is so hard especially when they have lived in the same place for so long. I am sure over time your mom will really appreciate living so close to you. Your parents are lucky to have you! Enjoy your weekend!
    Shelley

    1. Thanks so much, Shelley, and I wish you the best too! Yes, I know the independence thing is very difficult for them and we try to respect that. But we also need to keep them safe. There’s just so many layers to these things… πŸ˜‰

  17. Your story sounds like what I just went through with my parents 2 months ago. Since we moved them across the country (this is ‘home’ where we grew up and their children still are) we couldn’t move their furniture and I set up their assisted living apartment with furnishings that I thought would be comfortable and ease Mom’s transition here (she didn’t want to leave her home, but my Dad was all for it). I did pack and ship some small artwork and accessories to help make the place more familiar. Mom is settling in, little by little, but still want’s to ‘go back home’. Her memory issues prevent her from realizing that it’s just not possible to do that.

    1. So sorry you are dealing with a similar problem. Curiously, even in their current home, my mom keeps saying she wants to go home, so I’m not sure that’s an expression of an actual desire (since she hasn’t left her home yet), or more an expression of general discomfort and lack of control, as well as wanting her old life back. A friend in a similar position told me it helps to just try to make them more comfortable. Good luck to you, too!

  18. What a great post. Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks, and I wish good luck to your mom! Hopefully she’ll like the new place =)

  19. I understand your position. πŸ™ My dad died in January and so my mom moved into an apartment in town, not being able to keep living alone on the ranch.

    Though I’m a trained decorator, the only help I was allowed to give was for me and my husband to be ‘the muscle’ for helping move her in. (i.e. carrying/pushing furniture around). My sisters all erroneously think that I would decorate mom’s new place like my own home (which has French influences). I would not have done that at all. A good decorator knows that first and foremost we ‘read’ our clients and design for them. Sadly, my sisters have no faith in my abilities so I completely stayed out of the decorating process entirely to avoid any family ‘issues’.

    Having a level of comfort brought about by using many of their former furnishings, is a wonderful way to decorator/design, especially for ones with memory issues. I love what you have done for your parent’s apartment.

    1. Thanks, Anna, and yes, it sounds like your family neglected to understand what a professional designer is trained to do, in delivering a result that honors the client’s taste. But its likely a case of truly not understanding rather than a lack of faith in you. Kudos to you for keeping the peace… πŸ™‚

  20. I like that you mentioned that gold end tables will be perfect for furnishing a senior apartment. I’d like to look for a senior apartment for my grandfather soon so that he can move somewhere near where I live. That way, I can easily go to him in case I am needed.

    1. I’m so glad the post resonated with you, and how wonderful that you will be available for your grandfather! I promise you will get a whole lot more out of that experience than you might think… πŸ˜‰