In this space I usually write about Human Resource issues from my perspective as a long-time HR manager turned consultant. I will get to a topic related to HR eventually, but in this Insights I’m going to discuss advocacy for my own parent.
About a year and a half ago I arranged for my almost 90-year-old mother to relocate from outside Charlotte to Wilmington. She had been living independently for 10 years in a 55-year-old and older community, but that was no longer working. My sister and I had tried hiring an aide, and I had taken away her car keys. But it was impossible to make sure she was safe and well-cared for on a day-to-day basis when I lived 200 miles away.
My sister, who lives in Philadelphia, and I met here in Wilmington and scouted out our options. We eventually settled on a place here that would allow my mother to live independently but also provide services and activities that would make life for her as an almost 90-year-old more manageable. I also can visit my mother several times a week, and am 10 minutes away when needed. Being close allows me to “investigate” things my mother mentions in passing, something I would not be able to do if she were in Charlotte.
Here’s a case in point: A few weeks ago when I picked my mother up for church, she mentioned that the rug in her bedroom had gotten wet. It seemed that three days earlier, she had opened her bedroom window in the morning to get some air and then went upstairs for her hair appointment. When she returned to her apartment, the floor and her rug in her bedroom were wet. She went down to report this to the manager, who had maintenance put a fan in her bedroom. When we got back from church, I went in and looked at the rug. It was wet and damp, as was the pad underneath. The room smelled musty. I told her I would take care of it.
I went down the hall and into the manager’s office. I very firmly, but nicely, told him that I was unhappy with the situation. I told them that:
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