Barbara (not her real name) lived in Seattle, but none of her children lived there anymore. On a visit to Los Angeles to see her son, Jacob, Barbara decided she’d enjoy living in that warm, sunny climate and seeing her grandchildren more often. Jacob showed her a lovely retirement community not far from his home, and she signed up; so far so good.
But that’s when the trouble started.
As soon as Barbara got back to Seattle, she wanted to start packing right away. However, with her memory issues, it didn’t go too well.
She emptied the closets and piled things all over her bed, thinking she was doing a good job. The staff at her current retirement community had to clear off the bed so she could sleep in it that night. The next day, she emptied her book shelves and created teetering piles of slippery books, believing she was making great headway. The staff came in later to clear the walkways to try to keep her safe. The third day, she emptied her dresser drawers, still believing that she was effectively packing.
Everyone tried to convince her not to pack alone, “Just wait a week, and your son can pack for you.”
“No, I’ve moved a dozen times. I can do this. I don’t need someone else doing my work for me.”
Barbara had such good intentions, but wasn’t capable of making the best choices. Worse, she wasn’t able to perceive that she was making things even more difficult.
No one could get her to stop and wait for her son to help. She made piles of papers mixed with dishes and clothing. She was determined to get the job done, and the situation became increasingly dangerous. No one wanted to tell Barbara she was didn’t have the skills to complete the task successfully. Even if they were able to convince her, she likely wouldn’t have remembered the conversation for more than five minutes. She’d have her feelings hurt (especially with dementia the feelings can last a long time), but she’d still keep packing. It was a crisis! Finally, Jacob called Moving Forward for help.
We jumped into action by first procuring a moving company and then rearranging our schedule to accommodate the emergency. Barbara’s daughter-in-law flew to Seattle to care for her and keep her out of the apartment while Moving Forward got to work. We only had one day before the movers arrived. It took three of us ten hours to get that whole apartment packed up the right way. It was a long, arduous experience, but worth it and we were glad we could help. The next day, Barbara’s things got loaded onto the moving truck while she and her daughter-in-law boarded a plane bound for her new life in Los Angeles.
If you need planning, packing, unpacking, sorting or decluttering assistance, call Moving Forward.
We’ll do what it takes to solve your emergency!