My sister and I never wanted to think about what would happen to our childhood home when Mom and Dad got old. It was in the back of our minds, but way back there! Our Mom, before she died, always talked about putting on a first floor addition with bedroom and full bathroom. She knew eventually climbing the stairs would become too much for them. Maybe she was trying to tell us something back then that those stairs were too much for them already. My sister and I were either in denial or just not paying attention!
When Mom passed away, Dad was still in good health. He was able to get around. He had his routine. Everyday he got up, shaved and showered, went downstairs and made his breakfast, drove to buy his lottery tickets, stopped at the local grocery store for bananas and bread, came home, poked around the yard raking leaves, went into the kitchen made his meal, then watched TV and went upstairs to bed. Then this blissful routine changed when Dad had his stroke. Now the time to take the blinders off had arrived.
The home where we felt safe as kids, now turned into a "nightmare" for our aging father. It was not a home suitable for "Aging In Place" at all-and our mom knew it! In order to explore what renovation options might have been available, I reached out to a friend, Alex, who was a home remodeler. The house presented so many challenges. In order to get into it, you had to go up stairs; whether it was from the front of the house, the side and even the back. Then once in the home, you had to go up another set up stairs to get to the bedroom and a full bath on the second floor. Alex and I walked throughout the house trying to come up with a plan to put in a bathroom on the first floor. However, because of the way this 1950s home was designed, it just was not possible. Moreover, had we even put in that first floor bath, there still would be the issue of all of the stairs you had to access to get into it. Dad might have been able to live in his home, but he would not have been able to go out into the yard he loved so much. He would have become a prisoner of his own home.
Reality set in that day. So instead of preparing for Dad's homecoming after rehab, I had to prepare the home to be sold.