Q: My mother is 72 years old and has a degenerative eye disease that is causing her to lose her vision rapidly. She is a very independent woman of great intelligence with her cognitive abilities intact. She lives on her own and has never needed any help beyond basic yard care. Now that she’s losing her vision, she’s had several small accidents in the home (falling), and she can’t cook for herself anymore. She needs help and we don’t know what her best options would be. What do you recommend for our situation?
A: Your mother needs to know that she is not alone. It is common for mature adults to experience various forms of disability as they age. The good news is that more resources and options exist today than ever before. Most of us place great value on our independence and your mother fears losing hers. Reassure her that help is available and, while some changes may be necessary, you understand and respect her desire to remain independent. Virtually all states have a Department on Aging that may prove helpful in identifying resources in your local area. You may also want to contact your nearest Protected Tomorrows licensed advocate for assistance.