|My mom, center, 15 years or so younger than I am right now. Me, lower right.|
My mom will be 90 in September. I've known for sometime now that her junk mail needs to be spirited away before she sees it. Those of you who might have elderly parents living on their own whom you suppose are doing fine, this is a cautionary tale. Check around for commemorative coin collections the next time you stop over for a cup of tea. Then have a seat while you consider how much coinage was spent on these pieces of junk. In my house here's an entire shelf in a large antique armoire devoted to these scams that prey upon the elderly. I think my mom has forgotten that she's ever purchased these, so we don't have to discuss why she shouldn't purchase any more. Thank god.
The real mail, I assumed, was getting filed in the file box in her room. There isn't much, but I have noted over the past couple of months that the to-be-filed pile was growing. When the late notice came from Master Card, I had the confirmation I needed that my mom was in over her head. "I don't know what these papers are," she said. She can't tell a bank statement from a credit card statement--which is why I'm now in charge of that (lord, help us all.) So I spent a little time filing today. It wasn't hard. I assured her it was all organized. Nothing overdue. Everything put away. "Good," she said. "These papers...I can't...My head is full of other things. I just don't know what things."
"No worries," I said as all of the Committee to Preserve Medicare stuff went into the recycling. Really, I think I should be the one worrying about preserving Medicare--not my mom.
And meanwhile, last week's visit to the cardiologist was uneventful. Her heart is a 90-year-old heart. Not much else to say.
"Any violence?" the neurologist asked me when we went to see him the next day.
"Violence?" I asked. Apparently things can get nasty as cognitive decline sets in. My mom seems to be getting sweeter. She's forgotten a lot, but not how to be nice. Not how to love me. And she loves everyone who visits. She loves their clothes, their pretty hair, their tattoos, their dogs. Everyone, to her, is just the most marvelous guest ever.