Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yesterday was a GORGEOUS day! A.K.A I can't think of a title for this post...

Gosh, yesterday in Melbourne was beautiful and today is shaping up to be the same way.

Beautiful weather always helps to alleviate my mood.

That is not to say that I don't still seethe - I do - I'm trying really hard not to. For example, I have a reader who checks in here several times most days and this is someone I know but who I'm no longer friends with. Someone who swore to boycott my blog but just can't seem to stay away - particularly from posts which might be controversial - and I feel the urge to make cutting remarks about this person. Instead I'm going to send this person love and hope they find the closure they are looking for and are able to move on from visiting my blog; possibly gloating over my challenges or looking for disharmony. I've moved on, it wasn't easy, but you can move on, too. You know who you are, and I see you there in my 'visitor pathways'. Pax.

I feel a strong need to feel love and compassion for people around me. I think if I can give love, if I can be the kind of person other people feel safe around and feel respected by, then very possibly I will also feel peace and serenity. Certainly, wearing my sarcastic goggles and seeing idiocy everywhere is not making me feel particularly good. I believe I've developed a very destructive habit of belittling others over the years. Perhaps it's a defence mechanism because I've suffered from inferiority complexes during periods of my life. Whatever it is, it isn't enriching my life at all and it poisons my relationships with others as well.

So, yesterday was a bright and warm day and I had another appointment with Vision Australia. I now have a prescription for yet another pair of reading glasses. I will now have my snazzy red reading glasses for working on the computer (for distances between 20-40cm), but also a pair of black rimmed glasses for reading close up (distances between 5-20cm). The new pair of glasses are not snazzy at all, but they were the best of a bad lot and they will only cost me $37 which is damn sight more affordable than Erik's $450 pair!

As well as this I have the electronic magnifier with a light for very small writing (recipes and instructions on packaging - oh, and bike construction manuals, what is with the teensy weensy print on those?) and a monocular for distanced reading (public transport boards and tram numbers etc.). I'm going to get those granny glasses string thingies to put the two pairs around my neck and I have a lanyard for the monocular.

Ah, ageing is all about the accessories, isn't it?

I received an email from Deakin yesterday - from the scholarships office saying they had received my completed application and they would be advising me regarding my success or otherwise around mid-December. I wrote back and asked if I would receive a response to my degree application before that date as I aim to proceed regardless of scholarship status. I have not heard back yet (possibly because those matters are processed by two different departments, I may have to call Deakin to get my answer).

MIL rang yesterday. Her solicitor has advised against her selling her place and buying a big family home for all of us. His argument was two fold. First, he's had several clients do this and apparently it never ends well. Secondly, he was sure she would not find a suitable home in the surrounding suburbs to fit all of us and said she might have to look at the outer suburbs. He recommended she buy a unit in a retirement village.

He also said he knew people at a couple of local retirement villages and would be happy to put her in contact with them.

Yes, hmmm, this is one of those situations where I struggle to feel loving. He is a man of means, and the Grumpy Old Man and I can't help but wonder if he hasn't invested in the retirement villages he would suggest to MIL. That would present a conflict of interest.

Searching on yesterday, I found in excess of 30 homes which could work for the seven of us; providing MIL with a suite of two or three rooms and an ensuite, all in the surrounding suburbs at the price of the valuation of her current property. Yes, we have four children, but we don't need a bedroom for each of them, they share now and could easily continue to share for a few years to come.

We've offered for MIL to come over this weekend so we can show her what is currently on the market.

We have to be very careful though. This is her home we're talking about. The place she has lived for forty-one years. Ideally, she would prefer to live the rest of her days in this home. While it would certainly be a huge adjustment both for her and us to all live under the same roof together. The adjustment would inevitably be greater for her. There is absolutely no question that that arrangement would benefit us.

So, we have to be careful. It is ultimately her decision and we have to be mindful of that.

Things that worry us are:

  • If she stays in her current home and it continues to deteriorate, that could pose a risk to her health.
  • Apparently to get an alert system installed would require rewiring the entire house. 
  • The roof needs mending. 
  • She lives an hour by public transport away from us, so running errands for her is very time consuming and while we're making it work this year, next year we'll have one in kinder, two in primary school, one in high school, and possibly me at University full time - spread over several suburbs and of course, no personal transport. Juggling her increasing needs an hour away will be even more complicate than it is now.
  • Could she really cope with living in our three ring circus and could I really get the kids to not scream and yell and whine and stomp around a lot less? I said the Grumpy Old Man yesterday that I don't want to promise her something we can't deliver. We're a noisy family and we argue a fair bit more than what most people would probably think reasonable. We love each other intensely - we do everything intensely. We're a fairly intense bunch of people. Is it at all fair to try and persuade her to live in that kind of environment at her age because it would be more convenient for us?
  • If she moves into a retirement village, some of her immediate needs will be met by the village]s resources, however, if for any reason she suddenly needs continuous care, she would be moved to a hospital or hospis and may not return to the unit. Her direct care would then be mostly in the hands of strangers in an unfamiliar environment and we would still have our hectic lives to work around or possibly put on hold to be with her. It is hard to put children on hold.
  • Would the retirement village be close by so we could still help her out relatively easily?
  • Does buying into a retirement village still mean the village actually owns your unit but you've paid to use it until you no longer need it - at which time it, and all sales proceeds, revert back to the retirement village? In other words, if she spend $300K on a unit in a village, does she say goodbye to that money forever - even if she is moved to a hospis and no longer uses it? Or can she sell it in that circumstance and use the proceeds to her own benefit?
  • Coordinating the selling and clearing out of her house, the purchase of a new house (in whichever circumstance) and moving into a new house will be a huge wrench for her. It will undoubtably exhaust and upset her.
There is so much to consider. It's all very much up in the air at the moment. At the same time, I feel a little as if I'm standing at the bottom of a snowy mountain and someone has just let of a round - I'm listening for the possibility of an avalanche and wondering if I, we, could survive one...

But the weather was beautiful yesterday - just glorious - and it is a challenge to be grumpy in such weather! I'd like to order more of the same, please!

I thought I'd share a floorplan which would be ideal for us...

This house has two entries, which would be perfect. In this house, the front part of the house; the bedroom with ensuite, living and dining, would be MIL's part of the house. The kitchen would be shared and then we'd put the boys in the large back bedroom, the study in the middle back bedroom, and our room in the corner, and the family room would be, well, the family room... This house is in a local suburb and going for a price comparable to MIL's property.


Melissa Gijsbers said...

That house looks like a similar set up to houses we were looking for before Mum & Dad bought the house we're living in now :) All the best with house hunting & making decisions.

Sif Dal said...

Your place now is pretty fantastic! I'm a bit concerned about stairs for Dave (and his mum) because he doesn't negotiate them very well with his knees being so painful. There are actually quite a few places that seem to have been renovated to accommodate a parent or an independent grown child, so finding a place doesn't worry me as much as whether it is the right thing to do or not.

Jayne said...

Wow-at least she's thought about it!! That's a positive move IMO. With retirement villages, they do keep a % but certainly not all. Mum thought about a retirement village-she went to look at one, and left thinking there's no way in hell she'd ever want to live there. They work really well for very sociable people who like to do lots of organised activities-but I don't get the impression your MIL is one of those people??

That floor plan does look great!!

Sif Dal said...

MIL & FIL went to looked a couple of retirement villages about 6-7 years ago, and were determined back then a village would not suit them. However, MIL takes the advice of professionals very seriously. Here's a funny story. Her insurance company tells her she needs to replave the entire roof of her house because there are 3 small holes in it. The GOM isn't convinced that is necessary or event required and wants her to ask her solicitor, but MIL doesn't want to know what he thinks. The next day she goes to the podiatrist and tell the podiatrist about the roof and the 'foot doctor' suggests she get a second opinion from her solicitor. So she does...

Good Job!