At 85 my dad lived on his own in Florida for nine months of the year, enjoying the warm weather and playing golf several times a week with friends. We all worried about him living by himself so far from the rest of the family, but he did have alot of friends in the area and he really valued his independence. Then one day while taking a walk alone, he suddenly got a little light-headed and fell, resulting in a serious head injury and a four week stay in the hospital and rehab. Suddenly everything changed. My dad’s condition after the accident made it clear he could no longer live independently, and after some deliberation my wife and I decided to have him come and live with us in New York. We were both still working at the time, but I had a home office, and so I became my dad’s primary caregiver/companion during the day. Although my dad was easy going and a low-maintenance guy, he did need some help with washing and dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, trips to the doctor, and socialization. Always a very outgoing guy, I noticed now that without some encouragement/nudging, he would be content to stay home and watch TV all day.
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