Fiscal concerns

I called Mom today – hadn’t talked to her in a few days. I tried yesterday, and got no answer, which I assume meant she was sitting in the lobby or a lounge hanging out with her friends. When I called, she said she was going through coins. She used to have a collection of old liberty silver dollars from my grandpa, but I have stashed those in a safe place for her. So I believe she was just going through dimes and nickels and quarters and, most likely, pennies, counting, sorting, examining, hiding. She seemed sort of obsessed with money today. She counted the cash in her wallet – the amount has been the same for a good six months or so because she never needs to spend any money. But she seemed to think she was low on dough. Interesting, since it’s the subject at the top of my mind now, too.

I predict her money will run out by late spring or summer, which means she will have to move from the private pay assisted-living side of the facility over to the nursing home side, called the care center, which accepts patients on Medicaid. I am doing a little avoiding of this problem, procrastinating about freeing up the last of her IRAs and putting off calls to the bank to move all her money from investments to checking. I know I have to get these things done and I know the sooner the better so I can have a clear picture of her finances. But I don’t want to – mostly out of laziness, for I loathe all things money-related. But also because I am pretty sure I am afraid of the inevitable – the move to the other side. She will have a roommate. She will have to give the cat back to us. She will lose track of her current friends. Her old friends out in the world will probably lose track of her. She may get depressed. She – and I – will have to get used to a whole new set of staff members. Her world will turn upside down, really, and mine will probably go with it, at least for a little while.

A good thing, though it sounds crass, is her memory problems and confusion are such that she might adjust quickly. But I fear she will be sad, afraid or anxious, and those are the three emotions I want her to never have to feel again. And for now, I seem to be trying to prevent those very emotions in myself.

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