My client is the lovely granddaughter of a woman who was 99 years old when we met. They are of the Jewish faith. The granddaughter had contacted me over concerns that her grandmother was running out of money while living at home and paying for 24-hour caregiver services. The services were primarily for companionship, as she could handle on her own most of her activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, walking, and eating). The woman’s financial advisor had given her several warnings that she needed to move before her funds were depleted. We made arrangements for me to meet my client’s grandmother to do an assessment.
During our meeting, the grandmother insisted that she didn’t want to be in a Jewish retirement community. Apparently, she had been in a Jewish organization for rehab. once before and the stay didn’t end well. Grandma told me her plan was to stay at home until her 100th birthday. Home was located in a far south suburb. The location of her home made it very difficult for her granddaughter to visit, as she lived in the north side of Chicago. She didn’t have a car and had to rent one every time she visited her grandmother. Every time I mentioned a potential move, Grandma would swing the conversation toward one of the many artifacts she had collected during her life’s travels. During our conversation, she also said she wanted to remain out south because she wouldn’t know anyone if she made a move up north. She insisted upon moving to a particular community she had in mind. However, it was not a good idea from a safety standpoint, as the neighborhood was changing – and not for the better.
I went to work and narrowed the options to three assisted living communities that were close to the granddaughter. She toured all three, and narrowed the options to 2 places that she felt could work for her grandmother. I arranged a tour for the grandmother at one of them. Grandma seemed rather stoic and resistant during the tour. After the tour, we went to the famous Superdawg drive-in for hot dogs which we proceeded to consume in my car. While we ate in silence, I decided to ask her, “Well, what did you think of the place?” Grandma look at me and said, “It was a little to goy for me,” which I loosely interpreted to mean that it was too non-Jewish. The granddaughter and I looked at each other since Grandma had previously insisted that a Jewish community wasn’t important to her. She also told us both nicely that she had no intentions of moving until her 100th birthday was over.