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Challenge of Living Alone
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 6:08 AM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 127

Yesterday a friend went with me as we took Austin to the airport as he has joined Job Corp. He is going to learn the trade of CMA-EKG Technician. It was so hard walking away and not wanting to grab him and stop him, but I know he has to start his career and his life. I cried most the way home and then cried myself to sleep. I know in time it will get easier. Now I get the challenge of what many of you here already do and that is facing dementia challenges alone. I realize I have to be more cautious in things that I do. My diet will change for the better, in the next couple of days I will be cleaning out my fridge and cabinets and buying healthier stuff that he didn't really care for. I do plan on putting an exercise room in his room to help me as well. I will continue to stay busy with my church and focus on positive things in life as well as look forward to phone calls and text messages from Austin.
Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 8:53 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027



Thank you so much for sharing. Letting Austin go was a tremendous sacrifice for you.

For now, my advice is: before you spend a lot of money equipping your new exercise room, just work on things you can do with very little equipment: walking, running, jumping rope, lifting weights (canned food in a plastic bag.) 

 Austin will come home and I think he would be upset if his room is changed.

Do also keep in touch with your local Alz. chapter as well as those wonderful folks in your church community.

Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 12:24 PM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 127

Thanks for tips Mimi. His room will pretty much remain the same. All I am going to really do it is rearrange it a little and striaghten it up and put a stationary bike in there, I think it will really help me out. Austin called me this morning, he has only been gone 24 hours and already home sick. I tried to give him words of encouragement and I know he will need lots of that. I have a care package ready to go in the mail to him this afternoon.
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 12:55 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18707

Good for Austin, in his new venture in life! 


Re: living alone.  This will be difficult.  I have been doing this.  What helps is having a routine.  It is good to write the routine down, so you can refer to it.

Just this morning, I was in the middle of washing up, when I got a telephone call.  After the call I finished washing up, got dressed, and forgot to replace my Exelon patch.  I had already removed yesterday's patch. 


I was in the middle of cooking breakfast when I felt that something was missing.  I thought back, and it dawned on me that I had not replaced the patch!  Fortunately, I have a routine that I could think over and remember.  Otherwise I would have been out the door without my patch.

The other thing to do is to keep busy, which I know you have already planned.  Have a plan for those moments when you are caught with nothing specific to do.  It helps.

Iris L.



Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:11 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 521



Boy we are never ready for those "next chapters" in our life are we.


Exciting to see our children turn into the adults that we want them to be but alas the bittersweetness of it is hard.


Stay on track and follow your plan and you will be good and so will Austin.


Hugs to you and keep a log for yourself as well as something that Austin can read when he come back.  Will make him feel better about leaving you alone and as Iris stated makes for a good plan of action.


We all need an outline to stay on the correct path. I will be waiting for your notes regarding positive steps you are taking.  You have my admiration regarding the cleaning out of refrig and better diet and exercise.  Good for you.


You are so good with the written word so know that will help you stay grounded.


Bless you



Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:31 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

A big hug to you, Younghope. I know what it feels like when a child leaves to enter the world without Mom.
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 11:01 PM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 795




How exciting and scary it must be for you and Austin!


You have been given some really good advice from the others.  You, also, have some of your own great ideas.  I hope you can follow it.


It takes time and patience to adjust to the next phase in your life.  Austin's too.


Please, be kind and patient with yourself and Austin too.


New routines can be difficult in the beginning.  You will learn as time goes on.


I think writing things down is a great way to start.


Journaling in great and very therapeutic.


Good Luck, Younghope.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and Austin.


Please, keep posting.


Peace and Hope,


Jo C.
Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 7:51 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13690

Congratulations Mom; this is that first step in watching a beloved child grow into an adult.  It is wonderful that you are so supportive in his moving forward.


This BIG moment in life and will set Austin's future indelibly . . .yet, as a mother who has faced such moments, I also know the unsettled feelings, the fears and the concerns that come with such a life change.


I so remember when my firstborn went into the Coast Guard after high school.  I put a good face on it, packed him up, and cried my eyes out that night wondering and worrying about him. 

Those first few weeks were also difficult for him as he faced so much that was new and so far away. 


I think  the most important thing I did and that is best to do, is no matter what, to ALWAYS be positive in all phone calls and letters.  They are going to have ongoing adjustments and if we bring our problems to them or our negative feelings, they will also internalize that and often some kids will even use that to drop out and return home.


When my son called that first time or two, (they were restricted on calls), I could hear a bit of home sickness and "down" feeling in his voice.  They have to adapt to SO much and it is never how they think it is going to be.   No matter what he said, I was always positive in support and I think that it was very important to remind him from time to time, that this was not forever; it was temporary . . . . he marked off each week as basic training went by.  They manage and when they come to graduation, they are SO proud of themselves as we are of them.


My goodness, this is also a big change for you, and I am so glad for you in that you have risen to the occasion and are finding ways to be connected to friends at church, etc., and are looking for new ways to manage for yourself . . . that is awesome. 


When each of my four left the nest, I missed them mightily and also worried about them, (which I did not let them know.)  There IS one big plus, you will also find your grocery bill and milk bill MUCH less - Ha!


He is going to love those little care packages that come!


Please let us know how you are doing and also, how Mr. Austin is.


With a hug from one Mom to another,



Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 7:59 AM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 127

Thank you all for your replies. Thank you Auntie Jo for sharing your stories of an empty nest with me as well. Austin has been gone 10 days now and is so very home sick. He calls me and or texts me every evening to tell me about his day. I am having to really encourage him to hang in there, that this is all worth it and will pay off in the end. He tried using me as an excuse and I told him that I was perfectly fine that I had my best friend that called me everyday to check on me, my boss comes over almost every day and checks on me and when I am at church my church family are checking on me. I told him, I am perfectly fine and am adjusting pretty good and that he needs to focus on his studies. He enjoys the care packages and cards I send him every other day, but would rather be home. And Auntie Jo, I can already tell by him being gone I am saving money on food, gas and probably electricity as well. Austin has a bit of a learning disability so I  am sure it is a little harder on him than some. But I keep encouraging him and sending prayers his way. 


Paul Hornback
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 10:44 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584

Tracy, glad you are adjusting to the empty nest. Hang in there, it does get better over time or at least it did for me. Glad to hear you have friends and a church family to check on you. I know that really helps.

God Bless, Paul