It turns out that two people (me and Mom) living together in a rather small one bedroom condo was a bit too stressful. This was probably predictable but it took trying it for a few weeks to be sure and moving was going to take a lot of effort and more stress. But it was soon obvious that we needed to find a place that would be large enough for the two of us and met several other requirements.
First of all, it had to be all on one level so that Mom didn’t need to navigate steps – although she does manage when there is a hand rail and/or someone to hang onto. Still, having everything on one level is ideal.
The second requirement was that the place was carpeted to minimize the chance of slipping on a throw rug on hardwood floors and to minimize the impact of a fall should it happen.
Third, we needed two bathrooms so that Mom could have her own with all her stuff in it and I the same. And it happened more than once in my condo where one of us had immediate need of a toilet while it was otherwise occupied. So two bathrooms was a definite necessity.
Fourth, Mom’s bathroom needed to have a walk-in shower so that she could enter without stepping over a tub wall.
Fifth, Mom’s bathroom needed to be large enough so that she could push her walker into it and turn it around and use it to assist her in sitting down and getting up again.
Sixth, Mom’s bathroom needed to be as close as possible to her bed so that when she got up in the middle of the night she would not have to navigate a long path to the toilet. This was important for a couple reasons. The most obvious one is that the further she has to walk in a sleepy state in the dark, the greater the chance of a fall on the way to the toilet. But also, her bladder isn’t what it used to be so a nearby toilet minimizes the chances of another kind of accident on the way there.
What are we up to, seven? OK, I need my own bedroom. Sleeping on the couch was not great even though the couch was as comfortable as any bed I have ever owned. It was just too hard to coordinate our go-to-bed times so that Mom would leave the living room to go to her own room when I was ready to hit the sack.
Requirement eight: I need an office and workshop space so that I can work on my business and my projects without leaving Mom alone or with someone else or have someone come in to Mom-sit.
Requirement nine: the new place needed to be close to my sister Nancy and my niece Arianna and her husband Shane. These people are my family in Minnesota and my support system and both Mom and I really need to be close enough to them to visit or get assistance when needed.
Finally, requirement ten (whew!): The place needed to be affordable and for us that meant under $1400 a month.
So how would it be possible to meet all these requirements? It seemed a daunting task. I started out searching Craigslist for places that were close to Ari’s house and found some that met a lot but not all of the requirements. I sent these on to Ari for her feedback. Being the smart, resourceful go-getter that she is, she took it onto herself to help in the search. She extended the search to an area a bit further north of where I centered mine and in one day she turned up the most amazing – I would even say perfect – place. Not only did it meet all ten requirements but it went way beyond them. It is a single-level townhouse – the end unit of a fourplex. It looks brand new even though it is twenty years old and it has what appear to be all new appliances, including a dishwasher, electric oven, and a combination microwave and convection oven. The kitchen is larger than any either Mom or I have ever had. It has a center island for food preparation and a breakfast area with a window on the world. It has a laundry room off the kitchen with a washer/dryer stack. Central heat and A/C. The master bedroom is so big that it would accommodate all Mom’s bedroom furniture plus a couch and a bookcase on which to put her flat screen TV. Her bath is off the bedroom and has a walk-in shower and easily accommodates the walker. She has to walk three feet to get from her bed into the bathroom. The living room is very large – again larger than any she or I have ever had before. There is a large dining area next to the living room with a pass-through to the kitchen. There is a sun room attached to the living room that will become my office and it is plenty big for the task. Finally, there is a two-car garage with lots of storage space and it will double as my workshop. And the rent is only $1350. The owners listed it at $1395 but when they saw what a great pair of tenants we would make (he said modestly), they dropped it to $1350 without our asking.
So, enough words. Let’s see some some pics.
Starting with the kitchen, this is the view when you come in from the garage. Actually there is a large closet on this side of the refrigerator that didn’t make it into the photo.
And this is our breakfast area.
The laundry room is off the kitchen. The washer and dryer appear to be nearly new.
The dining room is just past the kitchen and there is a pass-through. It is large enough that we can have all the leaves in the dining room table and have lots of room to spare.
Mom’s Haviland China looks really great in the hutch.
The living room adjoins the dining area and is very spacious. It is set up pretty much like Mom’s old living room.
The sun room is in back of the living room. There isn’t anything in there yet but I will be moving a desk and some cabinets in soon. Mom’s bedroom is off to the right in the rear.
The master bedroom is quite big.
You can see how close the bathroom is to her bed.
Here is a closer view of the bathroom
The couch in the bedroom is in front of a picture window where Mom likes to sit and watch TV or play FreeCell on her iPad.
Oh, did I forget to mention the walk-in closet?
Well, that’s about it for now. I will add photos of the outside and the garage and a few other things in another post. Oops, I almost forgot to include some photos of the star of this blog. This one was taken her first day in her new home.
And one from when she was living at my condo and before winter blew in like the wicked witch of the North.