DEAR ABBY: My father died four years ago, leaving my 69-year-old mother alone. My mother has health and mobility issues. Her house is large and has two stories, and it far exceeds her needs. The problem is that she's extremely sentimental about it.
I worry about her being alone because my sister and I live two hours away in opposite directions, and Mother is either unwilling or unable to address the issue of moving closer to me or my sister. Money is not an issue.
I talked with my sister, and we agree that Mom should move closer to whomever she wants. Because of her age, I feel guilty that one of us isn't close by to be there for her. Abby, how does one lovingly and gently nudge a parent to move closer for her own well-being? -- WORRIED IN INDIANA
DEAR WORRIED: You are good and caring siblings, but you cannot live your mother's life for her. There may be more to her reluctance to leave her home than sentimentality. If she has lived there for decades, she wouldn't just be giving up her house, but also her friends and acquaintances, the places she shops, etc. Aside from you or your sister, she would be like a stranger in a strange land.
Because money is not an issue, a caregiver could be hired to provide assistance and companionship for your mother if her health and mobility reach the point that she can no longer live alone. And if her needs become progressively greater, you or your sister should research assisted-living facilities near you and talk to her about moving into one.