WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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social worker Ireta Z. Metchik recalls the case of the missing shoes. Metchik, who now works for the Weston Council on Aging, says that in a previous job her clients included a widow who lived alone in a Brookline apartment. They were planning to run some errands, but the woman couldn't find her shoes. They weren't in the closet, as she had insisted, or under the bed or any other furniture. It was a hot day, and the woman offered Metchik a drink with ice. When Metchik opened the freezer, she found the pair of shoes. To the woman, that was a closet. It was, after all, a place with a door where you stored things. For someone with dementia, the confusion is understandable. The freezer incident served as the final catalyst for the woman's chil- dren to persuade her to enter senior housing. They already knew that she had been behaving oddly, such as her newfound habit of shoplift- ing candy bars. And they had been stepping up her home services. But now it was pretty evident that she could no longer be alone, and fortu- nately Mom didn't present any major objections. If only every case was as straightforward. "The hardest time is when someone is still somewhat aware and has some of their faculties, but they're confused," Metchik says. "It's much easier when someone is completely demented." Even in the most functional family – if there is such a thing – parent- child relations can be complicated by decades-old baggage. Toss in the wild card of frail bodies and slipping minds and families are plunged into a world where answers are rarely straightforward. Children with the best of intentions risk alienating their parents. Parents fiercely guarding their independence clam up when the conversation veers any- where near the subject of aging. 81 s p r i n g 2 0 1 5 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e When Aging Comes Between Parent and Child S T E V E M A A S writer The fourth article in a series featuring senior living in our communities M E D I A B A K E R Y

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