COLUMN: Welcome to Monticello

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

   This week I have a special column subject, my 81-year-old mother. She is my biggest fan of my column so it is only fitting that I write one about her. I’m sure she will be excited by this except for the fact I’ve let her age out of the box.

   Back in December my dad passed away from complications of dementia and I’ve become my mother’s primary caretaker. Around March we sold her house in Dubuque and she moved into Eagle Point Place, living in the independent side.

   Mom enjoyed living there and it was a nice place but a few months down the road the distance between us became a challenge. With my other siblings out of state and in the Des Moines area, whenever there was a hiccup or something that needed my attention, getting to Dubuque to help her didn’t work out as easily as we had hoped.

   We tried the services of a visiting nurse program, changed pharmacies (one that included delivery) to make her medication ritual easier and anything else we could think of to do to help her. During that time frame we suggested maybe Mom shouldn’t drive anymore, which added to our challenges.

   A few weeks ago, I suggested the possibility that she move to Monticello after a conversation with my brother and two sisters. Knowing that such a move would be a life-changing event for my mom I compiled a list of reasons to help sway her to becoming a Monticello resident.

   Shortly after we had our conservation, she felt this idea would be the best solution. We got her put on the waiting list at Pennington Square and in just a week or so a room opened up.

   So, after 61 years of living in Dubuque, Mom is now an official resident of Monticello. She has been in Pennington now for close to two weeks and I think we are both happy. I am now able to drop what I am doing to help her out, the staff at Pennington has been a blessing, the Prescription Shoppe has made her medication routine just that, routine.

   The Jets bus/van can easily take her to Dubuque for appointments and occasional lunches with her retired teacher friends. Eagle Point had a bus for the very same thing and it was like pulling teeth for being able to use that bus.

   Now when her grandkids and great grandkids come to visit, she’ll be able to see them and the upcoming holidays will be so much handier and more enjoyable for both my mom and our family.

   Well Mom, did I leave anything out? I know this has been a big change in your life, the past 10 months. Thank you for being a strong person and trusting me. Hopefully we can take you out to dinner now and then, on you of course!




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