The following article was authored by our Head of Marketing, Susan Gallotti, about her experience using WiFi Motion to help her mother age in place.
My mom has always been set in her ways. She was a woman of routine who would do the groceries every Saturday at 8 a.m. like clockwork and vacuum the main floor every afternoon at 3 p.m. before her kids and husband arrived home. When I was younger, I can remember being constantly trapped in a cycle of grabbing a new water glass, placing it down somewhere, and coming back only to find it missing because my mom had already washed it. Rinse and repeat. As a true product of her 1950s upbringing, being the perfect housewife for my mom meant being the caretaker of the family and home. Her top concerns were always organizing the home — her sanctuary — and keeping her family healthy, happy, and well-fed. She would often have Campbell’s soup simmering on the stove ready for me at school lunch breaks and considered it her mission to serve a balanced dinner when the family came home at the end of the day. If I was lucky, it would be my favorite: spaghetti.
As my mom got older, much of this reality changed for her. Her children had grown up and moved away to start families of their own. Her husband, my dad, unfortunately, had passed away. Suddenly, my mom, who thrived off being a homemaker, now faced the reality of aging alone in her home without others to tend to. For someone like my mom, who was naturally introverted and a bit of a homebody, being left to one’s own devices for most of her days left her feeling without purpose. This woman, who was so focused on taking care of others, was not so great at caring for herself. So, she never complained or voiced any concerns about her comfort or health. She would avoid informing her children if the plumbing or appliances in her home needed repairs. You see, my mom never wanted to be a burden. And she most certainly did not want to end up, as my father had, spending her final years in an assisted living facility. My mother’s worst-case scenario was to move out of the house that she had helped build and lived in for almost five decades. Asking for help was rare.