Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lookin for a home

Remember the boll weevil song? I do. And he was, in deep bass tones, "Lookin for a home." So are we, it seems.
We have pretty much decided to leave the board and care where my parents have lived for about 4 years now, so today we visited another one, which is close to the yoga studio where I often practice, the Steinmart we like to shop in, and the Trader Joe's I go to for my parents' groceries (a few treats like gouda cheese, etc.) every week.
The place was amazing. However, we were not able to negotiate a rent, etc. with the owner since he was not there today. However, it is much much nicer than the place they live in. There are several caregivers, not just one, as at the place where they live. The furniture is sparkling new, and the room we saw was absolutely House Beautiful. It had a private bath with a big big tub and shower, a lovely sink, and new toilet/bidet. There is a walk in closet in what would be their room, and lovely french doors leading to the big patio/garden where my dad can keep his plants and worm farm. There is a "fireplace" that is actually a central heater that goes on by itself. The place where they live now is so stingy with heat and air conditioning. This place isn't.
The caregivers do not look half-dead and exhausted because they have shifts, around the clock. Right now there are only three people living in the sizable house, one of them an artist, who had her first commission from the city of L.A. at age 12! She is 86 now, and very chatty. She got up out of bed to meet and talk to us, though she was recently in the hospital because of lung problems she got doing the restoration work she used to do on masterpieces owned by Hearst and L.A. area museums.
My dad would have someone eager to talk to him, which would be great. He doesn't have that now.
I am due to meet with the owner on Monday at 11, and I hope we can reach an agreement. Now the unpleasant part of the deal is that I have to give notice to the place where we live now, and they begged my father to stay. The woman who owns it is a very sweet lovely person, and she works very hard, but she has not been able to hire a caregiver to take my parents' caregiver's place, and I don't know how they will deal with my dad's very complicated medication or my mom's little habits, like throwing all the clothes in her closet on the floor on a regular basis and burying important documents and other things in the wads of used tissues she stashes everywhere.
The only thing that worries me is that if the economy perks up considerably, he may raise the rent beyond our meager means. We really cannot afford to pay anymore than we now do. Even the place where we live wants to raise the rent, or so it says in the contract, which I pointedly have not signed. I'm sure they expect us to leave, and we will. Now I just hope this place works out.


liz said...

Wow! sounds (BTE)better than expected; lovely place and residents? It would be beyond great to have them near you at yoga.(I will implore dear Lakshmi on your behalf:)
Also you probably can get rent sent for at least one year in contract also keeping in mind lot of folks have taken in their relatives to save on expenses in this economy.. probably why current place really wants you to continue on. Sort of a buyers market?
Oh boy! Negotiation time!

Lou said...

I understand what you are going through, and I sympathize with the frustration, dread, the anxiety of the negotiations.

Robbi said...

Thanks Liz. I am hoping to negotiate not only for a year but indefinitely, as long as it is owned by this person.
It is indeed a buyers' market.

Robbi said...

Thanks Lou. I hate dealing with this sort of thing. I'm sure you do too.

marly said...

Oh, this does sound better, Robbi! I am glad and hope it is a fit all around.

Robbi said...

I hope so. I only fear that when the economy picks up, they will raise the price, and we will have to leave, but for 93 year olds, how long is the future? Can't say.