Mom didn’t tell me her furnace was broken.

I went to visit my mom yesterday, and I couldn’t believe how cold it was.

She lived less than a mile from me and she didn’t tell me her furnace was broken.

I asked her when the furnace had gone out and she shrugged. She said it was a couple of days, or maybe a week, but she had plenty of sweaters to keep her warm. It wasn’t yet cold enough to cause pipes to freeze, but it was cold enough to cause hypothermia if she wasn’t warm enough. Mom was in her late seventies and had dementia. I knew she would soon need supervision, but I didn’t realize it was this soon. I called the HVAC company to have the furnace repaired, and then I called my wife. I told her what was happening and asked if mom had said something to her about the furnace. When she said she had been there a couple of days earlier, and the furnace was working, I relaxed a little. We talked about moving her into our home, but mom said no. She didn’t want to leave her house regardless of what I said. I asked if she would have a live-in companion. Her response was that they couldn’t touch the thermostat or come into her room. I took that as a yes. By the following Monday, I had her furnace repaired and there was a local lady who lived alone, and she will move in with mom and keep her company. It surprised me how well they got along, and whenever there was a problem with the heating, I got a phone call from mom’s companion.

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