The Next Steps Have to be Taken Now

Dawn Vickerstaff
6 min readJun 6, 2024

It’s a difficult situation when an elderly loved one needs to accept a deeper level of care.

Photo by Frames For Your Heart on Unsplash

When I was a kid in the Pacific Northwest June wasn’t counted as true summer, at least not until midsummer’s day. You could count on rain for the entire month as being more likely than a series of flame-side days until at least July 4th. I even remember a summer barbecue for the 4th on a snow-coated patio that despite the weather still offered fizzling fireworks and hamburgers to celebrate my country’s independence. Everyone in attendance shivered but would not admit defeat. It seemed a bit symbolic. Admittedly, that was in Bend, where the High Desert meets the Cascade Mountains. You might expect it to be cold there even in high summer.

But it’s warmer there now and also warmer here in Britain. It is more than likely it will become warmer still.

My husband and I have been concerned about his mother in this sort of weather for the last two summers. She’s British. She knows weather but not this kind of weather. That became clear one mid-summer evening.

We arrived to visit long past sunset. It takes three hours or more to travel to her house from where we live. Everything was closed up tight because it was dark. But when we entered the house I gasped as the heat hit me. I could barely breathe. I immediately opened up…