When my mother was booted from an assisted living facility in North Carolina for being “too high maintenance,” my husband, Ted, and I agreed to have her live near us in Prescott, Ariz.
She had spent seven years of dementia in assisted-living facilities, first near my brother in Austin, Tex., and then near my two sisters in Asheville, N.C. It was our turn. My mother never liked any of these facilities, but she disliked the one here most of all. Sometimes, she disliked me.
One of the few things she did like about Prescott was being reunited with her old car, a 1992 Honda Accord she had sold to me years before, shortly after my father had died.
The Honda connected her to her life before dementia in Austin, where she had a church, Bible study and friends. In Prescott, she had no church, no friends, and her only outings were when I would take her to get her hair done or to do errands. She was happiest when we were in the Honda and took pride in the fact that the car had been hers, a reminder that she once had been independently mobile.
More Info: nytimes.com