Family members who never visit Mom now complaining that the retirement community we are looking at is “too far away.”

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Mom lives with me and can’t drive or go places independently and one of the heaviest burdens to me is her social life. Which right now is pretty empty. When we lived in the same town as most of the family, no one came to see her. When we moved 90 minutes away, no one comes over so I bring Mom to their town about 4 to 6 times a month. Even then, we don’t get to see everyone who is there – they are usually busy.

From time to time the topic of Mom moving to a retirement community arises. There is one place in our region that she can remotely consider due to her very low income. Recently an aunt told a friend they didn’t want Mom to go there because it was too hard to get to. It is 60 minutes from where they all live. Closer to them than we are now!

The same aunt said they weren’t invited to our place when they WERE invited. And yet, they never invite Mom over to THEIR place.

To add insult to injury, same aunt suggested places in their town that cost two and three times Mom's monthly income! She is clueless. Part of me thinks I should send her a budget spreadsheet showing what Mom can afford.

This isn't the first time this has come up. I get no assistance from them but talk about changing things and then everyone has an opinion! i just needed to vent.

13 Comments

This is how people are. A few care and will visit once and think they have kept in touch. Everyone has different gauges of what's enough. I think taking someone 4-6 times a month to visit is a bit much, but that's your way of trying to get others to reciprocate and "stay in the loop." Try not to expect the too much of the loop. Lol
Maybe Aunty would like to contribute to the care home cost? Right. Ha ha ha.
Realistically, let everyone know where she is, try to get local friends, neighbors, helpers to visit once a month and you will do your usual. My motto about this is : Expect the worst scenario. If something mediocre happens, be thrilled and appreciative. I think most people are good, honest and decent... But not when it comes to visiting elders and genuinely caring enough to make an effort, or to be consistent. It takes unique individuals to maintain the level of caring-- like us:)) xo
I should clarify that I take Mom to our hometown so often just as much for me as for her. I need to know I can interact with other people each weekend and that it won't be just me and her together alone ALL THE TIME. The hardest part of being a caregiver to someone who lives with you is that so much of my free time is spent with her. And she only gets out if I take her out.
I get it. This is for your sanity, too. Bless your heart. It is very tough. How old is your Mom? You are with her24/7?
Vent away, Dear One:) Tell us more! xo
Are there any community centers near you? Often churches have a Senior group that meets once a month for lunch, etc. She needs friends and others besides you. Do you have work or friends there?
Mom lives with us but thankfully, I work during the day on weekdays. Most evenings I come home, cook dinner for us and we watch tv after dinner. She has no friends here in the town we live in.

I just recently decided that if she did have somewhere to go even once a week, the pressure on me to provide activity would be even less. She is perfectly happy watching tv and playing on her computer but I'm not happy with her doing that all of the time. I'm going to look, yet again, into senior services in the area and try to figure some way for her to meet people and do something without me. I was worried before she would feel I was treating her like a child (you need to go to day care) but I think if I explain that she needs to interact with people besides me, she will understand.

I wish I could find someone who could take her to a museum or fishing or something. Without me. But I guess liability can be an issue.
See if any of your churches have a respite care group. I used to do that through both a church group and through our Township office. I'd go in for a couple of hours so the caregiver could get out and do other things. There may be groups where you can take your mom.

One thing about her living in a retirement community is that she WILL have more people around her and have more chances to meet new people and build new friendships. I moved my mom and dad near me 12 years ago, away from all of my mom's friends. She made new friends at the facility where she lives. Unfortunately they've all passed away or moved away in the 12 years, so she's only got one "long-time" friend still left. At 93, she's decided she doesn't want to try to meet new people, so she's in her room more.

And like ChristinaW says, ignore all of the relatives' comments. They have no clue.
Forgot to say, Mom is 66. She had a stroke about 2 years ago and sometimes acts older than she is. The stroke has affected her initiative (which wasn't real strong before). She has blind spots so she can see but isn't completely independent when walking in an unfamiliar place or in public.
cmc, You have relatives who either don't or won't or can't pitch in and help with mom, but COULD pick up the phone and at least visit with her. When you talk about an asst living place they all start to whine for different reasons. Usually that means the family doesn't want to see their relatives money being used up so they won't get any when that person dies, but you said your mom has limited income, so that's puzzling to me. But you said your mother was 'perfectly content' to watch TV and play on her computer, but that YOU weren't. Don't focus too hard on what YOU think she needs to be doing in her old age, if SHE'S content doing it. If she's not complaining about being lonely and bored and is so freaking tired of watching TV all day, then don't fix what isn't broken. Some people are used to, and like being alone and putzing around by themselves all day. That would drive me crazy, but that's just me. If when I'm old and alone, my son will have to put me somewhere where there are people to talk to and stuff to see, otherwise I will drive him crazy and he'll be on this website lamenting about his mother who is going to drive his wife out of the house with all her talking and wanting to help. So find yourself people that WILL help out with mom when you need to extricate yourself from her, and leave the relatives alone who won't or can't or don't want to.
Keep your Mom close to you and let the relatives deal with it. The real issue is that they are being selfish and have no clue about caregiving.
I think it is a good idea for you to look for "day care" or something - even just one day a week.

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