Please Read - I'm Ready to jump off a cliff.

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Not literally.
Mom won't answer the phone. A physical therapist is suposed to start seeing mom. So the therapist has to call me. Then mom will call me to see if she called to find out when she is coming. The first visit got messed up. So mom missed starting today. It wouldn't have if she would answer the phone.

She calls me angry because she is in a lot of pain and missed her first appointment. I told her I was going to call today since no one called me yesterday. I thought I would be home. I forgot about a scheduled volunteer session I had. So she called five times geting more upset each time. Because I was supposed to be home and making the call to physical therapy place.

I said do you want someone to come out tomorrow. She said no. You told them not to come out today and to come out Thursday. But later the therapist called me and said she can come tomorrow. And I said yes. Thinking of how upset mom was telling me she is in lots of pain. But mom may not call me untill later tomorrow after the time the therapist will show up.

Mom wants to know when they are comming so she will stay in the living room to hear the doorbell. She is very hard of hearing. Brother lives there also. But he gets up in morning and goes back to sleep for hours cause he stays up late. He wont answer phone eighter. And he might be asleep upstairs and not hear doorbell. Mom might not hear it. The therapist might then leave. And mom will be angry again. If a therapist cant come out again the next day. Thursday. The day I actually had told the company to send someone out.

I'm stressed out. Help.

Barbara

40 Comments

First get the pain under control, even inpatient rehab made sure I had the pain meds before a session. Maybe that's what mom needs; inpatient rehab. Can you make that happen?
How do you contact your mom if she won't answer the phone? Why won't she answer the phone? What pain meds is she taking? Is her doctor aware of the fact that she's in pain?
Yes, her doctor is aware. She went to him because of the pain. He says she has arthritus. She alzo went to a specialist who said she had arthritus and gave her a cordizone shot. Think it was cordosone. It only lasted a few weeks. She says she cant keep gong every few weeks. Too many other doctor appointments and she cant afford it. She can afford it. I think the arthritus is in her arm and maybe
shoulder. Then came lots of added pain. She uses a walker and had to get mamagram. The lady holding her up pulled hard on her shoulders and arms trying to get her in correct positions. The day before she pulleda muscle reaching up to put dishes away. She is 89 and refuses to pay for help even if I help pay. I bought her two moist heating pads on small and one large. She uses them. Doctor said use extra stength Tylenol. She said didnt work. Doctor then said try motron. I told mom totell brother to goget motron. She said she would think about it. I live an hour and a half away. Brother lives in house with her. Doctor wont give prescription pain pills cause of all moms other perscription drugs. She also has stage three kidney disease. Dont know if that has anything to do with being careful on prescription drugs. She is better than she was when she came home from the mamagram.
She calls me everyother day. And inbetween when she needs me to help her take care of something. She was and I guess still is being harassed by a former employee of my fathers. Dad died six years ago. This employee wants money for doctor and hospital bills. He cleaned stain in parking lot of business with something thatgot in his lungs. He keeps calling mom threatening to sue her. I think she was giving him small amounts of money over the years since dad died. Then told him she couldn't anymore. She won't involve police or lawyer. Says he uses other peoples phones sometimes so telephone company cant help. She won't tell me his number or name. I dont think this person would really sue. But moms fears of being sued are realistic. She was sued twice as the owner of dads property since he died. She setteled each time. Brother wont talk to strangers. He wont answer the phone eighter. He has personality disorder.

Barbara
If she won't answer the phone would you consider calling the police and having them do a wellness check. That just might get Mom's attention. How far away do you live?
I live one and a half hours away. It is really one hour if you use the beltway. We live in different counties. But I have anxiety disorder. I learned a way to get ther using regular roads with traffic lights. Just takes me longer to get there.

My brother lives in the house. Idont know if they would do a wellness check. Besides, that would only get mom to lie about how well she can manage. And do nothing. Adult protective services was called out. And did nothing. Cause of brothers excessive temper. Social worker told me they dont do anything unless its an extreme situation.
I think Ididnt understand what you ment. That wouldn't work toget mom to start answering the phone. She is rigid, has anxiety disorder,
Hadnuff, take deep breaths. All this whirlwind about a PT appointment?

But. It is, I agree, symptomatic of the total disorganisation surrounding your mother's care; and there you are trying to deal with it but with no co-operation either from your mother or from your brother, who normally would be best placed to deal with routine appointments because he lives there.

So, what to do. No good calling your mother - she doesn't hear the phone, and your brother doesn't answer it.

Does your brother agree, in principle, that your mother needs this PT? Can you text him, does he have a cellphone? Would he agree to liaise with the PT?

Or, can you arrange to take your mother to the PT's office? That way you make the appointment, you tell your mother when you're collecting her, you're in control. The drawback, of course, is that it means you have to find a minimum of, what, five hours to deal with one appointment - but at least it won't all end up in a b*gger's muddle like this week's has.

The other reason to take charge of it is that, once you have run your therapist to earth, you can make friends with her and work out a better way together to fix appointments and communicate about them.

Don't forget, professionals in this field deal all the time with elders who really are on their own, and who have hearing loss, disabilities, you name it. Where there's a will there's a way, and you should find they'll have ideas that work.

Overall, though, it comes down to this choice for you: *either* take charge of the appointments and do the extra work involved, *or* butt out and leave your mother's GP/PCP to sort out the healthcare he/she has prescribed. Right now you're stuck between the two and getting crushed - not fair on you, and not getting your mother the treatment she needs.
It is a visiting nurse and therapist company. There is no office. And the company wouldnt give me the phone number of the therapist. Hopefully after the first visit things will be easier. And the therapist will give me their number. I hope.

No, brother doesnt have cell phone. And wouldn't comunicate with me if he did.
Mom can hear the phone. She just wont answer it.
If your mother is regularly harassed by people demanding money and threatening lawsuits then I'm not surprised she doesn't enjoy answering the phone. And, by the way, that kind of thing you can report to the police - you don't need her permission to do so. Or, of course, she could change her phone number. In any case, whatever the rights and wrongs of these people's grievances, they have no right to harass an elderly lady in her home.

But again, that is something you either take control of or just live with.

For the rest of today, anyway, please take a break and look after yourself - there's nothing you can do about anything now, and I hate to think of you worrying and upsetting yourself over it. Let's start again in the morning - try to get some sleep?
If she knew it was you on the phone would she pick up? You could subscribe to caller display, or some phone companies can set different rings for family members. You could even work out a code like ring twice, hang up and call again.

I doubt you will get the therapist to give you their number unless they have a phone for work only. Our nurse usually sets up her own appt times the evening before she comes from her personal phone, number blocked of course.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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