lisa0318 Asked September 2011

How do I convince my mom to let a service help out with errands and shopping?

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My mom lives alone and has totaled 2 cars within 7 months of each other so she's not driving anymore. 2 years ago I wouldn't take her to get another car because both accidents were her fault and very serious. She's hard of hearing and her reaction time is very slow even though she's only 79. She moves like she's 90. She is also getting very forgetful and doesn't remember what street we're on sometimes. I've been taking her to all of her doctors appointments, shopping, errands, picking up prescriptions, taking her for her weekly hair appointments, etc. I am a full time student and have 2 daughters and a husband. My husband owns his own business and my kids play sports and take music lessons. My studies are difficult and take up most of my free time. I have tried to ask her to use a service to help out at least few times a month with some of these errands for when I can't get to it. She refuses even though she has plenty of money. When I asked her why, she simply said because I don't want to or I don't want to spend the money. I've tried to explain to her that I can't do all of it. There have been times where I wasn't able to get to her for a week and she'd rather have no food in the house and starve then pay for someone to help out. I cannot afford to pay for it because I lost my job last year....The reason I'm back in school. She doesn't have any major health issues but is very stubborn and difficult to deal with. In addition to being very selfish. Often times, she asks for things that are so inconvenient and out of the way and I'm not sure why she does it. I've tried everything to pointing out the benefits to her....to telling her how stressed out I am trying to have enough time for everything. My house hasn't been fully cleaned in a month. I even mentioned looking into assisted living so she could have a social life and be taken care of. She turned it down flat out. Wouldn't even research it. Had one reason after another why she didn't want to even look. I'm stressed out and feel guilty when I have to tell her no. She has no friends because she refused to go to a senior center for social activities. She says she's happy with where she is living and being alone, but yet complains to everyone she sees how I won't let her drive and she's stuck in the house all the time. She complains about how bad it is for her to have to depend on me to take her places. I think she's being difficult because she blames me for taking her car away and feels that I should shoulder the responsibility. One time I got so upset with her that I told her to just go and get a car. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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terry Oct 2011
i enlisted my father-in-laws dr to tell him he could no longer drive. when it came time to tell my mother, my brother and i took her car and sold it. she was mad for a year or so and told me that my brother and i ruined her life-oh well, better that than kill someone else in the process. my brother told her he could not live with HIMSELF if she happened to injure someone knowing that he could have done something about it. If she is so selfish about her money, remind her that if she injures someone in her next accident, she won't have to worry-they will take all she has. believe me, i went thru all the guilt and am now comfortable with our decisions. it was not easy, especially since my sister sided with my mother and told her all the time. i would do all i could to get her license away.
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jeannegibbs Sep 2011
I think that it is cowardly and irresponsible of medical professionals not to address this issue. When my husband was diagnosed with dementia his doctor said sympathetically but firmly, "I have to report this diagnosis to the state, and they will cancel your driver's license." And that is what happened. To leave it to family members causes unnecessary risk and trauma.

But, stepping down from that soap box, since a doctor hasn't done it, you're it. Notify the department that issues licenses of your concerns and suggest she be asked to take the written and behind-the-wheel tests. Think of how you would feel if you do nothing and next week she hits a mother pushing a stroller across the street. This risk is not just about her, as of course you know.

If you think it would do any good, you might try enlisting her doctor in this cause as well.

Good luck to you in this very difficult task.
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lisa0318 Sep 2011
So my Mom just called me and said she went out and bought a car. She got tired of waiting for people to drive her places. What a bad move! She hasn't driven in almost 3 years. I think the person that took her is an idiot! I wish they would re-test her driving skills. This is bad...really, really bad. My husband said at least now I don't have to worry about getting her around....I'd rather that ...than worry about her getting killed or killing someone else. I'm so upset right now....I can't even type. She should have went with a service rather than drive herself. I told her she's an adult and I can't tell her what to do, but not to call me if she gets into an accident. I showed up on the scene of her last two accidents where she totaled her cars and it was very traumatizing for me. She had to be cut out of the car the first time. Any more advice?
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Ronica Sep 2011
My boundaries have been set, I told Mom she needs help 24/7, no negotiation allowed, I will not discuss her cutting back on the help. This is her decision if she chooses not to have someone at night, she doesn't want to pay for people to stay at nighttime. I now calmly respond to Mom, "that's your choice, whatever you feel comfortable with." I used to overreact, but not anymore. It doesn't make me feel less guilty, but I have established with Mom that my life will also continue.
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palmtrees1 Sep 2011
Lisa, Just disregard the negative post. There are good parents and bad parents. Just because you Mom is a problem does not mean you have to throw yourself under the bus and be a martyr for her. Listen to the other 99% of information you have received and things will be better for you. Take care.
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palmtrees1 Sep 2011
Your Mom sounds like mine. Would we let our kids get away with this behavior? She doesn't want to spend the money but she would have you kill yourself for her. I suspect she has always gotten her way. Just say no. If she runs out of food, oh well, if she runs out of whatever she needs, oh well. She will get the picture. It is a test of wills with your Mom. Mine has done the same things in different ways, she thinks she has won. But, she has not. I will do only what I feel like and she will pay for the rest or do without. These people do not care about your feelings, so protect yourself from them and their demands.
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jeannegibbs Sep 2011
Judy, did you read the same post I read? The one at the top of the thread? Lisa doesn't live with her mother -- her mother lives alone. Her mother is in good health and can do many things for herself. She just can't drive. Her mother is not "helpless" and does not have to depend on her daughter as much as she does. She has other resources she refuses to use.

Lisa is trying to look at all her responsibilities, to her husband, to her kids, to her future ability to support herself, and to her mother.

Maybe you are responding to some other post.
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JudyC Sep 2011
sounds to me the one with the problem,/ issue/complaint is you. Your mother is helpless. she depends on you. Perhaps you should move out until you are able to take on the responsibility. Good luck.
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ladee1 Sep 2011
Lisa, was the timing great or what... and isn't it amazing how she stayed calm.... she may try to throw a few things in there just to see if you mean it, but can't tell you how proud I am of you for following thru.....and sometimes when it is the right time to do something, everything just falls into place....Let us know how things are going, and you will be in my prayers about this and your therapy..... hugs to you...
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lisa0318 Sep 2011
I've been reading everyone's comments and I wanted to thank all of you for opening my eyes. You are all so right. I'm going to stop feeling guilty. You would be proud of me. I had a talk with my Mom today and set boundaries of what I'm willing to do and what I simply cannot do any longer. I told her that if she needed help finding outside help, I would get her in contact with them. I think she might have known this was coming. She didn't argue with me and just said she needs to think about what she's going to do and make some decisions. I also just found out that I have a bulging disc in my lower back that is pinching nerves down both my legs. This will require therapy every other day for the next month or so. It's been extremely painful. I explained to this to her as well. I'm going to stick to my guns so she will have no choice but to get outside help. I really have no choice now because I'm just stretched way to thin. Again, thank you for your comments and advice. I'm glad I posted my question. It has helped me tremendously.
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