My friend is becoming more and more demanding of my time. How do I convince my elderly friend to get the help she needs?

Asked by

A year ago my friend was placed on Hospice. I always told her I would be here for her. She has never wanted to live in a nursing home or assisted living. She is not close with her children and has no one but her friends.

When she was first placed on hospice I started helping out. Cooking, cleaning and staying a few nights and weekends. She has another friend that helps her as well. Since that time, the other friend started pulling away until they are gone almost completely.

I am married and have adult children, I have a full time job. I am her full time caregiver. I'm exhausted!

I've not been home with my family in months. She has one friend that will come in for 3 hours a day, (During the week) until we find someone to hire so that I can get back to work.

The problem is my friend is becoming more and more demanding of my time. Refusing to hire anyone to care for her. She states that she can't afford it, but that really isn't true. When I am with her she wants all the attention on her. Last night she refused to let me sleep. She continued to talk until I begged her to let me sleep. She can't be left alone because of her condition. I'm so frustrated and tired. I hate to pull out all together but I can't cope with this.

How do you get someone to help themselves? She doesn't have dementia. She is just controlling. I guess I'm a wuss. HELP!

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
You need to get in touch with her family or have a lawyer do it some donate their time with office of the ageing and why can she not go back on hospice and let them help her find help what a horrible situation for you to be in it was bad enough for me being married to him to be treated like that but just because you are kind hearted that is no way to be treated-you can not make anyone do things for themselves if they have decided they want to be dependent you could get in touch with Adult Protective Services and tell them her family has abanded her and they will get involved and if that does not work call the police but Social Services should get APS in there ASAP.
The friend that has bailed out is power of attorney. I've spoken with her attorney and because she is competent not much we can do. Hospice is still involved. They send a nurse once a week to evaluate her. Hospice pays for her RX and sends a caregiver to bathe her during the week. I've asked for respite care, but because my friend refuses to go to the hospice home, our hands are tied. I've told her I need help and she say's lets interview. We've interviewed 4 people (All are competent), my friend gives various reasons to not allow these caregivers to come in.

Her family are really bad and they've been estranged for years. Her children are abusive, drug addicts. One is homeless. Sad situation.
You need to set her up with your replacement as soon as possible. It is not fair for you to be her full time caretaker when you have a job and a family.

Does your friend object to live-in care?

So far she says she can't afford it. Then she goes into the....You don't want to take care of me? I'd do it for you. I love you. You want to leave me with strangers? Yadda yadda yadda. UGH. I'm trying baby steps.
Dear Zelda, I feel for you. Helping is one thing, but the demands upon your time, attention, and willingness to help, are an infringement upon your good intentions. It would be wise to step back (or out) as you have obligations to your own family. Take a breather, get some wise counsel, and set some 'healthy' boundaries. She sounds scared, and very manipulative. Don't mean to sound harsh about your "friend," but she is taking advantage of your good graces. What about your own family? Do they resent your absence? Baby steps probably need to lead to bigger ones, and very soon! How about a giant one, out for a breather, and some time for you to reflect about what's really going on here. Since Hospice is involved, let them know you need a break, and tell your friend the same. Time away may help you both clarify things. Prayer helps. Take care.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support