Shaeffer Asked May 2012

What should we do to ensure mother is safe?

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I am the primary care for my elderly(90) mother who is a widow. Prior to becoming a widow she had two dogs. Both dogs died and after their death she finally told us that she fell several times but her husband was able to help her. Several years ago we cleaned out mothers house (borderline horder) and found animal feces a year after the dogs had died. We were able to get mother into a new Senior home close to us. My mother called my brother's son's wife the other day and asked her to take her to get a cat. This family member did not contact me or my brother to see if we thought it was alright. It should be noted that the last time this person saw my mother was in March and prior to that it was in January for 1 hour. The family members do not have any plans to help with mother or the cat.
I am concerned for my mothers safety after alot of hard work and daily visits to help mother is finally in a safe clean environment. I do not want to deal with a cat and mother is not capable of handling a cat. Which she proved when the cat escaped and mother ran outside almost falling and screaming I lost my cat. The person who got the cat of course was not available to help. Of course the cat came back.
I am heart sick but my brother is no help he does not want to upset his daughter-in-law. It should be noted he only shows up once a week for a few hours and is planning two vacations this summer along with his family lasting 10 days each.
How would you handle this?

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Shaeffer May 2012
Thanks Jeanne I do try and e-mail my family but it seems that whenever mother wants something I am the only one that is capable to say no to her and take her wrath. I say no out of love and care for her well being.
I will ask my brothers daughter-in-law to take the cat they have the room and children that can play with it.
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jeannegibbs May 2012
I would try to establish better lines of communication with the whole family. My sisters and I email back-and-forth all the time about the care of my mother who lives independently. We copy in our brothers when the subject is appropriate (they have less contact with Ma). We want everyone to understand her condition and what is being done for her. Those that see her less often would tend to ask one of the "close" ones before they do anything out-of-the-ordinary. I got a call once asking if I thought she'd be able to attend a certain event if they got her tickets. I didn't so they didn't. It is not that the local sisters are the bosses -- it is just that we are closer to the situation.

I'm sure that your brother's daughter-in-law meant well. She was asked to do something and she did it. It probably never occured to her that she should ask someone closer to the situation. Perhaps by having more frequent communication -- email is easy and quick and everyone gets the same message -- these kinds of misunderstandings could be avoided.

Is there someone in the family who would like the cat -- a youngster pershaps -- who could give it a good home, and allow it to visit your mother fairly frequently?
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