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My mom is 90 and my siblings live out of state. I never blame them for not being available to help. But they are in denial about the status of our mom's physical limitations because they don't see her. They don't get that she can't dress herself, feed herself, wipe herself. They don't realize that she cannot see that she is eating moldy food. They don't get that one of the reasons we have struggled with constant hospitalizations for infections is because she cannot properly care for herself. They don't get that she has fallen several times not only because her walking has become almost impossible but because "stuff" is everywhere and she is unable to pick up after herself. I tell them - but they don't get it. She lives an hour away from me. I cannot go there every day. When she is hospitalized I do go every day - which has been the case for the last 3 weeks and the time before this was only a month ago. They not only refuse to help me talk with her about a different living arrangement, they actually support my mother in continuing to live on her own and make me out to be the meanie. But when something happens, they NEVER get on a plane and come help. I am flipping out today because they sent me a "gift" for taking care of mom during these last several weeks. They sent me garden stuff and told me they wanted me to relax in my garden. I have been running around like a crazy person for 3 weeks, calling doctors, nursing homes, fetching stuff, caring for my mom's cat an hour away from me, spending minimally 5 hrs a day at the nursing facility (which is strongly my mother's expectation) and they send me garden stuff as though the only obstacle to me working in my garden was my lack of a sun hat. A "gift" would have been to show up. Right now I want to put it in a box, send it back to them and tell them to use the money towards plane fare. How can I make them understand?

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Sad to say, far too many people experience just what you are. Relax in your garden? What a joke! They are incomplete denial and they want it that way. I hate to say this, but they may not want to use your mom's money for assisted living, because they expect to inherit it. Maybe I'm wrong, but it happens more often than we'd like to think.
Does your mom have a religious leader who can talk to her and the family about help for her? Could your mom’s doctor help? Assisted living would be ideal, but she certainly needs in-home care at the very least. Your sibling need to understand that unless she gets help daily she could die from neglect. You can't drive that far every day forever.
You may even need to hire a family mediator to talk to the siblings and get their backing to get your mom help. You can call your local social services to get some direction or go online to the state website and type "aging" in the search box. You need to take care of yourself before you go down. Then, what happens to your mom?
Stick to your guns and get a third party to intervene. It seems to be the only way to get your siblings to understand.
Carol
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Gardening stuff?! Yeah, right. I'd be flipping out, too. But sending a gift is at least acknowledging that you are doing something special and they realize you are working hard and need some relaxation. Can we take that as a positive?

Are you talking to the hospital's social worker? Maybe he or she could arrange a conference call with you and your sibs and discuss needs and options for your mom. Perhaps an outside professional could break through their denial barrier.

Realistically, what are the options for your mom? My sibs and I are concerned about our 90 year old mother living on her own. We got social services involved and have so far arranged for daily meal delivery, weekly cleaning, and a weekly nurse visit to help with meds. Also we live in the area and can visit often and do shopping. We'd like her to remain independent as long as possible. And one sister is also scoping out nursing homes in the area, for future reference. I'm certain it would not be safe for Ma to live where she is without these services.

Best wishes to you as you struggle, alone, with these demanding issues.
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My experience is that they just do not get it-my problem is that on the phone she sounds strong and the few times she visits my brother she never complains like she does at her apartment and since my sister lives close to her they just assume everything is fine-if they do not get it they won't I tell them often how weak and frail she is but to no avail, Leanne you and your siblings are doing the right thing and helping her to remain in her home but that is the exception but good for you and your siblings I am very proud of you all for steping up,
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If one of your siblings won't come out and stay a few days with mom to see for themselves what's really going on, then Minding is right in that you need a third party involved. Get someone that you trust and know will give your siblings an honest assessment of your mom's well being. Tell them that you've having this person come out and make an assessment, and if that person thinks your mom can't live alone anymore, you're going to start looking for other living arrangements. I'll betcha a box of donuts, that gets at least one or more of your siblings on a plane to see for themselves. Because Minding is also right, it's probably about money that they're not gonna get if mom spends it on her own welfare. Sad but most times true.
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I don't really know how to get through my siblings mental blockages. I often wonder where their common sense is and how I could ever be related to them. My out of state brother suggested we drop all my mom's medications except blood pressure ones and use alternative natural methods to help her. At 78 years old and all her many health complications it would be like hosing down a 3 alarm fire with gasoline. He wanted my mom's doctors phone numbers so he could call them personally. ROFL!

Not gone to happen bro. Not going to happen.

Meanwhile he's not seen his own Mother in some 25 years. Yes, 25 years!!!!

He is So clueless. But he does say he wants to help, so I forgive his ignorance.
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You are right about the money, Mindingourelders and naheaton. That is definitely one of the problems. My mom doesn't have a lot but what she has would take care of her for a little while and then family contributions would be necessary. There is an expectation that if I get someone to come to the home, then I am getting someone "for me", "to save me from going there", "to save me from doing it" and thus, since it's "for me", I should pay for it. They think mom's money shouldn't be touched until we absolutely have to and I say "we're there, we absolutely have to" and they say "not yet we don't, she says she's fine". Also, 195Austin, right about the sounding strong on the phone. My mother's cognitive abilities are all there. She sounds fine when she talks to them on the phone, tells them I'm silly and they literally haven't seen her in more than 6 months and then only for a short period. Whenever I try to talk to them about the situation, they call our mother and repeat everything I've said to her. She tells them she is fine and then turns around and tells me to be sure to be there by 8 am to dress her for therapy because she can't do it herself. Thank you for your notes. It does help to know there are others out there.
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