Having a hard time getting help for mom. How can I help her when she refuses?


I feel like I'm getting nowhere with help for my mom. She has signs of dementia -- paranoia, confusion, etc., plus is hard of hearing.
She refuses to get any medical help except to see her primary care doctor. She won't see a heart specialist, a neurologist, neurologist, etc. It's always too expensive, she says, even though she has a decent pension.
While she has issues with confusion and so on she is clear enough (for now) to know when her rent, etc., is due. Due to the dementia, though, I'd like to get her more help. However, I call the area on aging and they say I might want to try the courts. I call the courts and they say I need something from my mom's doctor. I try mom mom's doctor, and she says to try the area on aging.
I really suspect my mom's doctor doesn't believe my mom needs additional help. My mom has some personality disorder issues -- a textbook narcissist, for starters -- and she can play "normal" to get out of any real scrutiny.
My mom's effectively locked me out of her life -- changed her locks, etc., accuses me of things that never happened, and if I try and get around these accusations I'm a liar or have bad memory. Basically all she wants is someone to come around and nod at whatever she says and to praise her and take her shopping when she wants -- my work schedule means nothing, and so on. She needs it now and that's that.
My mom's doctor suggested I go to the area agency on aging to find someone to hire to help my mom. Thing is, I've tried that before: After her stroke a decade ago I had a nurse come by for therapy; my mom fired her after a week because she didn't like the look of the woman. Other times I've hired help for chores and she fires them after a few days, too, and it's always something like they talk too much or they have a weird laugh. (And I'm the only one who gets to hear all this stuff; she'd never be honest with anyone else.)
I'm at the end of my rope here. My mom's doctor is no help, and my mom wants little to nothing to do with me (and she's cut herself off from the rest of her family over the last two decades so I'm effectively alone in terms of family in this because I got tangled up in all her feuds) and in the past when I've gotten a psychiatrist to check her out (at the hospital for a different medical matter) he even said it'd be near impossible to commit her because she was answering all the questions correctly.
On one hand I'm tempted to wash my hands of the whole matter since I've been coping with more than half my life of being belittled by her for everything from where I hang my pictures on my walls to how I wear my hair to how I dress to how I answer the phone (basically if I'm not a carbon copy of her and her yes-person, I'm dirt).
On the other hand, she is my mother and I feel obligated to care for her. I'm at a loss. How do I help someone who is mentally ill, has aging issues, and who knows how to play "normal" when she feels her survival and status-quo are at stake?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.


Thanks, vw9729 and Perseverance. I'm always torn about this because I feel I should care for and respect my mother but it's hard when she doesn't want help. As for the rest of the family, in the past I've tried to get her in touch with her sisters and it's never gone well. I think social services might be the option to try, see if they can check on her. Thank you!
Helpful Answer (0)

You need boundaries, honey. Your Mom doesn't want your help and makes it impossible for you to help. So, walk away. You are NOT your mother's keeper - she clearly is obstinate and is declining your assistance. Respect your mother's boundaries. Learn to love her without trying to rescue her (I know this will really hurt because you see her delusion and destructive path - but, again, you are not her savior).

Where is the rest of the family? Call your local Dept of Health and Social Services - they can go out and check in on her.
Helpful Answer (0)

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. Unfortunately, as long as your mom has the doctors convinced she's okay, there's nothing you can do about it. But what you can do is this - stop letting her abuse you. If she does, tell her you will not be treated that way and walk away or just make yourself unavailable for anything. You've tried to help in the past by getting her outside help and she doesn't use it or runs them off for whatever reason. That's her choice - but it is also your choice that you do not have to be her rescue/backup plan. There's an old saying: "no one can use you without your permission". So you can still love your mother without being "used" and you can wait until she figures out that maybe she needs help from you - which she probably will never do - but that is not your fault. Just because she is your mother does not make you obligated to her. You are both adults now. You are a good person but you cannot fix her. But you can set boundaries to what you will and will not do or accept from her. You and your life are important - and if you don't take care of yourself - who will? So start taking care of yourself first - and your mom will survive if you don't jump at her every whim. Good luck!!
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.