Mom is 78. Lives by herself. House and car are paid for.

Has too many cats. Doesn't clean. Doesn't wash. Sends most of her money on cat food. Won't let us fix anything on her property (there is an extensive list of things falling apart). Thinks my husband is the son of Satan (yay - sarcasm).

She is smart enough to be able to convince somebody verbally that she and everything in her life is FINE. However, if you were to look at her and her situation, that answer is obviously WRONG.

I don't know how to see if she ever signed up for Medicare/Medicaid. Best I can figure is that she is depressed and just doesn't care.

How do you know where to start in all this? Do I just hire a contractor and show up to fix something and risk her calling the cops?

Do you know if she is paying her Utility bills, her taxes, property insurance? When and if these things start falling by the wayside, then there is often the question of whether or not she is in mental decline, or even possibly having some symptoms of early Dementia or Depression. Just the fact that she is neglecting her home and letting things fall apart around her leads to the question that Mom is also neglecting herself, her health, and not getting the help that she needs to live a healthy life, or even if she should be living alone for safety's sake.

Is it possible to have a frank discussion with her, and tell her that there may be Senior Services available to her that might make her life easier? That you could arrange for an Assessment through her local Agency Area on Aging, which is available through your County. They (AAA) would send out a Social Worker to evaluate her home and ask her questions about her health, and finances, and determine if there are services that might be available to her to help at little to no costs. Things like Meals on Wheels, home health Aides, people who could help her to get her finances straighted out, and the help to apply for Medicare and possibly Medicaid if she qualifies, and sign her up for Dr, and possibly even transportation to get there.

There are services like the local Senior Center, Senior Day Care that also sometimes has transportation to an from, that would gether out and socializing with other people her own age, and also if they do find severe neglect or mental decline, would point her and you in the proper direction to get her (and you) the help that she needs.

If she refuses the Assessment, you may need to one step further and report her to the police as a Senior at Risk, where they will send the police out to do a Wellness Check, but might force her to get rid of the excessive Cats, and report her to APS, Adult Protective Services, if her situation is dire, and she is unwilling to accept the help that she needs.

Welcome to the AC Forum, You have come to the right place for suggestions and support, and I hope you find the right help that you need for your Mom!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to staceyb
Aeellis2002 Sep 25, 2018
I have found out that she is not paying her bills on any kind of regular basis.

I paid her last electric bill on THE DAY her electric was to be shut off for non-payment.

I think the only things she is spending her money on is cat food and (some) human food.

She is...verbally combative in all things involving money and the upkeep of her house. A wellness check from the police after she did not answer her phone for two days did not result in anything except a tongue lashing from her to me. A report to the SPCA literally resulted in nothing again.

I don't think she should be living by herself, but I don't know what I can do without a POA, which takes time and money. I don't know how much time we have before something awful happens. My husband and I aren't rolling in money. We have a small amount in savings, but we are both in our early 50's so retirement is on the horizon for both of us.

I guess I will start looking to see if there is a senior center anywhere close to her. Another difficult thing, because I work over an hour away from her. Two during rush hour.
Where I live you are only allowed five animals. Call animal control and have them explain to her that she cannot keep these many animals. Have her pick one or two and the rest need to go. I know, its hard but its unhealthy for her and not good for the cats.

Was Mom on SS before the age of 65? If so, then Medicare is automatic. If not, then at 65 she needed to sign up. Medicaid is not a given, You must fall under a certain income level to receive it. You wilk need to personally go to the office to sign her up. Where I live that is Social Services. Do you have Moms SS number? Call her doctor and see if they have Medicare on file. She would have needed a supplimental to pick up the 20% that Medicare doesn't pay and prescriptions.

SS may help you but without a POA they may not give you any info.

Mom needs to be evaluated.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JoAnn29
WilmaDean Sep 24, 2018
YEA just send the cats away to be euthanized way to go...seems to me it should work both ways because I'M REALLY SICK OF CARING!
See 1 more reply
How long has your mother been a cause for concern?

Have there been recent changes or has your relationship with her always been a bit prickly?

The cats - more and more of them moving in, word is spreading, that kind of situation? Are we talking single figures, dozens or hundreds?

Who else besides you is in regular contact with her and might understand her in context? Family, friends, neighbours, doctors, social workers..?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse
Aeellis2002 Sep 25, 2018
Depends on your personal definition of "cause for concern"

Our relationship has been prickly since I got married. Mom lived with me up to that point, then bought her own place the summer after. You would think after 17 years of marriage, she would get the idea that I have no intention of letting him go based on her (warped) opinion. She told me she didn't want me to contact her for a while. I gave her space. I called her on a fairly regular basis, but did not show up at her house. When I asked how things were, she would always say "fine." I just showed up a couple of years ago and was horrified.

She once owned a sensible number of cats (5). She has literally become the "crazy cat lady" on the street. I don't have a problem trying to save animals, but she doesn't get them spayed or neutered, so...compounding problem. It's heart wrenching, because I know most of the kittens born are just dying. I HAVE called the SPCA. They did an investigation. They said they found NOTHING WRONG. (seriously?)

We are even willing to help her with vet bills for a REASONABLE number of cats. She doesn't see anything wrong.

My sister can't go anywhere near the house. She is asthmatic and deathly allergic to cats. My house is clean and she can't come over to MY house. My mother's house would make her literally explode within 10 feet. So, it's just ME.

She has one neighbor down the street who Mom says checks on her from time to time, but doesn't answer my calls (even though she gave me her number), and never seems to be around when I am.

When I called during an extreme heat spell to check on her, and she didn't answer for two days, I called the local police for a wellness check. She called me and tore me a new butthole (surprise). The police didn't do anything.

SPCA didn't do anything.

I am REALLY at a loss as to what I can legally do without a POA, which we are working on, but that takes time AND money. We are not rich. We aren't POOR, but this is really going to start cutting into what we are trying to do for our own retirement.

...and her situation scares the crap out of me for my own old age...
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