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I am sole caretaker for my mom who is 80, lives alone in her home, she is visually impaired and has, diabetes and afib. We have a long standing plan for me to call her or check on her everyday at certain times. Lately, she just goes about her day with total neglect to accept my phone calls at the designated times..which means I must get ready and go there to physically check on her. I don't normally mind much but I just had a surgery less than 2 weeks ago and am not supposed to be driving or climbing steps. She's knows these things but in spite of it she still doesn't answer her phone. I tried discussing this with her and she just laughed at me and told me I didn't need to worry about her. I'm just about at my wit's end. Can anyone give me any ideas on how to handle this? If I tear thus surgery up I'm going to have a worse problem next time around. Help please!!!!

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There's something I just thought of, and that's the possibility that some people just don't like to be bothered every day. It can get very stressful and even bothersome. Some people like their privacy, and just don't want to be bothered every single day because it does get old after a while. I think there's a possibility some people my deliberately leave their phones off the hook just to avoid unwanted calls.

What you may want to try is backing off just a little bit and making yourself a little less available to see what happens. I would do this for a short time just to see if maybe she might start calling you for a change. Someone here mentioned dial-up Internet, I remember those days where my phone line would be constantly busy for 16 hours at a time. I went into the software and had windows set to stay connected, and connect automatically when I got disconnected. I'm not sure if dial-up is still popular or very many people use it anymore, especially now that we have Wi-Fi, a step up from DSL (or broadband if you please). Yes, we've come a long way and getting a hold of our loved ones was especially hard if they were connected to the Internet via dial-up. Now we have Wi-Fi and use filters for it to not interrupt LAN line usage. Not having your phone line tied up by dial-up makes it much easier to get a hold of love ones
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First off, you must take care of yourself. As you stated, if you injure what the doctors have done YOU will pay the price, not your mother. If she was answering before , and now she is not...then either she can't hear the phone or she is playing games with you. Are there any other folks , or family, that can call her? Maybe you can figure out if she will not answer your call( does she have caller ID?) or is not not answering anyones calls?? Is she that needy where you must speak with her everyday? If so, then maybe you need to contact her doctor about this new behavior.If she is truly being honest with you and says she does not want to bother you, then all you can do is not call. Make peace with yourself while you heal.
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Oh, the popular AutoCorrect aggravation! I said incident and not accident
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There's definitely something you can do about this. Besides sending the authorities to do a wellness check on her, you can definitely call the Aps and report the accident. Just tell them everything you described here. My foster dad was also self-neglecting until the APS finally and unexpected came by his apartment one morning and just took him out of there right there on the spot after a thorough investigation. You must make sure there is enough information for them to go on so that they can act. If you can get statements from everyone she knows, or at very least anyone who has seen her, you will have more information to give to the local aps. The more people who can speak up to the local APS about her, the better. Sometimes people tend to go into survival mode as a way to not only protect themselves but preserve their independence. This is why some of them self isolate for various reasons known to them. Some of the reason may be false pretense of wrong ideas about people in general. As a result of all of this, that's why some people self isolate. Another thing to remember is sometimes they think if they let anyone near them that someone will find some reason to get them forced out of their homes and into a nursing home where they really don't want to be. I don't blame people for trying to protect themselves, especially at home, and especially more so if they live alone. Some people won't even answer the door to unexpected company, (and I don't blame them, neither do I). If a person insists on staying in their home, They must take responsibility to take care of themselves. That means proper diet, hydration, proper hygiene, and cleaning (housekeeping). If a person self neglects like my foster dad did, sooner or later someone's going to notice, and you never know who out of those people will report it. Our local APS who unexpectedly took my foster dad revealed to me that there were actually two other people who also made reports about dad. Here all along I thought I was alone and I was shocked when they approached me. I was so shocked that I told them, "Wait a minute, I thought you said you couldn't do anything for him?" That's when they told me that there were two other reports by two other people who had more information to contribute. I'm just glad job got done though long overdue. I was sorry to have to see it come to this, but if something wasn't done I knew I was going to be the one stuck with one day walking in and finding him dead. I've never found anyone before, and I hope I never do because it may actually traumatize me, adding two other times I've been traumatized in my life. Finding someone only to discover you've lost them is something you never fully recover from (from what I've heard). I know someone right now who lost two people within a week, (and she's never been right since).
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Thanks for all the kind and thoughtful responses. It's so hard when you just want them to have the best and safest life possible.
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Bnbushb, I wonder if your Mom is not answering the phone on purpose because by doing that, that means you will come over to check on her.... thus, company that she would let in the door.

Don't forget, she's the adult, and you are just the "child", and in her mind you are still that active teenager or 20 year old.

As for the phone, I remember those days when I would get a busy signal for several hours. I would go into panic thinking either something terrible happened or Dad was on his computer on dial-up and forgot to log out.
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I wonder if your mom has some cognitive decline. Is that possible? If so, her reasoning ability may not be all there. In any event, you can only do what you can do.

I know exactly how you feel, I call my mom 2X a day and if she doesn't answer, I'll wind up going over to check on her, even though she lives in independent living. If your mom won't cooperate, you just have to back off and do what you can do...maybe she can call you, which gives her more control. Would that work? If that doesn't work, you just have to let her live her life and if she has a stroke, she has a stroke. There's not much you can do if she won't cooperate.
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If she refuses any help or to help even ease your worries by answering your calls, I am afraid there isn't much you can do. My Mom is stubborn about certain things too and I have to pick my battles with her without going crazy. She lives in a cottage right next to me so I can keep my eye on her and give her care but she does a lot of maddening things like, not staying hydrated, doing things she should not be doing alone but I cannot watch her 24/7 nor is she in the position mentally or physically to warrant constant supervision. If she chooses to make bad decisions, I cannot prevent everything, I just get to do damage control. I am surprised that she laughs at your concern for her well being, my Mom would never laugh if I was incapacitated and asked her to call or answer calls so I knew she was alright. All you can do is ask, if she refuses to give you peace of mind while you recover, you must take care of yourself and let the chips fall where they may. Wish I had a better solution for you but I gave you the best ones I could think of. Take care of yourself, please!
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She's a shut-in and has social anxiety disorder. She won't let anyone else near her. I know a lot of this is just her trying to keep her independence. I'm so scared she's going to have a stroke or fall and I won't know till it's to late to get her help. She just laughs at me and thinks its funny. I'm at a loss here.
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Does she have cooperative neighbors? Can you or a handy friend install cameras in her home so you can look in on her without causing further damage to yourself? Possibly call an at home caregiver service to temporarily to check in on her until you recover? Those are some ideas but she may not be keen on them. Try to appeal to her as "Mom, I really love and care about you and I will be worried sick as I am trying to recover from surgury and that will just prolong my recovery, please just for me so my mind can be at ease?" Try to explain in role reversal too, that tends to work with my Mom, even if I have to say it everyday, she gets it for the moment. Hope that helps! Your no good to her if you are sick or physically unable to be of any assistance. Just remember, it's a pride thing with many parents.
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