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My mother refuses to social distance. I am in the Chicago area. Over the last month she was preparing to move, selling her home and selling things online. She had a parade of people through her house to sell things putting her at risk. Going up and talking to any neighbor she can find. Her senior home help person has been coming. The helper doesn't have a car so she brings her husband who works at a grocery store (yes a grocery store). She finally moved into an apartment a couple days ago. I thought it was all over and she would social distance. She tells me she needs the home helper and her husband to help her set up her place. She is now in a different county and she is going to pay the home helper and husband directly to help her. I have told her over and over again what is going on and that she needs to social distance and not allow anyone into her home. She is putting my wife and kids in jeopardy for needlessly exposing herself to a grocery store worker. How to I explain I can't continue to try to help her if she continues this and will not come to her house and expose myself to her and people she keeps coming in contact with. She also says outlandish things like she is going to get her nails done when she knows full well they are closed. It is like she is just trying to ignore everything that is happening and enjoys get me riled up about it.


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I should stop trying to explain, and stop going to her house.

I'm not being flippant - I genuinely can't see what else you can do. I also can't see what your mother needs you to be there for, seeing as she has all the little helpers she seems to want.

Besides. Unless you have a really, really good reason to be in somebody's house, you shouldn't be entering it anyway.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 2, 2020
Totally agree.
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Unless your mother has dementia she’s free to make her own choices, even those considered bad ones. You don’t have to participate in them. If she wants helpers and they are all comfortable with it, then let it be. Take care of your own family and leave mom to it
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Either she is purposely ignoring you as you say or she isn’t capable of understanding it at this time. The fact remains that it simply doesn’t matter.

It is extremely frustrating for you. I get that but you shouldn’t go see her. You know this. You acknowledge this. You don’t have any problem understanding the situation yourself. She is the one with the problem. Leave it there. Let it go. Don’t make it your problem any longer. You are wasting your breath and upsetting yourself.

Can you think of anyone else that could speak to her that she may possibly listen to? Can you type up a letter with a warning that looks official and would scare her? Or would she ignore that too?
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PowerOf3 Apr 3, 2020
NHWM that letter is a great idea, I bet you could print a logo from a county or state website and slap it on.
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Serious denial. You need to stay away unless she wises up, and tell her why.
truth
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Reply to Getkicksonrte66
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Sounds like there is a little cognitive decline here.

Do you have the phone number of the helper? If so, I would call her and tell her she needs to take every precaution she needs to to keep Mom safe. Thats washing her hands when she comes into Moms house. Keeping her coat and items away from Moms. Wearing a mask. And allowing No One into the apt and that means her husband. Because he is still working, he is a risk to your mother. If this helper is from an agency, call them and tell them Mom is being put at risk because of the husband. To please have helper stop allowing husband in and she is to be abiding by all precautions.

Now for you and family. You should not be entering Moms apt. You all should be staying at home. Only going out when in need of food or excercize. If Mom needs anything, you leave it outside her apt door.
Not sure why people don't understand what "stay in place" means. Can't do much about Mom. But u can protect your family.
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worriedinCali Apr 2, 2020
There’s no agency, the OPs mother is paying the helper & helpers husband directly.
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You will just have to not visit and not help her to protect your own family.
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We have a client we should be shielding. NOBODY should be setting foot over her threshold without a clinical or substantial personal care justification. There isn't one. I was sent to her house several times this week, and by day 3, when I was in a cold sweat at the thought of infecting her on the pretext of emptying her bedside commode (this lady cleans her own bathtub, vacuums her stair carpet and changes her bedlinen - slowly, but she does), I told my bosses I could not feel justified in being in her house. We are doing *nothing*.

Review Officer went to see her next day with a view to ending service. Problem: client insists she needs one call a day. As she herself told me yesterday: our visits make her feel safe. In vain did I explain to her that, on the contrary, we are putting her at risk. "Just knowing you're coming" she said, gives her peace of mind. I suggested a phone call instead. Her family already does that.

She has anxiety. She has angina. Angina causes anxiety, anxiety causes angina. If ending service stresses her out so badly that when the paramedics are called her bp is up around 190 systolic (today) ...

What the heck are we to do?

Quarantining works, for sure. In fact it's a no-brainer - as long as *all* you have to consider is disrupting the spread of this virus. Not every exceptional case is as extreme as this one, either. Before long we will have to consider the unintended consequences of quarantining in more depth.
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MargaretMcKen Apr 2, 2020
Could you talk through an open door or window?
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The timing of moving is not ideal but moving house is an essential thing & if it has to be done, just have to limit the risks she can. I certainly would need helpers to move house, couldn't do it alone.

Do you think she understands the severity of the situation? Is that the problem?

My folks still have carers making house calls (needed) & were still shopping too. We've had a few chats about minimising all the risks they can. Setting up deliveries where possible etc.

I get you would be worried for your Mother's safety, but am not clear why it endangers you, your wife or kids? You don't visit her. She doesn't visit you right? If so, stop now. Doesn't have to be a threat like 'stop this Mother or I won't see you'. Just "we are not visiting for a while. It's safer for ALL of us".
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Reply to Beatty
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I would say that as long as she refuses to social distance she is very much at risk and you should tell her you will not be seeing her, as she puts you at risk. Sorry. They say by the new Iceland studies that as many as 50% of us show NO symptoms and are merely carriers. She may not have the mental capacity at present to absorb what is happening in her world, but she is at risk by her behavior, and seeing her puts others at risk.
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I was talked with an old friend the other day. Her dad lives in NJ and is in his 70s. He is goi g out shopping every day because "I like fresh bread". She loves in Texas. I told her that she can't stop a competent person from making really bad decisions.

I would not endanger myself by going to see her.
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MargaretMcKen Apr 2, 2020
I have a bread machine, 2 sacks of bread mix (white and wholemeal), lots of adding bits like seeds. For the last 15 years I have made fresh bread every other day, because we are so far from the shops. It isn't difficult, just put the bits in the tub in the right order, and press the button. I'm coming up to 73. If bread really is the issue, it might be possible to get him doing this.
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