In the UK we are all now required by law to wear face masks when shopping and visiting other indoor businesses. The government has positioned this as the caring thing to do: wearing a mask to protect others in case you are are an asymptomatic carrier of the virus, thus reducing virus transmission. My mother is an avid follower of the News and all things Covid, she knows how this has torn through our country leaving tens of thousands dead or seriously ill, yet she is resisting mask wearing when going out. Earlier this week we went into our local town, with our masks ready for use. When we got to the Bank, she said she couldn’t find her mask despite me checking that she’d got it before we left the house, and then said she was going inside anyway, without it. Of course she was stopped at the door, where the assistant kindly but firmly gave her a mask from a big box they had for this very purpose, and she had to put it on before going any further. When she came out she was furious about having to wear the mask, saying that it messed her hair up, despite the fact that she’d just been given one for free and that there were signs everywhere, outdoors as well as indoors, reminding people about mask wearing. Yesterday we went to the greengrocers and I made her put the mask on before we got out of the car, but then I heard her complaining bitterly to the shop assistant about it. The assistant patiently smiled and said that she’d soon be able to take it off when she’d finished her shopping. My mother took this comment at face value and whipped off the mask before she’d actually left the shop. When I challenged her about it outside she said the assistant had said she could take it off, which was patently untrue. Once again she started complaining about hating having to wear it, it was hot, she didn’t like it, it messed up her hair, like a petulant child. I felt that all of these complaints could have been said by any of us, but we are all just putting up with it for the good of our society and community. I have told her that if she won’t wear it, I won’t take her to the shops again. My mother has always been selfish and is a narcissist, so appealing to her to do the right thing to protect others is wasted on her. I just wondered if anyone else had had this problem, and if so, what they’d done about it?

Also, with anti-maskers here who say it violates their rights, I say the law requires you to cover other body parts every time you are in public. Does that violate your civil rights? Do you truly believe we should let everyone who wants to walk around naked? Every person so far has no response at that point.
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Reply to Shelbyloren
careinhome Aug 9, 2020
Nice straw dog argument.
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Thank you all. I think my mother is now weighing up the pros and cons of fussing about a mask, and whether it is better to stay home, not wear a mask and get bored, or do the right thing and get the mask on if wanting to go out.The shop assistants did not give in to her, which probably came as a surprise. I've cut off any complaints about this at home by just saying "it's the law now" and leaving it at that.
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Reply to Chriscat83
Harpcat Aug 9, 2020
Good for you! Personally rather than listening to childish whining, I would leave her home. One can only take so much of that!
I think that's a really good result that you can use for many situations - letting Mother decide whether to wear the mask or not herself. She will feel in control & respected. The consequences will be hers too (eg no shopping trip today, or store denies entry). Takes the pressure of YOU 😃 trying to make her comply.

Masks are now law in my city too. This massive change to our laws & freedom is such a shock. Many rebel but it has given me much thought, especially about giving people the choice of their own actions where you can. No mask = Police offer mask. No wear = fine. Refuse to give ID for fine = arrest.

A few years ago I requested a relative to wear incontinence undergarms when I took them out in my car. (You can guess why). They refused. So I refused to drive them.

I think this approach with the mask may be needed many times along this aging journey with your Mother.
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Reply to Beatty
Chriscat83 Aug 9, 2020
Thank you Beatty. You are right. This approach could work in many other situations and I’ll keep that in mind. There’s enough pressure on all of us at the moment without adding to it with extra conflict. I’ll let the cause and effect be my mother’s problem, not mine.
"I have told her that if she won’t wear it, I won’t take her to the shops again."

If you have drawn that line in the sand, STICK TO IT! If my mother was still mobile and cognitively aware, she would either wear it or be left at home. Leaving her in the car isn't the best way to deal with this issue. Cars can get hot, even with windows open.

Our mother has dementia. Her Macular Degeneration treatment was delayed a month. When they called again, it was to ask questions and list "rules". One rule was she had to go in alone. This doesn't apply for kids, but when I mentioned that she has dementia and also won't stand or walk unassisted, they said someone could go in with her. Then came the mask requirement. I laughed, and said good luck with that! Staff had to take away her hearing aid as she would keep taking it out. One very new one went AWOL, likely wrapped in tissue or napkin at mealtime and tossed. She doesn't even like staff wearing the masks. I think part of it is she is minimally able to read lips, a bit, but with a mask, she can't do that.

YB is now the designated transport. The place is outside the facility transport and I can no longer support her weight. HE has tried twice now to get out of this. It is only 4x/year!!! He actually called them the day before the appt to try to get out of it because she likely wouldn't wear the mask. I told him they were aware of the issue, but what do I know? He could have called sooner to address this, but as usual he waits to the last minute for things like this!

So, if your mother has her "faculties", then it is her choice - wear it or stay home.

As I commented to someone else, a ventilator or coffin will mess up her hair a lot more and longer than wearing a mask while shopping!! Find some images to show her! And stand your ground on that line in the sand!!!
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Reply to disgustedtoo

The mantra everywhere is social distancing, hand washing and masks - it just is. She'll either soon become accustomed to masking or she won't, and I certainly won't blame you for refusing to escort someone who is acting like a toddler with a tantrum if she doesn't.
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Reply to cwillie

What about a pretty patterned mask? All the well dressed ladies are wearing these Mother - but yours is the prettiest!
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Reply to Beatty
Patathome01 Aug 9, 2020
Get some to match outfits, too!
You are likely correct when you say:
" I have told her that if she won’t wear it, I won’t take her to the shops again."

Be sure to say goodbye on your way out the door, wearing your mask. It may only take once. But getting out by yourself may help give you a moment's respite, if you can safely leave her alone.

I sympathize that hearing the complaining can make your caregiving more difficult.

Best regards to you this day, caregivers everywhere.
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Reply to Sendhelp

My sister is the same way, followed by numerous "AARRG, UGH, Huffing and Puffing, "OMG"..UGH. OMG This is Bull, etc.etc.etc.
I get so sick of going places with her, just to hear her huff and puff about having to wear a mask. "Are you alive?" that is the only question I have for her. Deal with it.
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Reply to Chemoangel1967
KaleyBug Aug 9, 2020
My adult son would only wear one if asked. Now he is quarantined until his co-workers test comes back. A coworker with the same attitude has a high fever and had to take the test. Boss said no one comes back to work until the test results.
The masks do not protect you from the virus. Go to Dr. Mercola and read his informative articles if you wish.

Here our medical health officer requested everyone wear one. When asked if it would protect others from the virus she admitted that no it does not.

There are certain folks that cannot wear masks ( I am one of them) and here in Canada you are not harassed if you do not wear one for medical reasons. In respect of others I stay six feet back when in a grocery store and go on off hours when the store is almost empty. That is the only time I go out.

When mom goes visiting friends in a seniors home she stays six feet away and there is no problem as they are outside. Many of the residents refuse to wear them and she cannot wear one for medical reasons.

If your mother is being selfish and narcissist then just be firm and inform her these are the rules and she has a choice: obey them or stay home. You have to be firm with a narcissist.
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Reply to Christservant
Sasha17 Aug 9, 2020
Where I live, a business can absolutely deny entry/service to a customer who is not wearing a mask. If you cannot wear a mask for medical reasons or claim you have a disability which precludes wearing a mask, you must be offered "reasonable accommodations", such as wearing a loose covering around the nose and mouth, curbside service or home delivery. You don't get to barge your way into an establishment without a face covering.
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The masks are an important tool for forcing conformity and control. They also allow us to breathe in our own carbon dioxide, plus maintain a nice, warm environment to breed more bacteria from our mouth and nose. Heaven forbid we should expose ourselves to fresh air or even the ultra violet rays of sunshine.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Lilacalani
Isthisrealyreal Aug 9, 2020
Where I live we don't have sunshine in the buildings, it's all just florescent lighting.

Oh and the air isn't fresh as it is hot and you can't circulate fresh air into the air conditioned building without cooking everyone.
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