My 87 year old Mom is coming home from a month stay in rehab for a broken pelvis. She had been living alone in an apartment and had not gotten out in over a year.

She is refusing to pay for assisted living and thinks she can get by with having someone come in a few hours a day.

The staff at the rehab center says she cannot live alone and needs a walker to get around.

Mom's processing is slower, but she refuses to acknowledge or accept what the professionals are saying. Living by herself would be dangerous.

I need some ideas on taking care of myself.

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First of all, unless she is so far into dementia that she is unable to make her own decisions, please remember that she has chosen this route. If she gets hurt, don't accept guilt for it. You have been trying to get her to make a better choice for her safety and she is not listening to you.

Is there a pastor or good freind that she trusts that could help convince her? Many times, aging parents won't accept advice from their "kids," because you are still their "kid." Period. But they will listen to a third party - a doctor, a friend, a social worker or a relgious leader. I push for third party advice often, as it can help the elder let go of that need to control and let them actually see that life could be better. A third party can open an elder's ears.

If things get desperate, you can call your county social services for a welfare check. They will likely force the issue, as she cannot take care of herself, and they will see that. She will be very angry, but you'll know you did what you had to do, and you'll have to detach from that anger the best you can.

Meanwhile, about taking care of yourself. Vent when you need to, with other caregivers (as you are). That does lighten the load. Educate yourself about what is available for your mother, within the community. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging. Get counseling for yourself, if guilt is ruining your quality of life. You can only do so much when a person refuses help.

Keep coming back and letting us know how your are doing.
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I agree with MindingOurElders. It does not seem that your mother is suffering from dementia. It is very hard for all of us to give up our independence, or accept that we can no longer care for ourselves. It sounds like it maybe a "wait and see" what happens scenario. Please do not blame yourself if anything else should happen to your mother. She has made a decision and you must respect that. Good luck and vent anytime you need to.
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