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My Mother has decided that her washer is not working right. I helped her do loads of laundry to prove it is working ok, yet she says she thinks it washes just ok, but not great and thinks she needs to call in a professional who knows what they are doing. I have tried to convince her that the washer is fine but she is convinced otherwise. It is like when she had a medical issue, only a doctor knows the cure and insists on going to the doctor for things like paper cuts etc. this just recently started and she never acted this way before. Is this normal for the elderly ( she is 83) how can you convince her that everything is ok without having to call"the man" ?

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If I was faced with a situation like this, all I could say is do your best, forget the rest. I had an elderly friend of mine who thought his air-conditioner was a piece of junk, but the real problem was him cranking the heat so the heat and air conditioner were both running at the same time. When I noticed what was going on, I waited until he wasn't looking and turned off the heat since we really didn't need it in the middle of the summer. Other people were also complaining about him and he finally ended up in a nursing home. All we could do when someone criticizes us is just do our best, and if they don't appreciate it then I personally would just stop doing whatever it is i'm doing for them. If they don't appreciate my help, I withdraw my help and won't help no more. I won't extend my help where it's not welcomed or appreciated.
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All thumbs and paws up here. That worked out well. My mother does the same thing about looking around for things to fret about. Makes you wonder what will be next. :)
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. She has done several loads since and I think concluded that it works fine. When she had been upset about it I was gone for a few hours and it seems to escalate when she has nothing else to fret about. I try not to leave her alone for more than an hour, but things happen. She has my cell as well as my sisters and an emergency call button, but this was unusual as distraction usually worked, but this time she was so focused on calling the man. Maybe next time I can pretend to call the man and let her know he is busy for a few days and she may forget.
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I would let the complaints (that is what they are) just go. Elderly people complain for something to do, so don't argue with her for your own sanity. I think that generation looks for problems, what else do they have to do? Don't argue with her. All the best. Arlene H.
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"Oh Mom, you are right! I don't think these new machines get clothes as clean as the old models did. Your generation knew how to build a quality product! But these newfangled machines have to work with less water. That's a good thing, I guess. A lady in my bowling league has been talking about her washing problems with this kind of machine. I'll ask her what worked best for her. Maybe we need a different laundry product."

Agree with her observation. Offer a different solution.
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I could try that as a distraction as usually she doesn't know what day it is anymore thanks
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I don't suppose it would work to tell her that "the guy" is coming tomorrow? And keep telling her that every day.
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Sometimes you might face a situation where there's no convincing a person, and that's OK. If you have a face such a situation, don't beat yourself up over it, just move on with your own life and keep progressing. Sometimes life is challenging, but just remember, "hope is frail but hard to kill".
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Seems like that generation..looks for problems even if one doesn't exist...or they envision negative outcomes..and have paranoid ideas about almost everything...the negativity drives me crazy! I avoid doing certain things for mom for as long as I can ..having a talk with myself...I'm not going to react to how she's going to act...it's difficult..I feel like a bully sometimes...I'll just say..Don't start..please! Yikes!
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Yes same washing machine. And I am convinced "the man" never put in a new module , but cannot prove it. The saving grace is that I am here full time, so that won't happen again, but occasionally I have to leave for my own dr appt and that is when she calls, kind of like a teenager who waits until the parent gets out of the house. Roles seem to be reversed.
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I understand, Momofsadie. We had a multi-thousand dollar disaster here five years ago that was brought on by my mother fretting over the water heater. I don't even like to think about that incident. I couldn't get her to listen. If you think she is about to make a costly mistake, bring in the big guns -- the men in the family.

Does you mother have dementia? Older people can be easy to take advantage of, but certain types of dementia seriously impair reasoning and judgment. The control module incident made me wonder. Is it the same washing machine?
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Thank you for all the great advice. I only worry as she did this about two years ago and called the man and he sold her a new computer control module on a one year old washer for $500.00 and the washer brand new wasn't that much. I am trying to prevent that from happening again. I have thought of asking a friend to come and pose as the man, but she knows most of my friends. I was just more or less worried that this may get worse at some point and needed clarification that this is somewhat normal. Distraction helps sometimes, until another load needs to be done. She does seem to think my older brother knows everything so I will have to have him " check it out" thanks everyonr
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If Mom is presenting with no health issues...then just get a book of receipts and have them ready to "fill" out and tape on things she thinks are not working properly.
Back date it, have each one look different , etc, and show her the receipt. Show her it was looked at and see if she buys into it. Or tell her that you have made an appointment and put that note on the washer, etc. And as mentioned above, have someone she does not know come in and look like they are fixing , examining etc. Can't hurt.

Also, check your detergent...maybe she really does think that they are not as clean as before.
( BTW...It is so true that the new washers are just not very good. Efficient in water but inefficient in cleaning. I recently was in a family owned appliance store in Michigan and asked them about the washers today. They showed me a SpeedQueen and said it is the best washer on the market. You still can find them in laundromats. I don't want to replace the one I have but I am pretty sure I know what I will be buying.)
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Something I just thought about -- modern washing machines don't clean as well as the old agitator types. They use less water and energy, but it is true that the clothes don't get as clean. There's really no way to fix this. It might help to do a pre-soak or an extra rinse, but that would take forever.

There's good and bad to the new washing machines. They don't clean as well, but they aren't as hard on the clothes. And if your sewer backs up, you won't be flooded out -- they don't use much water.
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My mother was also obsessed with "the man" or "the boys". I had my (man) friend come in and fiddle with whatever the thing was= the tv, toilet, whatever.. and she would smile and be satisfied that the "problem" was "fixed". even though he wouldnt do anything but make it look like he did. it was an easy quick fix till the next time. - My mother had a strange distrust but obey men thing all her life.
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There is a double whammy that can happen with the service guy in the case of dementia. He can say nothing is wrong, which may be accepted for a while until the elder figures out the service guy was wrong... or forgets that he was ever there. Or the service guy can placate the elder by finding something wrong, then fixing it. Then the elder turns on the caregiver and says, "See I told you something was wrong." The caregiver has to play out in his/her mind what would work and go with it.

It's terrible that sometimes we have to be so manipulative, instead of just making honest statements.
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If she can afford the service call, call them and let him say that the washer is working properly. However, if she seems to be focusing on things that are not real on other matters too, I might suspect something medical and I would discuss it with her doctor.

Sometimes seniors are quite stubborn and it's a matter of picking your battles. I wouldn't argue about the washer, but would keep watch to see if she is obsessing or imagining other things.
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Have you explained to her how much a service call would cost? Does she understand?

You wrote that "this" just recently started. You mean this washing machine stuff? Or has she had other obsessions as well?

When she brings up the washing machine have you tried changing the subject?

If you think your mom's behavior has changed take her to her family Dr. and see what he/she has to say. Maybe your mom is experiencing dementia or maybe one of her meds is affecting her. Maybe she's just stubborn.

If your mom has going on about this for a while and shows no signs of letting up call a guy in to look at the washer if your mom can afford it. It might be worth the money if it settles your mom down.

(In my family we always called it "the guy". If something breaks down we call "the guy". If we need something fixed we call "the guy". Forty years later and I'm still calling "the guy" when I need something done.)
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I wondered if your mother has vision problems, like spots in front of her eyes, that leads her to see the dishes as dirty.
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Oh, this is so familiar. You can't convince them that what is in their mind is not right. Sometimes you can call in one of the males in the family and they can convince them for a few days maybe. But then it will go back to the same thing. Even if you call in a repair person, it will end up that it wasn't fixed right and they'll want to call them in again.

Something that is a bit helpful is to have a male in the family say things are okay, as mentioned above. Then when she says things need to be fixed, you can say that "Tom" said it was okay, so you don't need to call the repairman.

I have been going through this with my mother for 4 years now. With her it is the floor that is raised on stilts and bouncing under her when she walks. I know that the problem is her vascular dementia. We had extra supports put in the floors 4 years ago and she almost drove the workers crazy, calling them to fix the problem. I had to make their service card and papers "disappear" so they could have some rest. They actually do have the floor a bit too high now, but it wasn't their fault. They were trying to please their customer, though they knew it was too high. My mother has transferred the complaining over to me. I got my brothers and nephew to jump on the floor and assure her it was okay. (Strange thing is that she believed my 14-year old nephew, but not me. :-) Now I just remind her about what "the boys" said about the floor.
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