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I've been caring for my 87 yr old widowed mom for 8 yrs now, but the past 4 yrs have been more challenging as she has mobility problems, using a walker/wheelchair. She has severe hearing loss and cataracts. Health and appetite is declining, she's at 93 lbs. My concern is that I do realize she needs in-home care at least part of the day, but refuses to let strangers into her home. We have gone round and round about this, yet she is adamant. Believe me, she can be very verbal, which upsets me. I've always promised her that I'd never move her into a nursing facility, as she's been in 3 times for short-term care. That was a nightmare. I don't have any siblings to help, only my husband when able, and 2 kind elderly neighbors. I've been disabled for 19 yrs, but do the best I can for her, which is pretty much all care needed. My husband's still working, but has had 3 cancer diagnoses in the past 3 years. We are getting at the age where we find we just can't help as much. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the funds for home health care or necessary health needs. Her insurance, like most, doesn't cover this. I've read so many articles to find help, it's overwhelming. Any ideas, suggestions, or help on how or who to ask for assistance would be so much appreciated. It's taken this long for me to finally realize I need to ask for help..and this is where I'm starting.

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Wouldn't it be great if they would just realize that we have their best interests in mind, and cooperate?

You talk about two problems: needing assistance and getting her to accept help from someone else other than you.

For assistance, get in touch with your local Area Agency on Aging. Google that with your town or county and state. Does she get Medicaid? Find out what other programs might help.

Do you have a source for a HHA? Talk to the agency. She says she doesn't want "strangers" in her house. Arrange for the HHA not to feel like a stranger. Choose or have them send a real charmer with a sense of humor that will appeal to her. Will you be around when the HHA is there? You should be there for the first visit. Introduce her, and tell her about the proposed caregiver - her home, pets, children, interests. Tell her exactly how the time will be sent. If you can figure out her concerns about the "Stranger," try to address them. Lock up papers and valuable jewelry.

You may need to use some guilt on Mom. Tell her your job is in jeopardy and you need for her to have care. Tell her you can't sleep at night or concentrate because of worry about her being all alone. Tell her that if she won't let carers into the house, she will have to go into a NH where she will get 24/7 care.
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Here's the thing .. and I know we all know it, but it's so hard to accept: it doesn't get better, it gets worse and harder. One suggestion you can give your mom is that if she doesn't assign a POA (for legal and medical), when it becomes obvious to the authorities and health care providers (doctors, 911, etc) that she can no longer speak for herself, the SYSTEM can step in and make the decisions FOR her, instead of someone she knows, loves and trusts, it's called a court appointed guardian. It *might* be a family member, or it might be a random appointee. Wouldn't she feel better making a choice while she still can? If she's still adamant and persists, YOU are going to have to make a choice: to remain - under her terms, leave, or call APS. We really are not obligated to remain in an untenable situation.

Blessings and good wishes,
LadeeC
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What about a day program?
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It sounds as if it may be time to find a facility for your own health and well being. I too want to try to keep mom in here home, this is where she always wanted to be. About a year ago I tried an agency for home care to give me some time away. The agency only came in twice and I stayed here in the basement just to kind of keep an eye on mom because I had no idea how she would react.

It did not go well at all! My mom also thought the caregiver was here to steal from her and she was extremely prejudice in her younger days. So, that the caregiver was black was part of the problem which is quite common from my understanding. Well, I started hearing my mom screaming at this poor woman to leave. I waited a few minutes to see if the caregiver would be able to settle her down. When I got upstairs mom was physically trying to throw the woman out of the house with the phone in her hand threatening to call 911.

That very day, and everyone should do this, I called the police department to make a note on this address that my mom has Alzheimer's. The police would still respond, but they will also know that there is someone living here with this wretched disease and understand better what they are walking into.
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It sounds as if it may be time to find a facility for your own health and well being. I too want to try to keep mom in here home, this is where she always wanted to be. About a year ago I tried an agency for home care to give me some time away. The agency only came in twice and I stayed here in the basement just to kind of keep an eye on mom because I had no idea how she would react.

It did not go well at all! My mom also thought the caregiver was here to steal from her and she was extremely prejudice in her younger days. So, that the caregiver was black was part of the problem which is quite common from my understanding. Well, I started hearing my mom screaming at this poor woman to leave. I waited a few minutes to see if the caregiver would be able to settle her down. When I got upstairs mom was physically trying to throw the woman out of the house with the phone in her hand threatening to call 911.

That very day, and everyone should do this, I called the police department to make a note on this address that my mom has Alzheimer's. The police would still respond, but they will also know that there is someone living here with this wretched disease and understand better what they are walking into.
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I should also mention that mom's showing subtle signs of dementia, but will not give me POA. She feels that I will move her to a nursing home if I did, which of course, I have no intention of doing. I'm really afraid she'll fall again. She fell in her bedroom & broke her hip in '09', and again (almost in the same area) a year later, and broke her other hip. Both times losing her balance because of ongoing back problems. And yes, I've talked with her doctors, but they were not very helpful.
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