We live in a rural area in the High Desert California. She is lonely, and called to ask me over. She is in her mid 80's I guess. Her daughter who recently succumbed to Cancer also had Hospice care. The hospice care, I guess is now not available. Her other daughter that lives about an hour away, recently asked me to keep an eye on mom. I agreed, gladly. Today is day 1, and she called me crying, because she is lonely. My concern is her becoming dependent on me. I live alone, and am not much at holding a very balanced conversation. I am unable to even be involved in my own mothers care. I'm simply not equipped to spend time with little old ladies. I like her now, and she likes me. I have heard her abusive outburst with other caregivers over the last 6-7 years, and just don't want to fall prey to that cycle. I know that there are outreach programs (ARC) in think is one of them, and they are trained, and equipped to help the elderly. Today, when she called, I simply suggested that she watch some TV, reassuring her that I am here if there is an emergency. I feel like a complete heel. Am I approaching this correctly/tactfully? Am I being a selfish jerk? I look forward to others opinions, and advice.
If mum actually does need hospice, I think most of us would agree that she should not be living alone.
I hope that what the daughter is doing is arranging someone to provide some caregiving and housekeeping for her mother several times a week.
I think it is important to let the daughter know what you are and are not prepared to do and have her convey that to the mother - or sit down with the two of them and make it clear. Mum wants to stay put in her home despite a good alternative. I agree you should do nothing to facilitate that or you will find yourself the caregiver. Your concern about her becoming dependent of you is a very realistic one. Losing a child is a huge life stress. She needs her own family to help her through this and the limitations of aging. I suspect she should not be living on her own so her daughter is going through what any here are - waiting for a crisis which forces the issue.
You mentioned that the daughter who died also had hospice care which is now not available in your area. How is that relevant?
I just have a feeling this isn't going to turn out good for you.
It's day 1 and Mom is already calling YOU, not her daughter..
You need to nip this in the bud before it gets worse..
You don't want to make it easier for her to stay there by herself, although her daughter (if mom is abusive) may be heaving a small sigh of relief that mom won't move in with her yet. I'd say like others have said, you be a lookout for lights left on or not going on at all, papers left outside for two days, that kind of thing. And that's it. You are a very caring man that you're even writing about this.
Imagine if she says you did something abusive to her or even worse!!
It is nice of you to look out for her BUT her daughter needs to be taking care of her mother..
I would call her other daughter, who lives an hour away, and tell her that her Mom needs more care then you can supply. That she needs to come and take care of her as soon as possible, like yesterday. Make some excuse, that you are going away on a business trip or anything to get the ball rolling where the daughter now takes charge. I realize saying "no" can be tough at times.
It could also be that your neighbor doesn't want to move from her home, and feels since you are nearby she can still remain in her house. If she knows you won't be there all the time, she might decide it is time to move in with her daughter or into a senior apartment complex.
The local county might have an outreach program; I've been told ours has a respite program.
However, if she's verbally abusive, that might be the reason she's alone and lonely.
I don't think you're being selfish but in act are wise to sense being drawn in could become problematic. I too would be very cautious.