M mother has been caring for her best friend for quite a while now. Her friend has COPD, as well as some other lung affliction and is on oxygen 24/7. She has been in and out of rehab multiple times because they see her improve, release her, and at home she declines rapidly. When my mother unofficially decided to help her out she didn't know her friend would get so bad. My mother is having trouble financially nowadays and has to work long hours just to pay rent, leaving her friend with no supervision. I don't know how I can help this situation, but my mom needs help. She no longer sleeps and is incredibly stressed because of this and I'm worried about her health. What can we do?
Call your Office of Aging or adult protective services. Tell them the situation and if there is help for this woman. They can evaluate the situation. Check with Medicaid for homecare help.
You and Mom need to sit down with this friend and explain Mom cannot do it all anymore. She really doesn't have the time to be a caregiver. She just wants to be a friend. Give her her options. This will be hard.
The next time the friend needs to be hospitalized, do not let her be released back to your mom. The hospital social work department will have to do a search to see if she has any family if you do not know if she does. In the meantime, contact your local Area Agency on Aging or Department of Human Services. You can also call Adult Protective Services and tell them the situation. Being left alone is definitely risky.
It should not be up to you or your mom to decide what happens to this friend, or to go through the efforts of finding placement for her, or Heaven forbid foot the bill for her care.
Be proacrive and do research with those agencies I mentioned. You can also contact her doctor. And, of course, if she is cognizant, explain to her what you need to do and why.