My mother is "helping" and older lady that lives in a very bad neighborhood. My mother kind of stumbles when she walks and trust everyone because she has been sheltered all her life. My mother is 75 the lady she "helps is 92 and immobile. The lady refuses to go to a nursing home because she has 3 dogs and 2 cats that live in the house with her...ammonia. She sits in feces and urine. Her niece comes once a week to check on her and buy her a few groceries. So my mother goes once a week to clean up not only her feces and urine, but the dogs and cats.

Today, the lady had her house broke into. My mother showed up to Help and found the door knob broken. She calls me and ask me to call the police. I thought she was in the house already, but no, she is outside in 98 degree weather waiting for the police. The stupid robber could have still been outside....anyway. The police have been out there 3 times in 4 days checking on her. Elderly services have been called 3 times. I cannot even begin to figure out why they have not made her a ward of the state.

My question is: I cannot get my mother to stop going over there. How can I get her to understand the dangers of today's world. My father died in 2013 and he sheltered her. I told him to stop, because of what will happen to her if anything happens to him. He treated her like a queen and she did not have to do anything, he took care of everything.

She is too trusting and cannot understand that you do not just talk to anyone. She is a Christian lady and said God will protect her.

I need advice please.

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I sympathise, having had a mother who wanted to retrain as a caseworker, visiting services' families under stress in some extremely dodgy neighbourhoods. My point that she was over eighty was neither nor there, apparently; and to be fair I wasn't so much worried about who she might encounter as the wear and tear on her physically.

But I think your mother is right, God will protect her, and that there is so much risk in the world today that it becomes pointless trying to avoid it. How would it be if your mother obediently stayed home and, God forbid, some lowlife burgled her? - or scammed her over the phone, come to that.

And the angels do look out for "fools and little children." My grandmother and aunt walked through the Poll Tax riots in Trafalgar Square because they couldn't get a cab after their theatre matinee, and neither the police nor the rioters laid a finger on them.

Mind you. You think your mother's sheltered; but think back over what decades she's lived through and don't be too sure she hasn't seen things much worse than they are now. One reason Granny didn't turn a hair about that riot was that compared to Calcutta it was kindergarten playtime.
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I appreciate all the comments. I agree, I had to distance myself from the situation, if not I was going to have a heart attack or a stroke.

No, I agree, it is not time for me to be making the decisions for my mother yet. She is very strong willed, as am she is in her right mind.
also thank you for the advise about a martyr, and she said yes she would lay down her life for this woman. Again, I have had to realize that this is her decision.

I am more at peace with dealing with the whole situation, I guess I just needed to vent.

And thank you for the prospective of the mother in the situation. I think sometimes we forget the other side.
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I would call APS about this poor woman.

The more calls that are made the more likely she will get assistance.

I bet your mom feels like she is helping this woman stay in her home and it is kinda symbolic.

I think she is right, God will protect her.
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I think it may be a case of mom is going to do what mom wants to do. You are her daughter and she may think her view on this as the ‘mom’ trumps you as the ‘daughter.’ I go through this all the time with my mom. I sincerely think they are bored at times. There are options for activities for them but they refuse to participate in better options.

I’m not sure if it’s a power struggle or what, a stubborn streak, being naive, who the hell knows?

Even though I have her best interest at heart my mom will make a point to show me that I have no influence on her, even though she is living in my home. It’s difficult at times. I have had to firmly say what I will not tolerate. I hate being put in the position of ‘the heavy.’ It’s very uncomfortable to be in this position.

For instance, she just got out of the nursing home for rehab and she isn’t even done with OT and PT in home health and while I am thrilled that she is improving there are things I don’t feel are safe for her to do.

She is almost 94! Does she try to do them? Absolutely! I ask her nicely not to. She accuses me of treating her like a child. I give up! I told her, “Well, mom, if you feel it’s worth the risk of another ER visit, go ahead and ignore me.”

I will then go in my bedroom and close the door because I can’t handle any more unreasonable conversations with her. I swear I am going to die from a heart attack or stroke from high blood pressure. I feel your pain. I really do! You love your mom or you wouldn’t care. I love my mom also. Our moms love us but they want things their way. Sometimes I feel they want attention even though our entire world revolves around them. It’s crazy. I say this because when I remove her ‘audience’ to act up by going in the bedroom, she suddenly retreats to her room. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

I had a sister in law who would purposely pick a fight with my brother when others were around. She tried her foolishness in front of me. I told her that her quarrels with her husband were private and not to involve me or try to embarrass my brother in front of me.

He never participated in the fight in front of others no matter how much she antagonized him. Believe me, she egged him on.

My brother told me as soon as I walked away she would stop because she no longer had an audience. My brother was very embarrassed to tell the family what he was going through. She had been beating him with her high heels while he was sleeping in bed. She kicked him out of the bed immediately after his back surgery. It was awful. His doctor said she could have crippled him for life. My parents raised him to never hit a woman so he never raised his hand to her. He did divorce her. He had to. She was crazy.

As far as her being a Christian woman and being protected by God, remind her of all the Christian martyrs who died defending their faith. They chose to die for Christ and knew the risk that they were taking. Ask her if she is also willing to be a martyr.

Tell her that we are equipped with a mind to make smart decisions with and that Christians or non Christians have free will to make the best choice for ourselves in order to stay safe.
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I am 77, so two years older than your Mom. You have not said that your Mom is mentally impaired at all. As an adult, then, she is free to, and she should, make her own decisions. I have a daughter in her mid 50s and we advise one ANOTHER all the time, but we don't expect the other to do anything but weigh input and opinions and concerns,then do as we feel is right for our own lives.

The time may come when you have to make decisions for your Mom, but that time is not now. Be thankful for that. She is vital and her good works may be keeping her vital for many more years.
You have told her your concerns. In my humble opinion she handled the possible break in well, calling, then waiting before entry until help arrived.
As it happens, I agree with you that it is in the long run perhaps not a kindness to either the elderly woman OR her pets, these conditions. But the decision is not mine to make. Or yours.
When you give your Mom input try to be certain it doesn't sound like criticism of her way of thinking, her life, and her actions. Try to make more "I worry" statements. Such as "I worry you might enable this poor woman to stay in bad circumstances that could injure her own and her animal's health". "I worry that you could become ill in unsanitary conditions". "I worry that your balance is poor and you could be mistaken as a victim ripe for robbery". This will speak your LOVE for your Mom rather than your criticism of her. It is, after all, your fervent wish to keep her safe. Wishing you good luck.
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Thank you. I have been doing that for a year. my hair is even a lovelier shade of gray. I have begged and pleaded. I even told her that she is making me sick with worry. I feel like she does not care anything about me and I am helping her.
What gets me, she will go over there to change the ladys sheets and clean her house and I am changing her sheets and cleaning her house. And what about all the feces dust? Lawdy...
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AlvaDeer Aug 2019
Remember, dmforty, that you are doing Mom's sheets out of the same Christian love that your Mom is doing it for another. By your choice. Because it makes you glad to do it for her. If that isn't the case, Mom has proven she is capable of doing the change on her own. My daughter is several states away from me, but honestly, though I am 2 years older than your Mom, I kind of don't want her over to change my sheets. Yet. Hee hee.
Basically, you can't really "make" a competent adult do anything.

You can try to reason with her but if she is determined to do this crazy helping out thingy, there's probably very little you can do about it.

You've probably already told her your concerns. If so, I guess you kind of need to try to make peace with it, while keeping the communication open so that she will keep telling you about what's going on there.

If the situation continues to deteriorate, you can always put in a call somewhere if you feel the other lady and/or her animals are truly in danger.
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