I think the answer to my question is "you can't". She lives in a 2-story home, with a basement, that is completely full of "stuff". Not a square inch of free space on any surface, including the floors. Always mounds of dirty dishes. Spoiled food in frig. She's been wearing the same clothes for months and now her shoes are actually house slippers and they are filthy inside and out. I have begged her to let me arrange to have the house decluttered (to put it mildly) and cleaned, but she refuses. She is anemic most likely because of her lack of nutrition. She told me she "lives on toast", but won't let me clean the kitchen and frig (or anything). When I bring food to her, her great grandson eats it. The house is a health, safety, and fire hazard. She has fallen more than once. I believe she trips over the obstacles on the floor, but she denies that. She even told me that she fell asleep standing up in the kitchen and fell down, hurting her leg. When I try to talk to her about the hazardous conditions, she screams at me "why can't you just let me live until I die?"
I'm very scared that she will actually get injured and/or sick just from the condition of the house and die. She's hearing impaired but refuses to admit it and refuses hearing aids. She has macular degeneration and can't see very well. Two of her doctors have told me that she's capable of making her own decisions, even if I think they are terrible decisions. It is breaking my heart to see my own mother living in this condition. If she lived with my brother or me in the same conditions as her house, we would be accused of elder neglect. I've almost come to the conclusion that there really is nothing I can do about this except call protective services. If I do that, she will be forced to leave her home, and her three cats, and her great grandson. and the stress of that may kill her. I stopped trying to get her to let us clean the house and make it safe because my blood pressure sky-rockets and I feel like I'm having a heart attack when she starts screaming at me. I've read in this forum that 40% of caregivers die before the person they are caring for. I can understand why now. If anyone has any insight, suggestions, or answers, I would dearly appreciate your response.