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My aunt is a recent widow, 74 years old. She is putting off hip surgery and has difficulty walking. She only has two people with whom she talks. With me, she is very bossy and never takes no for an answer. She is lonely, but I hate spending time with her because she is always wanting more than I can give. PS. Before my uncle died, we were not close for years. I want her to get her surgery and join a senior group or anything to make friends. She is a very friendly but closed off person at the same time. She is also a hoarder, which may be why she never invited people.

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Marty, what do YOU want? For yourself. Doubt you will get what you want for your aunt. Give her the time she needs to recover from her loss. Maybe your goals for her are too much, too soon.
Also, people don't become hoarders overnight. Just a factoid.
When you come back and post again, people can help you more. Do you have a question?
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Eyerishlass, That is exactly the right question. Find out, help her get what she needs, and a few wants-get in, get out quickly. Tomorrow, if one is available, follow up as able, or wait for her to ask.
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Worse case scenario, one can say call me when you have gone for help.
Do not try to give advice to those who boss you, they cannot receive it.
Call them for reminders, have you had your medication? Do you want me to wait on the phone while you take it, or should I call you back.
Ask, do you have someone to come over to help you with that?

This won't work for everyone. I advise holding back until they ask you, but I didn't always feel that way. It actually got me upset to see a real urgent need and no one would be helping. I would rush in, save the day, AND get condemned for helping out!
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Also, nobody here on earth can make another human being help themselves without a court order.
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If she was like this before, it sounds like she has some psychiatric issues. Grief on top of that is a powder keg.

If does not have dementia and is in her right mind, then her choices are her consequences. My mother is bipolar with personality disorders. Has been her whole life. She was mean, rude, isolated by choice, and destroyed every loving or close relationship that ever tried to blossom.

If this is the case, please realize there is NO tactic YOU can come up with to change her or this situation. I spent 40+ years figuratively tapdancing my rear off to please her, make her smile once, give a genuine hug that wasn't manipulative, get a genuine compliment and it DOES NOT WORK. People like this are incapable of change, so don't even try. It's like teaching a pig to tapdance. You'll just annoy the pig and frustrate yourself.

I spent a truckload of money, time, and effort to rescue mom when it was unsafe for her to live alone. I was under the impression that I had to. Her sisters hardly ever make contact. They were just glad to see her go.

So - don't over-assign yourself work here. Have her evaluated by a geriatric psych, but don't tell her that's what's going on. Tell her the government called and said she had to be seen to keep her medicaid or something. She may also need to be seen by a neurologist to find out what's going on in there.

If this is *new* behavior, then she really does need the geri-psych most urgently. Depression is real and ugly among seniors and there's no reason for it. We have a lot of very good meds these days.

Good luck & tell us how it's going.
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Marty, how recent is her widowhood? I think that makes a big difference.

If it has been less than a year, she may be doing the right thing to put off major decisions. Her life has drastically changed, and she needs time to sort out what is different now and what remains the same; what she really wants for herself and what she has accepted because her husband wanted it for her. What she thinks vs what they thought together.

What you want for her (however well-intended) is not nearly as important as what she wants for herself -- and if she has recently lost her spouse it may take her a while to figure that out.

Please be patient with her. Visit, even if that is not totally pleasant for you. Make sure that your talks are not about what you want for her. Spend some time talking about her late husband. Can you rent or borrow a wheelchair and take her out of her house once in a while? (If she wants to, of course.) Pretend that a church or organization you belong to has a program for volunteers to go cheer up the home-bound and lonely. You signed up and this happens to be your assignment. Keep it light and make it pleasant. You don't have to resolve her future in a month, or at all.
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All I can say is that when the pain of doing nothing gets worse than the pain of surgery she will make up her mind. At 74 if she does not have other conditions and works with the PT she should make a good recovery and be walking normally in a few months. She will need help for the first few weeks after the surgery especially if she comes home and does not go to rehab
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Who says she needs hip surgery, her or an MD? This could be attention seeking behavior. Or it could be real. Keep your visits short and pleasant, once you start hearing the woe is me talk, grab your coat and go.
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Do you have medical and financial POA for your Aunt?

I'm asking because if you are going to be involved with her care for the long haul you'll (well your Aunt)needs to see an Atty who specializes in Elder Law.. Make sure you get paid for your services. You could have a caregiver agreement drawn up..

Caregiving is a full time job if not now it will be in the future..

If you want no part of it, call your local Elder Affairs set her up with whats available to her and be on your way..

I'm saying this out of kindness.. My 93 yr Mom has lived with me for 14 yrs.. She now has stage 5 alz. And it's expensive and very draining on me mentally and physically daily..

Hugs.. Don't let guilt heed your decisions!!
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What does she want?
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