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I am looking for advice on how to start "that" conversation. My mother (85) lives alone in her own home. I am the only daughter. My husband, my daughter and I live next door to my mother - we rent from her (that's another story!!). I know she needs more help from me than I currently provide (We grocery shop together, I take her on errands, help with things like her computer/tv and fix minor house issues. She has vision loss, and has trouble walking but doesn't use a cane. I think she could use help as there are obvious signs that she can't see or doesn't care that her house and her clothes are dirty. There have been a few (that I have witnessed) instances of her soiling herself but she denies that there is a problem. Because of this denial, I have cleaned her bathroom floor and her kitchen without her knowing. She insists that she is going to live out her life in her own home. I'd like to do what I can to help her do that and I need advice on how to approach her about the fact that she'll only be able to do this if she will accept help. It's important to know that my mother is very hard to talk to and is very defensive if it's even hinted that she might be wrong about something. My father (who died 2 1/2 years ago) took care of everything in the house. Since his death, my mom thinks of random "projects" that she wants done around the
house that I feel are unreasonable and not necessary. At the same time she has rebuffed my offers to help with day-to-day things. I want her to keep her independence so I don't press the issue, but have mentioned that I will wait for her to ask for help when she's ready.
I have two brothers, one out of town who visits about once a month and one in town who is retired and takes her to eye doctor appointments but avoids any more than that. I am still employed.

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Yes, indeed it is about control over her life and a handyman would be a good idea for small repairs, but if she is talking major renovations, redirect the conversation. My MIL would actually talk about moving TREES and we would gently change the conversation to mums.
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Since his death, my mom thinks of random "projects" that she wants done around the
house that I feel are unreasonable and not necessary.


I know your post was much more specific than this but this jumped out at me. I'm a home health nurse and all of my patients have handymen that they pay to fix what's broken, improve things that need improving, etc. I'm thinking of 2 of my patients in particular who would be lost without their handymen and these handymen are honest and they work hard. I don't know how to go about finding a handyman, maybe Craigslist, but that could be one issue your mom has that you can cross off your list. Interview over the phone, get references and check them, then meet them in person and describe the situation. When one lives in a house there are always things that go wrong and that need fixing. And my patients feel that they have some control over their life when they can pick up the phone and have someone there who can take care of things that come up. I've met these handymen and they are good, honest, loyal, hardworking guys. Maybe you can hire someone for your mom to take care of these projects she has (depending on what they are). Give her back a little control of her life that our parents are so desperate to hang on to.
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