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I found this forum while Googling predicaments similar to mine. I am not sure if this site is the right one for me so if after reading this question you think I should post elsewhere, I would definitely welcome it if you had any suggestions where to go.

My 57 year old mother's house burned down last month. It was a grease fire prompted by her leaving a pan on the stove. I live in a different state and tried to help from a distance without immediately taking all responsibility because that has been a problem in the past. She did not have insurance so her living options are limited. However after running into difficulty getting a bed, she refused to live in a shelter and took to living in her car on the property. Last week she was hospitalized from getting into some poisonous wildlife while cutting weeds in the dark around the remains of her house. I think there really is a mental issue but she has no money or healthcare and is now homeless. I can't just move her across the country to a one room apartment with my fiance. She has no close family other than me and my younger brother (19) who also lost everything. If there is any help to be arranged it falls to me. I tried to keep distance but after this hospitalization it appears I have no choice to go down there. Yet I have no idea how to properly aid her. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Ashmid this is really, really hard. You must be terribly worried about your mother and your younger brother - how's he getting through this? - but at the same time I'm glad that you're wary of getting involved. Because I don't think you should.

What terms does your mother continue to occupy the property under? As she's uninsured, I assume that no funds for rebuilding are on the way: what, exactly, does she continue to own or lease? Is there a saleable asset there?

The comforting thing to remember is that, now that your mother is in hospital, other people have assumed a professional responsibility for her welfare - at this point, at any rate. What I'd suggest is that you try to find out who the key worker is, and make constructive contact with that person. You want to be kept informed but you are not in a position - really, you aren't; you're not making excuses - to give practical, ongoing support to your mother. Think carefully before you decide to turn up in person. Keeping a lower profile, not presenting yourself as a possible housing option, might be a safer bet.

The point is that a mentally vulnerable person who has no family option is going to get more input from services than one who has a worried, loving daughter at her side. Cynical, horrible, I know; but the reality is that - honestly now - the best thing you can do for your mother is lead a happy and successful life. Risking your relationship, your home life, the time you need for your career… you'd be shooting yourself in the foot and doing your mother no long term favours.

Keep in touch. Keep out of the way. Later on, see how things develop and whether there is more you can do.
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There is help out there as suggested above, she just needs to be willing to look for it...
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There must be some services for indigent elders, try the office of aging in her area. If she is still in the hospital ask to talk to a social worker there, they have lots of good ideas and resources. Sounds as if you even Could take her you would also have to take your brother. you are right there is NO room in your one room apartment. Can you look into selling the land the house was on if there is no HO insurance to rebuild/help with placement? At least it may be some money for awhile to help out with living expences.
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id rather live in a car on my property than move to an apartment.
it reminds me of the old timers living in Ukraine near the chernoble ruins. they live with radiation but they claim that 5 years living in their own habitat is better than living for 25 years in an apartment in kiev.. its nice weather, let your mom have her freedom and dignity.. being nuts isn't a crime..
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Does she have a prior diagnosis of mental illness of any sort?
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This is a bit of a predicament if she won't seek refuge in a shelter. Did she give a reason for this? Since she didn't have any insurance and doesn't have family to live with, she is truly indigent. Does she have a job or any source of income? I wondered if she could get an apartment.

In many cities it is not illegal to be out on the streets, so you can't force her to seek refuge in these cities. I would talk with her to try to figure out what she can afford and go from there.
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