Mom is proud and wants to be alone - what to do?

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My mother truly needs help to stay living independently in her home but she resists hiring anyone to help her with things like laundry, cleaning or shopping and there is no one she feels comfortable with in her town to do it for her, free or otherwise. She doesn't want to admit she needs the help and she also plain old doesn't want strangers in her house for any reason. She's a long way from incompetent. What do I do? Do I have to wait till some disaster happens or she lives in truly deplorable conditions?

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Thanks Swallowtail for those kind words. Each one of those small steps happened after some kind of major issue happened to her, so I at least had a little more leverage....
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Thanks Sunsetsheila, seems like you are in the thick of the same mess too. Your mother is allowing you to do a lot more for her that mine is so far. Her conditions aren't "deplorable" yet, but they are heading that way. And yes, I'm afraid my only recourse will be to call someone official but then due to her personality she will never forgive me and shut me out entirely. I originally posted on this site looking into whether it was possible to get her on an airplane to assisted living by me but for all I know that's a pipe dream. Still I won't give up - thanks for the inspiring example! It sounds like you are doing a great job of working around/with her resistance.
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Swallowtail, I have the exact same situation! I have tried many avenues to get her help in her home. She is not having any, though she has given it a try, but it only made matters worse. She thought they were stealing things (they were not) Also she tried living with me for a while and went to her brother's for a while. Both ended in misery for all at her doing! She is 98 and wants to stay in her home no matter what.

The best I can do is for her is this: she has a life alert system that I pay for. If she had to pay she would not want it. Of course she doesn't know I pay or she would not want it. I told her that it is a free service from the county for the elderly, it comes out of her paying property taxes.(right, that will be the day) There is a wonderful free service that is from the local Dept of Aging in her county, called RSVP. I set this up and it is great. They call her everyday and if they don't get her on the phone after a few tries they call me. After a while she has gotten to know the people and will tell them things that may be bothering her that she will not tell me. They know I live in another state and will give me call if they think what she told them needs attention. These people are so kind, they give their time and energy for no pay, just to help the elderly. Perhaps, someone calling her for a social brief chat everyday would be O.K. with her. Check with the local Dept of Aging maybe that have something like that. I have food delivered through Stop & Shop's Peadod delivery service. All she has to do is come to the door and accept the delivery, they won't come in if she doesn't want them to. I am on her checking account and all bills are set up to be sent to me. She had been bringing the mail in and putting it down somewhere in the stacks of other paper, never to be found again. As for the laundry when I visit I run a load and take all the big stuff with me, sheets, blankets and make the bed with the ones I bring back. Cleaning, I keep a ready tote of cleaning items to bring with me so I can clean as I visit. I live in another state and only get to visit once a month for a day! I only make a dent, but at least when I leave she is sleeping in a clean bed, has clean clothes and the house is a bit "tidy". During my visit I we also get out for a while and eat somwhere she likes. My fear is the same as yours, I have to wait until something happens that will get her into the hospital before things change. I have been told this by people in the know. I keep hoping and praying it won't. In the mean time I do the best I can....

You say "deplorable", if it is are soooo very bad. You could call the local Health Dept. and maybe they will put some pressure on her. I know calling the powers that be to put pressure on our loved ones is is hurtful, but maybe that is all you can do if she is in danger due to the living conditions in her home.

You are not alone....Big Hug
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