How do I get Mom to want help? I need help!

Follow
Share

Mom came to live with me about two years ago. I so wanted to spend quality time with her doing the things we loved to do. She has her own apartment and I thought that she would be fine alone and she would be close. She has been hiding her COP condition and her memory loss for a while. She is not taking good care of herself, and can't do what she needs to. She won't admit it. She is somewhat willing for me to do for her, but I work full time and can't do it all. She needs help. She is not as clean as she should be and sometimes forgets her medication. She takes short cuts with her cleaning and doesn't see as well as she should so is getting dirty. When I make suggestions she will disagree. When i just do things she gets upset and feels guilty. She will not hire help. She sleeps all day, doesn't shower as much as she should. I think she is fatiqued all the time. How do I get her help and have her support it?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
13

Answers

Show:
It sounds like your mom just opened the door for you. Having the conversation with her was a great first step, you need to continue more conversations like this. Now, she will not spend money for someone to help her, this is because she still does not realize she needs help. But, she is willing to share cost to help you, except her offer, let her know how much it will help you. Have you heard of reverse philology, hire someone that understands that you are needing help for your mom, have them come a couple days a week for a few hours, say that you were working long hours, and you are just having this person check on your mom, then you may find your mom is okay after she gets to know this person. Tell your mom that you really appreciate the help, and make your mom feel like she is helping you instead of the other way around. Take baby steps, your mom is probably a proud women, and it is hard for her to admit that she can not take care of herself like she use to. If the person can talk to your mom about incontinence, bathing, making the bed, she might open up to a different person more than you. She might feel ashamed or offended talking to her daughter about her strengths failing her.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

using this clear plastic tumbler. (Sorry I hit submit by mistake b4 I was done.)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

For Mom Help Marnie.....I had a heart to heart talk w/ my mom about her incontinence problem. She didn't know what to do. We went to Walmart and got Depends for Women. Mom and I went to see her urologist and he said the best thing for elderly patients to drink is water and that most elderly people need to drink more water as they can become dehydrated very easily. Mom can have one cup of tea in the morning w/ breakfast and the rest of the day water. She was having to get up in the middle of the night and not making it to the bathroom in time causing accidents. This problem has been solved and mom is happier and sleeps better @ night. Of course if she wants more hot tea during the day I've got to remind her that her urologist said no...one cup per day. Plus we got her a pretty big clear plastic water glass w/ a screw top lid and a straw that cannot fall out of the glass and get lost. It has become mom's favorite glass and she fills it w/ ice and water all day long and takes her pills am snd pm
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well I had a talk with Mom. She was talking about how hard it was to change her bed, and I suggested that maybe getting someone in to help around her apartment would be nice for her. She told me that it was foolish to pay to have someone do something she could do herself. She then proceeded to suggest that I get someone in to help me, and she might pay for part of it. She worries because I work so hard.
I know that if I hired help and she paid for it, she would then expect me to use my spare time doing errands etc. for her. She is in total denial about how much I do for her. When I told her that we weren't talking about me, but her, and wouldn't it be nice to have someone do some things for her, she emphatically said no. She does not want a stranger in her home, and she doesn't need any help. If she needs help she would just call me. Soooo, I guess I have to back off a bit, and let her struggle. Something that is so hard to do. I would much rather be a daughter than a caregiver. But I do not see any relief in sight. I also have to watch Mom struggle. She grew up during the great depression and hoards her money, and will not spend it. She wants to leave it to us kids. My brother and sister are across the country. They help from a distance, but there is not immediate help. My husband is an angle, but I feel like it is not fair to him.
My next challenge it to help mom with incontinence. No idea how to broach that subject. Because it is so hard for her to change her bed, it stays the way it is. She never would have done that when she was younger. Any suggestions?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mom's not wobbly - she climbs stairs without holding the railing and is very active physically. An aversion to water is common with Alzheimer's patients. She just doesn't want to get wet and wash herself. She's not changing out of her clothes to sleep, and I don't think she's getting into her bed - she seems to be sleeping under afghans on her bed, on top of the bedding, because the bed is never unmade - and if she's sleeping in and making the bed, that's the one thing she's still doing, housekeeping-wise. I cannot see in her bedroom at night (the shade is always drawn) to check when she's asleep, so I can only theorize. It's not a huge deal, as nobody ever died of not sleeping in a nightie and getting into the bed - but it's part of an overall pattern, common to people in early-mild stages of Alzheimer's. I'm told by the social worker at the place she's being enrolled in (against her will, as I believe I've mentioned in other posts - she doesn't think she needs any help or to socialize or be seen by a doctor, ever), that she'll become more compliant once she gets worse in terms of the progression of her dementia - some of the denial will fade when she can't gather the arguments to defend herself when confronted about not bathing. Now, if she'll comply with someone saying "Time for a bath!" is another story. She may just be belligerent and refuse, without the denials that she is bathing. I'm exhausted.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When this happened to my mom, we hired 'senior helpers' for her in her own home. They came in 7 days a week, for approx 4 hrs a day, sometimes longer. They made sure she took her lunch and evening meds. They made sure she took a shower and got dressed. They took her to her dr's appts, or out to eat, since we took her license away from her. They also did light cleaning, and laundry for her. On the days she was not feeling great, they prepared her dinner before they left. In the beginning mom was fine with this, but after about a year she started giving the women problems, since she wanted them out of the house. My sisters and I had to finally tell her that either she accept the daily help, and stay in her home with her dog, or we were moving her into a nursing home. That stopped her dead in her tracks. Sadly, this whole situation only lasted about 3 yrs, and this past November we had to sell mom's condo and put her into an Assisted Living Facility and hire aides to help her, as her dementia has become very bad and she was falling at night when she tried to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. (She refused to use her walker to keep her from falling). This move has been very difficult on mom, and on my sisters and myself, but we had to do what was the best and safest for our mother.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

For Laurie 1261.....Perhaps your mother does not feel steady getting into or out of the bathtub for a bath or to shower. As we age our balance becomes unsteady. The inner ear for balance doesn't work as well. We got a shower seat for my mother-in-law @ Walmart where you sit on the outside and undress and then scoot over and put your legs in the tub and then shower while seated. The whole seat stays in the tub. I just had to cut the clear plastic shower curtain liner to fit around the seat to keep the water in the tub. My MIL liked this set-up as it made bathing/showering easier for her.
As far as house keeping.....maybe get your mom a maid service for her birthday or for mother's day as a gift and she can try the service and see if she likes it. She just may surprise you and like it!! Bossing someone else around may bring a smile to her face! LOL!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My mom refuses any kind of help and we nearly end up in a fist fight if I even try to do her dishes when I see them piling up and see dirty dishes in what should be the drainer for clean ones (she lives in her own apartment within my home). She never changes her clothes or bathes, but when I say anything about it, she becomes unbelievably defensive and vehemently states - often yells - that she IS bathing, she is changing her clothes, is washing her hair, etc... The social workers have quizzed her on it and she tells them the same story - "I am bathing! I shower every day!" with total conviction. People have suggested my drawing her a nice bath and asking her if she'd like a nice hot bath - well, her reaction to that is the same one you'd have if someone (other than your spouse, in a romantic way) made that suggestion. You'd say, "What the hell?" and refuse to be forced into the bath. I'm hoping the "keep elders at home" program I have her enrolled in (we're in the final stages of getting her enrolled, there's one more inquisition by their staff, tomorrow - I'm dreading mom's reaction to yet another set of questions about her self-care) - will help with this by her being at their place at least one day a week (giving me time to sneak down to her apartment and clean) and that maybe they'll get her into a bath there. OR, if they see she desperately needs one and won't bathe, they'll agree to bring in someone from Home Instead (through which they subcontract in-home services) and get THAT person to get her into the bath. Maybe she'll fold and allow it if a stranger insists. She will NOT take it from me.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So true what Iost family states You can't abandon but you want care that is good! The senior apt my parents re in also has assisted living, services and a wing. My parents are in an independent living wing and can stay there while Mom gets her status lifted to Assisted care. This happened this morning and god was smiling because all my fears of her fighting it did not realize. The social worker was WONDERFUL! Used her own fears to get Mom on board in a non threatening way-("We have someone totally trustworthy who will give you your medication when you need it and protect it from anyone else taking it" - she has been paranoid about this) So I am relieved that she will be taken care of at the push of a call button now. While Dad didn't like the extra cost of such a service and it will be out of pocket as they do not have the care plan for insurance, he can handle it and knows she needs it to give him some relief as well. All good on the parent front for now!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I went through this with my father. He could not live alone anymore, but he had no problem letting me and my brother and sister do everything for him, really everything, we even had a doctor's order that he was not able to live alone. So we had to step back and step away and let him start to do everything by himself. Of course we did not abandon him, we fixed meals that he could pop in the microwave, and made sure he had meds, stuff like that, but my father had to feed himself, bath, empty trash, simply things, and my brother showed him, and monitored him, but my father slowly started to see that he could not do the simply things, after one week we all sat down and talked about it, one week later he was living in an Assistant Living Facility, he has been living there for 3 months now, and he loves it. Please read my post on this topic that are posted. Since you have an apartment for your mom to live, that would be like my dad had his home to live, they still can not do for themselves. You could get someone to come and assist your mom, or if she is financially able, move her into an Assistant Living Facility. It is okay that you have a life, family, work, you need to give your mom the best without this issue and quilt eating you alive.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.