What to do when your 87 year mother will not accept any help but from you?

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My 87 year old mother lives alone and I am one hour away. She has fallen 3 times, last one broke her wrist. I had a homecare company go talk to her and she agree but she has turned them away 3 times. She is extremely depressed, not takeing care of herself, is mean and I mean really mean to me. I can't be her care giver either emotionally or physically. I am at a loss. I have limited my contact with her to see if I could "force" her to accept outside help. On Sunday she told me that if she dies it is my fault. There is no reasoning with her. Any suggestions? Terri

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Gosh Jeanne I love you!! Today we went an hour away to pick her up from visit to Aunts.. we meet 1/2 way. and had lunch on way back. So OK.. I got to sleep in a bit and had a good lunch. Then she starts back in about a bump on her hand ( I thought it was a wart,, not my field!).. so I figured "what the heck, the day is already mostly over" and got her to the Dr... so I don;t have to do it on ANOTHER day off!!! But glad I did,, not a wart and they sent it for a biopsy. But we are going to try your advice next time for sure! And tomorrow I plan to do as little as possible that I don;t want to do!!
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pamzimmrrt, ya know what? I think I wouldn't get my sleepy butt out of bed on my days off. Just because you are home doesn't mean you have to be the chauffeur. Hubby can say, "Pam is especially tired from a stressful work shift today. I'll take you to get your hair done, and we'll have ice cream on the way home."
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If she dies, it is you fault! Oh my gosh. That is sure taking emotional blackmail to a new level, isn't it? Have you dealt with this kind of behavior from her all your life, Terri? If you are finding this emotionally and psychologically distressing, you deserve some help. Have you ever been to a therapist about these issues?

Depression can manifest in a number of different ways. Anger can be one of its symptoms. Is Mom's depression fairly new? Is she being treated for it? Does she follow the treatment plan? Having a dx of major depressive disorder myself, I can really sympathize with your mom. Untreated depression is h*ll. Fortunately most cases can be helped significantly. But as sympathetic as I can be towards your mother, I urge you to protect yourself from her emotional blackmail.

Here is an absolute fact: Your mother is going to die. It might be this year or it might be 10 or more years from now. But unless you slip a little arsenic into her hot chocolate, it will Not Be Your Fault. I know that you know that rationally but emotionally it might be harder to deal with. Keep firmly in mind that you are not responsible for your mother's health or for her happiness. Make that a mantra.

Most likely you'd like to help her. You might suggest a medic alert button and offer to help her shop for one. If she refuses, or gets one and won't wear it, you have still done your bit to help.
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Boy I wish I knew the answer! My 87 YO mom lives with hubs and I. I work full time (3-4 days a week 12 hour shifts.. 15 hours with drive time) Hubs is stay at home as he is older and I have the great benefits,, etc. He "keeps her company",,LOL. IE his job is to take care of her .. errands, etc. Yet she insists on planning all her Dr apts, hair apts.. you name it.... for my days off! We cannot get through to her that he does not mind doing these things.. in fact he wants to.. but she "hates to bother him". So I end up getting my sleepy butt out of bed on my days off to tote her around...LOL But at least she normally pleasant to us!
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Splashingpaws, many of us have been through what you are going through with your Mother. And as you can see, even breaking her wrist, she is in denial that she needs outside help.

My Mom was the same way. Total denial at 98 that she and my Dad could no longer live on their own in their house. I tried caregivers, too, but Mom shooed them out on the 3rd day. Dad was in favor of outside help, but no other woman was going to step into my Mother's house :0

Sometimes we need to step into our Mom's shoes. Your Mom is 87 years old, she no longer has the energy to do the same things she did a decade ago. I assume she no longer drives, imagine if we couldn't hop in the car to go to the store. Bet most of her friends have either moved or had passed away. How lonely that may be. I know I wouldn't be a happy camper. Thus, one becomes angry at how her life is, and she takes it out on the closest person, you.

If Mom sold her home could her equity help pay for Independent Living? The average cost is $5k per month depending on where you live. That way Mom would be around people of her generation and she could make new friends. Some places have weekly linen service and weekly housekeeping. Even means in the main dining room.

Maybe take Mom to visit these places. Use a therapeutic fib saying you are helping a friend look around for her Aunt, and that you want Mom to come with you to get her opinion. She may like it, or truly hate the place.

What about a medical alert pendent that your Mom could wear. My Mom refused it, also refused a walker. Thus, because Mom was still pretty sharp I just had to let life take its course. Mom had a very serious fall and she spent her remaining time in long-term-care. My Dad, he sold the house and moved to Independent Living, even though he missed the love of his life, he was happy as a clam at that complex.

Good luck.
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