My 89 yr old mom is living with my sister. She is basically bedridden. Both of my sisters feel she is ok to be left alone. What can I do? -

My 89 yr old mom is living with my sister. She is basically bedridden. Both of my sisters feel she is ok to be left alone. What can I do?


Can’t walk at all. All day with no help. Both siblings feel this is ok. There are resources for a caretaker however they don’t feel it’s necessary. What can I do at this point?



What do they feel should happen in case of a fire?

How does mom feel about being left alone?

This could certainly be construed as neglect.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Several years ago, I had surgery that left me helpless and in bed for two days. I had to have help to reach a tray for meals. If the tray table was more than a couple of inches away from the bedside, I could not even get a drink of water. I was terrified when I was left alone in the hospital room when the nurse left the "nurse call" handset hanging on the wall behind my bed. I cannot imagine the fear and anxiety that would be caused by being left alone in a house while bedridden, even for a few minutes. I agree with the others that this is at least neglect. Maybe it's mental abuse as well.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to guiltandanger

I think this situation is unacceptable.

Start with trying to convince the sisters, perhaps involving her doctor or a social worker or someone the sisters would respect.

If persuasion doesn't work, I think I would report this to Adult Protective Services. Mother is a vulnerable adult and she needs protection from neglect.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to jeannegibbs

Bronco15, does your Mom refuse to move to a continuous care facility? If that is the case, could be that your sisters have decided to limit her amount of care by both of them so that Mom would finally decide to move. Or is it a case where your Mom refuses caregivers? My own Mom wouldn't allow strangers in the house :(

Maybe it is time for a family meeting, and for Mom's primary doctor to give his/her option on if he/she thinks Mom can be left to care for herself during the day.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to freqflyer

Oh yes, of course! Put emergency responders at risk having to break into a burning house to rescue the person who can't get out. That makes total sense. (not).
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Thanks to all of you for some great thoughts and answers. The next step will be Adult protective services.
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Reply to Catscall15

Why is it that when we get old, we don’t have a say in our life. I for one would be like your Mom. I would rather die in my home than go to a Care all costs! That is my choice.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Kate1959

From the information you shared, I'd say this sounds dangerous. A fall or other accident while no one else is home could be fatal.

Also, if your mother is basically bedridden, there's a danger of her developing pressure ulcers (bedsores) if she isn't repositioned regularly / doesn't have a mattress that helps relieve pressure. It sounds like it would be a great idea to get some expert advice and explore having someone come in for a few hours a day at least.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to windycity

Yes, my knee jerk response to this was Adult Protective Services.
And perhaps a second medical opinion. Your Mother's choices are not safe or rational. At least those would give you peace of mind.
Again, think bedsores, nutrition and toileting. Basic needs.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Edna317

Read On Being Mortal by Atual Gawande. A doctor may say she is 24/7 care because he doesn't want a law suit. And APS too has to worry about lawsuits. You have not provided a clear picture to say she is unsafe, and she is considered competent. Has she had skin breakdown? Is she losing weight? Does she voice feeling afraid or feeling hopelessness? Does she lay in dirty diapers or linens? Does she have access to fluids and food? Would her being forced by an outside agency to go to a LTC facility be detrimental to here mental health? If mother is definitely competent, isn't it up to her to whether she accepts the risks?, as Countrymouse asked. There are many people (not just elderly) who live in what we may consider less than ideal situations, and are permitted to because they are considered competent. From what I gathered the optimal would be have a home companion. That being said, your mom's total well-being should be the deciding factor, not your fears, nor what you see as your sister's neglect. From personal experience you can use the agencies to force a decision to move her to a facility, or have you as the caregiver, but then you have to share in your mom's misery and anger toward you, even though you thought you were doing best by her. Clear honest communication between all of you is the first step.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to fantasmagorical

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