She’s always been very independent and she worked until she was 93 years old. Then my sister sold her house and moved her to Las Vegas, but got tired of her so now she sends her to me every 6 months. She’s been fine every year until this year. She comes from a huge family of 13 kids. Only her and 106 yr old sister are left. The last thing I want is to take her independence away. I always try to make sure to remind her to be careful so doesn’t fall. She can no longer see out of her right eye.

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Stop pestering her.

Do you really think she is saying to herself... "My daughter told me to be careful and not to fall so I better not"
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You mean well ❤️ But no-one likes to be bossed or fussed at. I am sure your Mom IS being careful! What 100yr old wants to fall??

I suppose I would try to hold my tongue...

But I would chat to your Mom. Tell her you love her & worry, that's all - don't mean to nag. Ask her what would help her get around better? May give you ideas.. Brighter lights? Furniture moved? Certainly clear the floors of any tripping hazards. Add a bright ribbon on her walker to see it? Have yellow safety tape added to corners of tables even? I think I might call a vision information service for ideas.

Basically, do what is in your control to increase the safety of her environement - as using a walker or not, older people fall. They shuffle their feet so low to the floor they trip on their own feet. They bend over to get that fallen tissue & tip over. They lean too far back, they can't straighten their knees very well, they get light headed, suffer TIA's.

Don't mean to scare you! But you will not be able to prevent ALL falls.

You could arrange in-home PT to assess her mobility so you can be guided to what the main dangers specific to her will be?

Enjoy your Mom 😍
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worriedinCali Nov 2020
I love your response! Great advice. My first thought when I read the OP was that whole her heart is in the right place, I am sure her mother Didn’t live to be a 100 only to have her children tell her to be careful!
Usually I am on the side of the caregiver but today I have to agree with the elder. Stop fussing at her.
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What good does it do to tell anyone to be careful? Not that I haven’t said it myself, but I do think it’s useless and something that just pops out for lack of a better idea. No one is more careful for being told that. If there’s a specific cause for concern, “mom, a delivery came, make sure to go around that box until I get it moved” that’s useful, but generic “be careful” frustrates and helps nothing
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I guarantee you she believes she has at least six years to go because her sister is 106(!), so no amount of fussing at her is going to make her feel less invincible.

Let her be.
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Oh my gosh, 100 and 106 year old sister! Amazing!

I have longevity in my family too and I pray that I don’t live that long!

How long did your sister care for your mom on her own?

Of course your sister got tired. It’s exhausting being a caregiver. I did it without a six month break from anyone.

You are going to have to evaluate if it is safe for your mom to remain home.

As you know, being a caregiver along with your sister that it is a tough job.

Sometimes it becomes impossible to care for someone at home.

I usually recommend hospice or Council on Aging for help but I have no idea if that works for a part time resident.

How does your mom do with traveling?

God bless your mom. She has lived a long time.

I am amazed how many people make it to 100 and more.

How is your 106 year old aunt doing? That’s incredible!

You know, maybe I would be cranky at 100 too! Who knows?

Does your mom use a walker to help her balance?

Your profile says that you have cared for your family since you were 14. Why was that your responsibility at that time? You were a kid.
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I agree with Beatty, as a PT I have had to come to terms with the fact that people have a right to fall. We can do everything we can think of to try to make the chances of a fall less likely, but we can’t force others to do what we know is in their best interest. Lol. And we wouldn’t want that for ourselves. Please be a little less harsh on yourself. If there is a fall and you have put things in place to make her as safe as you can, you are not responsible for a fall, because you can never prevent a fall 100%. We can influence, not force.
I also think it can be really beneficial to have a face to face, honest conversation about your fears and concerns, but in a non judgement kind of way. Ask is she remembers feeling worried about her own parent so she can connect with the time where she felt what you many be feeling now. Maybe ask if she can think of things she could do that would help you to feel better and less scared. In this way she is actually helping you, which is what she’s probably done since you were born, and feels is her role. I hope some of this makes sense.
you will probably look back at this time and be so thankful for it💕. So many people don’t have this time with their parent. Best of luck!
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I second PT. My mom did physical and occupational therapy in her nineties. It helps.

Falls can and probably will still happen. My mom still fell but she has mobility issues due to Parkinson’s disease.

Your mom’s body is wearing out!

My husband’s great grandma lived just shy of 102.

She had no walker, not even a cane and danced with the band at her 100th birthday party!

She was simply adorable. She had 12 children, two miscarriages, incredible cook, named her children after her favorite characters in a book.

She wasn’t on any meds. Why can’t we all be so healthy and carefree?

She lived with her daughter and would argue with her daughter about not letting her cook. She didn’t even weigh 100 pounds and she still wanted to lift heavy cast iron pots! Hahaha

With 12 kids when did she have time to read? LOL
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Bless your dear mom. It is so good of you to take your mother was six months. Wow 100 years old. That is amazing she worked up to the age of 93. I can see why she is so independent and I think it is great, but I can also understand your concerns. Does she use a walker? I would suggest a physical therapy consult to do an assessment for your mom and also to address your concerns for safety. My 98 year old mother has PT when her legs get weak and it does make a difference. She does strength exercises every day. It is nice to see family involvement and support. Take care and hugs to your dear mom.
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Make your place as safe as you can for her.
Remove ALL throw rugs.
Make sure that ALL items are picked up, nothing on the floor.
If you have stairs that she has to use then make sure they are well lit. That the hand rails are safe. (often hand rails have an open end that can catch a sleeve, close the end so nothing can get caught. )
If she gets up on her own at night put motion sensor lights in so the area is well lit. (you can get an attachment for a regular socket that will turn your fixture into a motion sensing light.)
Make sure that bathrooms are non slip on the floor as well as the tub or shower. No bathmats that might cause a trip hazard. (no cute big fluffy ones, just a simple low non slip mat)
Keep items she would want in lower cabinets so she does not have to stretch or use a stepstool.
Fact of life...falls happen.
In older people it is often a Break and Fall not a Fall and Break that happens and if that is the case NOTHING you do will prevent it.
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