My mother lives with us and doesn't want us to hire anyone to stay with her when we go out of town. Any suggestions on getting her to cooperate? - AgingCare.com

My mother lives with us and doesn't want us to hire anyone to stay with her when we go out of town. Any suggestions on getting her to cooperate?

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She is 88 and has macular degeneration, hearing loss & cancer. I’m so worried to leave her over night. She stays up half of the night watching tv and often sleeps in until noon. We have never left her alone over night. She is so upset with us saying she wants to live her own life the way she wants & doesn’t want or need anyone to stay with her while we are gone but she doesn’t drive, can’t read anymore... I do all the cooking and shopping, medical appointments, anything she needs. It’s gotten to the point now all we do is argue about this topic as the date gets closer to our departure... I am going to speak to her elder care attorney to see what legal issues if any there are. She is so stubborn and is now threatening to move into an assisted living place... My husband & I feel we do everything possible to please her but are now upset that she won’t cooperate and let us feel good about getting away. Any suggestions for us?

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How long will you be gone? Is she capable of taking her meds and eating on her own? Is she safe getting into the bathroom and in and out of bed on her own? If so, maybe you could practice with her doing everything independently. Tell her it’s a ”dry run” for your trip, and pretend you aren’t there for a day, like a game.  You can call it “independence day” or something.  Dont do anything for her, unless she’s obviously doing something unsafe of course.  Then game over. Have some meals prepared in advance and in the freezer for her to reheat if she can work the microwave? Meds in dispensers? Unplug the stove if you’re worried about that? Can she work off a Reminder List, or would she forget to read it? If she does well during the “Independence Day”, maybe it would give you more peace of mind. If she doesn’t, it may show her that a little oversight might be beneficial.

What’s the downside of her eventually moving to assisted living? Have you really listed the pros and cons? Most people on this forum are trying to figure out how to get their folks INTO AL.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Sorry, you still haven't given me a reason she can't stay on her own other than you need to helicopter. Blind people can be independent. Old people can be independent. She wanted company so she suggested moving in with you but is perfectly content to stay on her own while you are out of town. What am I missing?
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Reply to cwillie
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Mom takes chemo Meds orally and gets scans usually every 3 or 6 months...She carried on about not wanting to live alone so when Dad died at home she took care of him w caregivers helping & hospice.... he had congestive heart failure and eventually dementia. She moved in w my bachelor brother for 9 months until he couldn’t take it then she moved into our house. It wasn’t enough room for her liking so she hired an architect to design and addition but we all decided it would make more sense to move into a bigger house; it’s been 2 years in the new house she has the 1 st floor master bed & bath, a beautiful home we all love. She gave us about half of the money to purchase this larger home... which she always reminds us that it’s half hers. She can be demanding when she doesn’t get her own way. My other sibling has nothing to do with any of us and has been very cruel and is a narcissist. She has basically lost both sons & her husband.... and is now making our life difficult. My husband and I just want to be able to travel a few times a year, visit our only son while he is in law school when we feel like it without the guilt and worry. I just wish she would be content and easier to live with... let us find a caregiver to stay with her and appreciate all that she has. She is upset that she can’t drive anymore ( it’s been many years ) she insists on being in on every conversation we have, I know she’s lonely but I feel like my husband and I have to put our marriage on hold for her... she wants to be center stage!
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Reply to Homebody
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Is the cancer being treated or is she in remission? I ask because I'm having trouble understanding why you feel she isn't competent to be on her own, my mother lived on her own with vision loss and poor hearing for many years with once weekly support from home care and an alert pendent. Can you tell us what your concerns are?
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Reply to cwillie
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She is "threatening" to move into assisted living? Threatening??? OMG, take her up on that before she changes her mind!

"Mother, Hubby and I have talked it over and agree that you are right. You should be able to live your life as you see fit, without someone hovering over you. When you are in assisted living there will always be staff available in case of an emergency or if you need help, but they won't actually be in your apartment with you. As soon as we are back I'll help you look for an ALF that suits you."

"While we are gone I'd like to set things up sort of like an assisted living facility. There would be someone here to see about meals and minor housekeeping but mostly to be available in the unlikely event of an emergency. You won't have to interact with her unless you want to. She'll make breakfast when you want it, whether that is 9 am or noon. It will give us peace of mind. By the next time we go out of town you'll probably be in your own assisted living apartment so this is a one-time deal. Can you put up with it once, for our sakes?"
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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