My mother (89) wants to live on her own. Should I let her? - AgingCare.com

My mother (89) wants to live on her own. Should I let her?

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She is mentally and physically healthy minus arthritis aches, occasionally forgetful but other than that she does very well. She's always lived on her own until 8 months ago she had to come live with us due to a bad fall she had. she has fully recovered and now wants her apartment back. I feel bad that she mentions this every single day. I don't know what to do - I feel that at her age she should be with family.

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Is her apartment still available? Would you be checking on her regularly? My mom is 95 and lives in independent living. I call her twice a day and see her frequently. She has a very set routine and is able to take care of herself because of that routine, but with a LOT of help from me.

She can't remember to take her meds, so I have people come in 2X a day to give them to her. I handle all of her business and take her to the doctor, bring her food, help her bathe, do her laundry, take out her garbage, etc. etc. But she's very happy to be "on her own". Haha!

If your mom wants to try it and her mind is good enough to handle most situations, maybe let her try it. But know that you'll probably have to move her back in with you (or to a facility) before too long.
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If the apartment is still set up for her, I think you should let her go back on a trial basis and closely monitor her. Make sure she's eating, cleaning up, bathing, paying the bills, etc. Call her regularly and make surprise visits. Then you should be able to assess whether she can stay there with (or without) some help or whether she's really not able to live on her own. JMHO.
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Does she cook safely or do you prepare meals? Can she handle a checkbook? Make a grocery list? Clean the house? Do laundry? Manage her meds? Ask for an evaluation by an OT (occupational therapist) before you let her branch out on her own.
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Have you actually observed her taking care of her daily needs? What is she forgetful about? I would be concerned if she forgets and leaves the stove on or forgets to bathe take her meds.

People are good at covering when they are in decline and their abilities aren't as good. If she is able to do all the things, she needs, then I would at least arrange some in home assistance for her cleaning and laundry.

Sometimes seniors don't realize that being on their own is not really feasible. An evaluation of her needs would help clear that up.

Do you have her Power of Attorney? If she insist on returning home, it may be out of your control if she's mentally sound though.

Do you know why she fell? Often falls indicate a decline and another one will occur soon afterwards. I'd try to find out if she has a balance issue, weakness, etc.
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