Help With My Mother

Thank God I have found you on the web!  My daughter and I are now feeling quite desperate with regards to my Mom.  She is 79, lives alone and wants to keep it that way!  Feisty and really not capable of caring for herself although she'll argue this to the end, she thinks we are all against her and would have her "put away" despite my offer for her to live with me.  She then begins to denigrate my husband, saying it would never work, and he is a pussycat.  She has always had a difficult personality, but now it's thwarting, to her as well as us.  She needs help.  She keeps missing doctors' appts. and I think is afraid they may suggest an assisted living facility.  I have always suspected she has a severe personality disorder, she is a recluse but its getting worse.  She is diabetic, arthritic (bad knee), never drove, and recently had a serious bout with varices.  She tells family she is doing fine, but cries to those who don't know us that she is "neglected".  I hired a woman to help her and she quickly made her life a living hell as she does with everyone.  What should I do??  I've had social services in there, but she puts on an act.  I thought they would see through here and move in to take some kind of action, but no.  She has four cats, the house smells (but she can't smell it); we clean it up and she can't maintain.  Clothes and paperwork are everywhere!  I'm not afraid of her anymore, she did a lot of damage to me and my brothers.  My psychologist tells me to stay away from her but she's still my Mom! Thank you for listening!

Dee in Florida, 54

All aspects of your email indicate that your mother is in need of help – and in a hurry.  I’m talking about help with her house, her cats, meeting doctor appointments, and her medical care. If she doesn’t get comprehensive assistance soon, her medical and mental condition will both get worse.

I suggest that you bring all of these issues to the attention of her primary physician so that her medical conditions can be fully addressed. It is best to go with your mother to her doctor appointments because she may not be able to fully comprehend what she’s being told by her doctor. There is a fine line between caring and taking over. We want our parents to be safe and live in their own homes when it is possible.  But if this is not possible, alternative avenues must be explored so that your mother doesn’t harm herself or others.

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