Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Stubborn old people!

I just got back from a trip to Virginia to see my Mom. I think I mentioned that I wanted her to come down here to visit for a while and if she likes it, maybe stay. We have been remodeling our one car garage into a room for her. I built some ramps, installed some grab bars in the shower and tried to think of other things that would make her comfortable and able to get around safely. I bought her a ticket on my return non-stop flight yesterday; but she refused to come with me. She wants to stay in her house! She is alone there except for my brother visiting once a day. She is alone at night. I am scared that one night she will fall and not be able to get help. I bought her one of those life alert pendants to call for help; she won't wear it and keeps it on the headboard of her bed. Other than forcing her to go against her will, I don't know what else to do. I hate to say it, but it will probably take a catastrophic incident for her to agree to come. I know I could probably get a court order, but I hope it will not come to that because I don't think my younger brother will be on board with it, for some reason he is in agreement with Mom. My older brother and I have done everything that we can think of to help Mom. Now I am sort of at a dead end until something happens. It is scary to get old. I hope that I will do what my family wants me to do when I get to that point, but you never know how you are going to act until a situation happens to you.


jellyhead said...

I know it is frustrating for you, Tuff, because you want to take good care of your mother. But I can understand her reluctance to leave her home. I'm sure I will be a stubborn old woman, too - hanging on to my independence fiercely to the end.

You can only tell her you are there for her. The rest, at least while your mother's mind is clear, is up to her (as hard as that is for you).

Hope you're not too stressed-out.

Texas2Tennessee said...

Just a thought and you may have already tried this, but when you talk with her, instead of coming from a place of fear (what might happen to her living alone,) try coming from a place of abundance, sharing with her how her quality of life would improve and all the things she would gain if she were to move with you. Having worked with the aged and dying for many years, people's biggest fear is that they'll be a burden to their family. If you can address this often unspoken fear, then you might have a chance of getting her to move.

Motherkitty said...

I went through this exact scenario with my parents before they died back in 1993 and 1995. They refused to leave their home even though their neighborhood was a ghetto at that time. They lived like prisoners with steel, double-locked doors, bars on windows, etc., etc. I never did get my mother down here but I did get my dad here during the last couple of months before he died. He admitted that he had a better life with us than living alone.

Going to live with a daughter is admitting that one is old and can't take care of themselves anymore. It's a combination of pride, fierce independence, a refusal to admit that the end is nearer than far away, it's a matter of losing and giving up. It's a matter of admitting that their world is getting smaller and smaller. Frankly, I would rather be around those I love than retaining my pride and independence. Some people can't be changed, though.

Kerri said...

I'm sure your mom appreciates your care and concern Tuff. I hope you can convince her to at least try living with you for a while. I too can understand her reluctance to leave her home and all that's familiar.
Texas2 had a good piece of advise. Maybe that approach would help.
Is it your younger brother who lives close to her?
My brother had the burden of both our elderly parents without any help from me, since I'm so far away. I felt very sad about that. My dad was stubborn too, but he eventually saw reason, thank heavens.
I hope and pray a solution can be reached that everyone can live with.
Thinking of you.

Mimi said...

Been there and done all that with my mom. I wish you all the best in working out something comfortable with both of you.


Anonymous said...

I feel for you. Taking care of an eldery, stubborn mother is the story of my life right now! She lives close to me, and I see her several times a day. She doesn't drive any more, so I take her places.

At least you have sibblings to help out. I have 5, but none of them come to see mom very often. However, they do like to talk about how I don't do a good enough job taking care of her!!! That hurts the most, I think!!!

I love my mother and want quality of life for her. If she lives less time, because she did what she wanted, then so be it! I try really hard to make sure she's safe, and after that, the decisions are hers.