Alison is tired of having this fight. She works for the school system and has only the summer off. She has been clear with Mom about the time available. It’s clear to us that once again, nothing is going to happen or change (nothing ever does), so why should we spend all our time and money there? One week, not two. We’ll do what we can according to her wishes. And if she is insistent on going home and is technically competent, then maybe we should let her and let things unfold according to her decisions.
Do you think it would help to involve an independent party somehow? Maybe some sort of counsellor, or even an OT who you could pay to assess the house in terms of your mother's safety and who would likely make recommendations to clear stuff out to reduce the chances of her falling again? And have that person explain all this to your mother?ReplyDelete
I've learned you can't rationalize with an irrational mind. One week not two is sensible. Your sanity matters, too.ReplyDelete
There is a sort of wisdom to letting her do what she wants, because not allowing that only punishes you and Alison for taking care of her. This is unbearably hard for you. And I know there are very few options open at this point, given your Mom's state of affairs.ReplyDelete
This is hard. I was thinking, when adult protective services was mentioned, that this might not be the worst state of affairs. I only have experience on the child end of things, but oftentimes if the neglect (not abuse) is due to mental illness and poor skills, the state tries to support those familes rather than destroy them. She may need outside voices. People she can't persuade.ReplyDelete
I don't know what you hope to accomplish in that week, but I suspect it'll be unproductive and stressful. And long. Your mother's desire to go through everything, piece by piece, is classic hoarder thinking, and never results in progress, from what I've heard. I remember my co-workers talking about a TV show where a crew went into hoarders' houses and cleaned them up. The subjects wanted help--asked for it--but in the end were so distraught by the removal of their trash that they wanted it back.ReplyDelete
I was lucky--my dad and stepmom didn't get dementia, and their house was neat and organized. But I can't help feeling some toughlove (toughlove is always hard) might be appropriate here. Maybe focus only on safety, as Helen pointed out, dealing with fire hazards and things your mother would be likely to trip over. The Dumpster can wait until a time when you and Alison can make use of it the way you want.
What is "technically competent?" In this instance, being a hoarder, she's not technically competent, though may be in other respects. As Sabine says, it is not a rational mind.ReplyDelete
I do agree with the toughlove idea. I have used it with my in-laws on little things, and used it a little with my mother too. It's hard, but it is done with love. It is however an adjustment - for the older person, to accept that their children know best, and for the younger but more competent person too. I've seen some friends who haven't been able to make the switch with a domineering parent.
Also, I agree with Sabine. You need to look after your sanity, and your health too. I'm so glad you have your sister - you can support each other.
Whatever you do is going to be difficult.ReplyDelete