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Scared of my mum!

(40 Posts)
Mynxie Sun 27-Sep-20 10:05:24

She is a healthy 90 year old living independently in a nice bungalow surrounded by friends.

However, she is carrying on as ‘normal’, using the bus for trips to the local city to mooch round the shops and going out with her friends for car trips to garden centres and suchlike. All this would be great of course if it weren’t for the virus - I know she’s an adult and quite capable of making her own decisions. I am in my late 60’s and being more cautious than her, happy to go to the supermarket and for walks, visiting children and grandchildren whilst strictly following the guidelines/rules.

Ive been visitIng her a couple of times a week during the past 6 months (except when we were in lockdown) and phone every day but I am now worried that she is a risk to me (and through me to my children/grandchildren) She won’t meet me outdoors as she feels the cold too much to sit for long in the garden.

Am I being silly? She knows and understands the rules but she is lax with mask wearing and seems to only follow them if it suits her! I love her dearly and have tried talking to her about this, but she thinks she is doing nothing wrong and won’t be budged. I’m reluctant to push too strongly as I know she would be terribly unhappy not to get out of the house but can’t help worrying not only about her but for myself and my family too.

Luckygirl Sun 27-Sep-20 10:14:08

Is she observing the rules at all when she is out? I guess if she is then she is no more of a risk than any other adult you might see in a group of 6.

It is wonderful that she is so full of life! - would she like to lend me a bit?!

Bellanonna Sun 27-Sep-20 10:44:43

I think I’d be worried too, OP!

biba70 Sun 27-Sep-20 10:49:09

Let her live - in her 90s she is old enough to know. We have no right to impose on our parents our own views all the time. I am surrounded by people who want to dictate to their parents all the time. She has probably come to the conclusion that to stop living, for the sake of 'living' a bit longer, is just not worth it, and I totally get it.

So you are not scared of your mum, but for your mum- very different.

Nezumi65 Sun 27-Sep-20 10:51:08

Surely your grandchildren/children are more of a risk to you? School age kids are mixing with hundreds of others without masks every day.

Tbh if I was in my 90’s I think I might chose to prioritise going out etc as well, especially as this seems to be likely to be hanging around for a while.

If you are unhappy with the risk to you that is a different thing. Could you wear a mask when you see her?

Barmeyoldbat Sun 27-Sep-20 10:53:40

I would be worried as well, in fact I would not meet up with her, just make phone calls. My own daughter (learning disability) is pretty much the same, doesn't wear a mask and seems to get away with it and I have never seen her wash her hands. Given that I am in shielding category I have stopped visiting and just chat daily on the phone.

biba70 Sun 27-Sep-20 10:54:53

A friend who lives on the other side of the world wrote this the other day. It truly upset me- I tried to reply, then erased it- just could not find the words.

''Q: Why would a 95-year-old woman in an assisted care facility who is 80% blind and deaf, who can barely move without looking like she’s going to fall over, go for a walk alone around the building without telling the staff and into the parking lot and driveway as part of her walk?
A: To stumble and trip over a curb that she did not see and fall on her face, that’s why. Stubborn, unappreciative, selfish and foolish. Now my poor wife is spending her entire day in the hospital tending to her mother, who likely will go right back and do it again just to be passive-aggressive and complicate my poor wife’s life even more. On top of that in a hospital for a whole day during a pandemic. I am soooo pissed right now.
Some elderly folks accept and cope with their declining ability... not this one. She uses it like a weapon to take everyone else down with her.
No matter what we say, she continues to do dangerous things and lies about it. I’m not judging, I’m just so angry and frustrated. Sigh. Please, don’t ever let me become selfish and passive aggressive with my kids when I am older.,,

So he is saying that this old Lady should just sit there quietly and wait to die, not feel the sunshine on her face, or fresh air in her lungs, listening to the birds... because a fall would disturb her daughter's routine? Surely then, the daughter can just say, I am not taking mum to the hospital, the care home will deal with it?

Sarnia Sun 27-Sep-20 10:56:06

At 90 she probably thinks, what the heck! She has lived more years than she has left to live and obviously doesn't want to spend them sitting indoors and staring at the walls. I have a sneaking admiration for her.

Callistemon Sun 27-Sep-20 11:00:26

biba I agree and felt quite tearful reading that.
The old lady is probably living somewhere where the staff are too busy or pressurised to take them outside; she's supposed to sit in her room or lie in her bed all day so as not to be a nuisance.

I hope I don't end up somewhere like that.
Or with a SIL like that either.

Callistemon Sun 27-Sep-20 11:02:07

Please, don’t ever let me become selfish and passive aggressive with my kids when I am older.,,

He's that already.

MrsRochester Sun 27-Sep-20 11:08:39


Let her live - in her 90s she is old enough to know. We have no right to impose on our parents our own views all the time. I am surrounded by people who want to dictate to their parents all the time. She has probably come to the conclusion that to stop living, for the sake of 'living' a bit longer, is just not worth it, and I totally get iT”

Perfectly reasonable point of view but she can’t then expect others to share it and continue to see her as usual.

Grandmabatty Sun 27-Sep-20 11:10:00

I wish my mum had half the energy your mum does! Mines has taken to her bed and refuses to see or talk to anyone except my brother who lives with her. She's 86 and definitely depressed but is refusing to contact the doctor to go back on ADs. She won't go anywhere or do anything and won't use her phone as she's deaf but won't use her hearing aids. I, too, am in awe of your mum.

Bellanonna Sun 27-Sep-20 11:15:41

I think some of you haven’t read the OP properly. I’m sure she is happy for her elderly parent to enjoy herself and I, too, am glad that she is enjoying life. However, the OP is worried about potentially contracting the virus from her mum, and I would be worried about that too. As someone suggested, both should wear a mask when they meet to at least lessen the possibility of spread.

MawB2 Sun 27-Sep-20 11:35:54

So you are not scared of your mum, but for your mum- very different

Thank you for picking this up Biba I approached the thread with very different feelings until I read OP properly.
Clearly it works at both ends of the age spectrum - as parents we often fear for our children’s safety, as grandparents, there is another generation to be fearful,for, but common sense dictates that with reasonable precautions we have to “let them go”
The same applies to our elderly parents!
Much as we love hem, woukd we really rather see them isolated, depressed, lonely, feeling neglected and mentally slipping away?
I feel “Go Mum-good luck to you” and as for feeling she is a risk to you - unless you have serious underlying health issues, in your place I would emulate your clearly feisty mother!

Mynxie Sun 27-Sep-20 11:59:47

Thanks for all your replies - a mixed bag.

Yes, of course I admire my mum and am proud that she is as she is and really don’t want to stop her enjoying her life but it’s as Bellanonna says, I am more fearful of contracting the virus FROM her than I am of passing it TO her. It’s a good point about the grandchildren and schools and one of my sons is a frontline worker so they pose a potentially greater risk.

She has said since the beginning of lockdown that if you want to know what scared is, you should lie in bed listening to bombs falling around you as a child and has also stated many times that if the virus so doesn’t get her then something else will - both very valid points.

She’s a funny bunny though, brave as you like through the pandemic but scared of any form of transport other than car or bus, and she will not eat outside for fear of wasps. She’s led a very difficult life and I think these are the best years for her so for now I will cheer her on and try not to stress too much - luckily we live in an area of the country with low transmission rates.

Jane10 Sun 27-Sep-20 12:09:12

One of our nieghbours, a lady in her 90s has made absolutely no attempt to follow any of the Covid rules. Since it started she's simply carried on as usual. Goes out and about, visits friends (who must be like her) including for weekends, never wears a mask etc. She has no family at all and is very wealthy. We can only conclude that she just doesn't care what happens to her. I just don't know what would/will happen if/when she falls ill.

Riverwalk Sun 27-Sep-20 12:19:26

She won’t meet me outdoors as she feels the cold too much to sit for long in the garden.

I don't blame her - she's 90!

Am I being silly?

Yep. I reckon you're more at risk from your children and grandchildren.

Sparkling Sun 27-Sep-20 13:44:13

I know neighbours just like your mom, I do think at 90 she should do as she wants, whilst you of course distance. She would be so lonely without her little support group. I am nowhere near you moms age and I can tell you the loneliness of being on your own is awful and I wonder if I should just risk it, but I don’t, I have kept to all the rules but feel depressed and life is hard.

ExD Sun 27-Sep-20 13:56:18

OK - she's 90+ but does this give her the right to go around unmasked infecting everyone else? Remember, the mask protects OTHERS, not the wearer.
Yes, the OP is right to be scared of her mother - her mother could kill her by being downright selfish, and I don't care what age her mother is, she has no God given right to go round doing this.
She is being childish.

BlueSky Sun 27-Sep-20 14:09:55

I would let her do her own thing but would make it clear that you cannot afford to visit her as you don’t wish to put yourself at risk. So far nobody has to wear masks outside, on transport/indoors is or should be enforced but that’s not your problem.

BlueBelle Sun 27-Sep-20 14:16:23

Good for her she is obviously in the last few years of life and needs to be allowed to LIVE those years not just crumble away in ‘prison’ She’s out with friends in the cars and mooching around town so she’s not lonely if you are frightened For yourself mynxie stay away from her keep up the phone calls each day but let her stay inside and you talk to her through the window if you’re that worried
Your Mum has a great outlook “at 90+ somethings going to get me but I m not going to lie down and wait for it to happen I m going out enjoying myself”
If you go shopping have a frontline worker in the family and grandkids your mum won’t add much to what you are already working with

Nezumi65 Sun 27-Sep-20 14:26:19

If one of your children is a key worker and your grandkids are at school they definitely pose a greater risk to you than your mum. They will be mixing with far more people.

allium Sun 27-Sep-20 15:00:01

She sounds an amazing lady.

Whingingmom Sun 27-Sep-20 15:08:28

Yes she sounds amazing. However if she knows the rules but is negligent in following them, then it’s not only her own health she is risking but that of everyone she meets.

AGAA4 Sun 27-Sep-20 16:42:14

At 90 wouldn't you just want to squeeze as much enjoyment out of each day while you still can?