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(13 Posts)
Mohum Sun 13-Dec-20 09:31:40

I shop for and help a 93 Yr old lady. However she needs more contact and support than I am able to provide. She has one son who lives a distance away who will not visit or sort anything out. Everytime I or her gp contact local services for help, she dismisses them then complains she is lonely. I don't want to get too involved but am obviously concerned. Any ideas on how to proceed.

M0nica Sun 13-Dec-20 09:54:19

Sadly, someone who needs help, but then rejects it is the author of their own misfortune. I think she may be one of those people who just wants someone who will be at their beck and call, and someone who comes through social services or a charity will have a timetable and only visit at certain times or do certain things.

I wonder whether her son rarely sees her because their relationship has never been easy and she is manipulative.

I appreciate that that is all supposition, but I worked for a charoty for the aged for some years visiting older people at home and I came across this kind of behaviour a number of times - people who were the authors of their own misfortune.

Situpstraight2 Sun 13-Dec-20 10:38:35

MIL was the same she wanted lots of help but only from her 70 yr old daughter, who was run ragged until Socal services said that she was unsafe in her home and had to go into care.
SIL was relieved that the decision was taken away from her.

sodapop Sun 13-Dec-20 12:34:03

Sometimes there is nothing you can do Mohum. With the best will in the world if your neighbour will not accept help then it's a non starter. I do think you need to make it clear to your neighbour and her son that you cannot offer any more assistance than you are already.

boodymum67 Sun 13-Dec-20 12:38:45

No, like the others say, if this lady refuses help from the social services, then that`s her decision. Be careful she doesn't wear you down.

agnurse Sun 13-Dec-20 17:17:09

The reality is that if she's cognitively intact and can make her own decisions, it is her right to live at risk. However, it is also your right to decide how much help you're able to offer her.

maddyone Sun 13-Dec-20 17:30:11

I’m living through this as we speak. My 93 year old mother resolutely refuses any care or help unless it is from my husband or myself. She was taken into hospital a week ago as she fell and sustained two intracranial bleeds. She cannot be discharged at the moment because although she is ‘medically fit’ she has refused a care package. I have refused to bring her home until there is a care package in place. She is very cross with me and keeps sending me texts which are basically having a go at me about it. She also refused the equipment which was offered but we arranged for it anyway and my husband collected it and installed it. Last night she said she was cold in the hospital, I told her to ask for an extra blanket. She wouldn’t! This morning another text, quite unpleasant, having a go at me because she is still cold. Husband rang up and arranged for another blanket. If the care package is in place she’s supposed to be going home tomorrow, she lives in a sheltered apartment. I know she’ll dismiss the carers pretty soon as she did before when we arranged carers when she was ill.
I’m stressed and I’ve had enough! I’m also looking after another family member who has been very unwell, luckily improving now. I’m 67 and I don’t want to be her carer.

maddyone Sun 13-Dec-20 17:32:22

Sorry, didn’t answer the question. Just getting it off my chest. With the OP and the old lady, I would shop for her and nothing else. She’s not your responsibility, she’s not your relative. Just do the shopping, that’s all.

Witzend Sun 13-Dec-20 17:47:21

Sympathies! As pps have said, if she won’t have the help that’s offered, there’s nothing you can do. Please don’t let guilt lead you to run yourself ragged.

I have a similar thing with some very elderly, frail neighbours who often phone us in a tizz about something. What the wife has to do in the house - husband is unable to help - is just far too much for her now, and she often tells me tearfully that she needs help - but won’t let me do anything, except a few one-offs, and refuses to have the help her son tries to arrange for her!

She doesn’t want anyone coming into the house - ‘I can do it myself!’
It’s terribly frustrating. You can’t force anyone who’s still got all their marbles to accept anything.

We had this with an old aunt of dh, too, only in that case she just didn’t want to pay for help, although she could well afford to. When dh arranged help - and she did need it - she just sent them away. She wanted neighbours - and such as me, who lived a 2 hour drive away! - to do it ‘for love’. !!

Hithere Sun 13-Dec-20 18:04:55

You need to really think how much of your energy and time you want to give her

She is an emotional vampire.

silverlining48 Sun 13-Dec-20 18:12:24

Often elderly people don’t want strangers in the house and think their family or a neighbour are helping, so that has solved the problem.It’s hard too to accept that one can’t do what one did.
I suppose the best thing is to decide what and how much you are prepared to do, and then have a chat to let them know and explain if needs increase that if she refuses help from the council you can do no more than you are doing.

PollyDolly Sun 13-Dec-20 18:14:16

I think you really need to be very frank with this lady; tell her that you are unable to provide the level of care that she obviously needs and insist that she listens to and takes advice from any organisation that offers her a care package or support!
It seems to me that she is relying on you far too much and takes it for granted that you are prepared to be at her beck and call. Perhaps you should also consider speaking to her son about this too!

Mohum Tue 15-Dec-20 15:19:51

Thankyou all for your ideas. I will continue what I do for her. She is greatful but I get frustrated when she won't accept other help when it is available.