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Any suggestions?

(17 Posts)
Cardriver Tue 12-Sep-23 10:54:42

My 93 year old mum loves alone, has no friends, relatives or visitors, has always been anti social and refuses all help. I live 250 miles away, visit every month (more visits are not welcome) and groceries are delivered regularly. She is happy and that's fine with me. I phone every 2/3 days but worry that she will eventually die alone. Has anyone else been in this situation and if so how did you deal with it?

Cardriver Tue 12-Sep-23 10:55:31

Any advice?

maddyone Tue 12-Sep-23 11:07:41

I wasn’t in this situation as my mum moved into into a sheltered apartment very near to me after dad died, as I also lived 250 miles away. It’s not easy for a ninety year old to move so far to a new life, but she did and made a success of it. She joined in activities at the apartments and in all our family get togethers.
To be honest I’m not sure that you can do anything more than you are already doing.

Hithere Tue 12-Sep-23 11:11:01

I think you are doing everything you can

Your mother is happy and well taken care off - that is what it counts

Farmor15 Tue 12-Sep-23 11:13:44

If she wants to continue living like this, I would leave things as they are. If she dies alone, it will probably be as she would prefer it, if she's anti-social! And I wouldn't feel guilty, though I know it would be hard.

Farmor15 Tue 12-Sep-23 11:21:30

You asked if anyone else had been in this situation - I was in a way. My mother (88) lived alone some distance from me till about 6 weeks before she died. At that stage, a friend of hers got in touch as she felt my mother wasn't coping. At that stage she came willingly to stay with me for a short time before ending up in hospital, where she died.

I left her to live an independent life as long as possible, as that's what she wanted, despite some incidents which might have concerned others. One night she was woken by a policewoman to ask if she was all right - my mother had left the door open by mistake and a neighbour had called the police!

Skydancer Tue 12-Sep-23 11:24:39

If your Mum is happy then it's ok. My Mum was quite happy living alone and wouldn't have worried if she never saw any of the family for weeks on end as long as we phoned to say we were okay. She was fine with her own company as some people are. She could amuse herself with TV, reading the newspaper and generally pottering about It can just seem odd to those of us who seek company. I am sure she would let you know if she had a problem. Where my Mum lived there was an NHS Community Matron who I could contact at any time about Mum. She would pop in to see Mum if I had any worries which did happen twice and was very reassuring. You could ask at your Mum's surgery.

Theexwife Tue 12-Sep-23 12:01:42

The only concern I would have is if she fell or had a stroke it would be 2/3 days before it was noticed and that could be a painful end.

You can get a set-up that is a motion sensor to detect if there has been movement in the house or a call button worn around the neck, however being so independent she may not want either.

Grammaretto Tue 12-Sep-23 12:27:14

I agree that you are doing what she wants.

My DM lived alone 500miles from me. She had an alarm which she never wore. Aged 90, she fell and broke her hip and was lying in pain for 13 hours before a neighbour, who had a key, found her and called an ambulance.

Afterwards she wasn't allowed home without a care package in place.
She didn't particularly like being "cared for" but put up with it. She died in hospital of pneumonia 3 years later. She was only in hospital for one night.

Both my siblings and I felt guilty from time to time but we phoned her and visited as often as we could so she wasn't isolated at all. She didn't want a care home so we obeyed her wishes.

Is there a neighbour who could have a key?

Wenmore Tue 12-Sep-23 12:32:44

As it's a regular contact for mum then depending who deliveries her groceries, may be a helpful contact. For instance Morrisons have 'community champions' who help aged and vulnerable both in store and out. This is actually a growing problem but there is little you can do if your mother is resistant. Help the Aged may also have some useful advice.

biglouis Tue 12-Sep-23 12:35:10

This sounds like my neighbour who has dementia and lives alone in a 5 bedroomed house sincer her DH died. However she appears to be quite spritely and physically fit. Her adult children live in Birmingham and London respectively and can only get down every 2 weeks or so. They take it in turns. They want her to sell the house and move in with one of them. They are Indian and traditionally live in multi generational households. However they probably need the money from the house sale to built a "granny annex" for her. So far she has refused to sell up - which is of course her right.

Her daughter and an interfearing neighbour tried to get me involved in a "key holding " plan but I outright refused. We have never got on and she has committed a series of low level offences over the years so I am not prepared to get involved with her or her property.

Her daughter and the interfearing neighbour wanted me to hold a key and supply a phone number so that I could be asked to go in and check on her if her daughter could not reach her by phone (which apparently often happens).

No way! The children need to take their own responsibility about putting carers in place or contacting social services for advice.

Grammaretto Tue 12-Sep-23 19:14:01

Your situation is a bit different biglouis as your neighbour has dementia and "baggage"
The neighbour who had a key for my mum was a friend who drank a glass of sherry with mum when she visited every week.

Contacting AgeUK is a good idea.

Cardriver Tue 12-Sep-23 23:02:42

Thank you all for responding. I appreciate your advice and help.

Ali08 Thu 14-Sep-23 08:58:42

Although she lives alone are there neighbours who would notice if your mum wasn't up & about, or if her curtains weren't opened or closed at the usual times? People who could check to see if they needed to call you, or an ambulance?
You could get her, like already mentioned, an alert necklace that would go through to emergency services if she fell - but then, my MiL had one and didn't wear it and had a fall between our visits, and was stuck for 3 or 4 days!!
I think the sensor thing is a great idea!

Elless Thu 14-Sep-23 10:14:07

You mustn't feel guilty. My Mum only lived 7-8 miles away but she was really hard work, she had always had a job of authority and spoke down to people, I used to find it embarrassing when I took her shopping. I always felt I didn't visit her enough or do enough for her but I actually visited her one morning with my newly born grand daughter and when leaving I said I'd come back later to wash and dry her hair - she actually passed away in between my visits.

Madgran77 Fri 15-Sep-23 06:07:49


I think you are doing everything you can

Your mother is happy and well taken care off - that is what it counts

I agree flowers

Allsorts Fri 15-Sep-23 07:11:15

If it’s really what she wants, you can do no more. It has to be her decision. Personally I dread being like that, I hope I go before that happens, I love people and having visitors, to be completely alone is my idea of hell.,