The Only Daughter

by Martha
(Mississauga Ontario, Canada)

My mom is 97 years of age. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba and I live in Toronto, Ontario. My husband ad I do not have the financial ability for me to fly out to Winnipeg. Mom no longer has any financial ability as my adopted brother has basically used all her money. When her cheque comes in he is over to see her He does not work and has mental health issues.

I love my mom dearly but she is very stubborn (always has been) and she finds it very difficult to accept help of any kind. She has friends that bring her groceries, she has home care come in every morning but most the time she tells them to leave as she does not want to get up or get dressed. Twice a week home care comes in to give her a bath but again she often refuses it.

When my brother does go over to see om there is a lot of anger and swearing on his part. I phone mom 2 - 3 times every day. She tells me what has been happening and what she has refused, how has tried to help and how unsatisfied she is with their work. I am at my wits end.

Last fall I tried to suggest she move to a place that offers more care, (Currently she lives in a seniors home - but she has never participated in any thing going on at that site) I have tried to call Home care for more visits but my mom got so angry at me, she said that I had no right to get involved.

Any relatives in Winnipeg will not have anything to do with mom - those bridges were torn down years ago. She will not allow me to call her Doctor - again it is none of my business. Where do I go from here?

Mom is a very Christian lady and feels that no one around her believes like she does. I try very hard not to talk to her about religion because she gets angry with with me. I need help please.

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Put yourself first
by: Anonymous

When family refuses to communicate with you and you've been told to "mind your own business" then it may be time to disconnect emotionally.
It seems that elder-care and family relationships are a lot more complicated now that social norms have changed: elders used to live with an adult child in their declining years.

Since elders want more personal and financial space these days, since they can choose that, it can be painful when well-meaning adult children try to help and are seen as interfering.
Under different circumstances, I'm also being told to "back off" on the well-meaning advice and efforts because I haven't been provided the full picture.

Nevertheless, I'm expected to react to requests without the full background I need to offer informed help. So, I've chosen to take a break from the elderly parents - if they choose a poor course of action, so be it.

These circumstances remind me a great deal of parents letting their young adult children make their own choices, even when failure or danger could be the outcome.

However, this rejection from elders doesn't necessarily prevent adult children from thinking through "what if" scenarios, should reasonable health or legal decisions be required at some future date. Detachment without guilt really helps. Most of us are doing the best we can.

An update as to what is happening with my mom
by: The Only Daughter

My brother feels that he should be legally in charge of everything. For many reasons this is a very bad idea. He tells mom that he will be over but never comes over. He puts terrible things on Facebook saying how tired he is because he is helping her so much. When he does show up he wants money and groceries.

It is getting terrible as he will not call me or text me to let me know what is happening. He says it is none of my business. Mom had to be taken to the hospital this week due to her sugar levels. My brother did not and has not called me.

Somebody that received a text from him informing them that she was not well. They know what is happening and took it upon themselves to call me. I am at the end of my rope trying to figure out what to do.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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