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Olderdaughter

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a narcissistic mom.  Right now my sister is the golden child but that could change any time now.  My mom really needs assistance at home.  I have taken one of those surveys on an assisted living site and it seems to me that she really needs to be in one of those places.  She does not bathe regularly, eat right, etc.  At this time, my mom is trying to maintain her independence.  The thing is she doesn't trust anyone to come into her home.  She needs someone to do some house keeping. I do not want to do it because I can never please her.  My health is not that good as well.  My sister doesn't do it and I am not sure of her reason as we do not speak.   How do others deal with the trust issue of having outside help coming into a home?
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Splotchy
Reply with quote  #2 
You may have to accept that her house is going to be dirty, as you cannot force her to accept help.  In any case, here is what I did a few years ago when I was in your shoes: 

I called my mother's doctor and told the staff what I was noticing.  If you do this, tell them upfront that you are not asking them to share anything with you, as you are aware of the HIPAA laws, but that you simply want to share some concerns.

I then told them that she was not bathing, not eating right, and taking lots of trips to the ER.  They agreed to an assessment, and set up an appointment for her.  She actually agreed to go with me, as she thought they were going to ream me for not being a more "devoted" daughter, and I went along with that idea.  (Sometimes you can use their narcissism to your advantage.....)

They did a cognitive assessment and set her up with a social worker and a variety of home supports...a visiting nurse, meals on wheels, etc.  She hated all this intrusion, and gradually rejected most of the support, but I'm still glad we did it.  We did not have to worry about trust issues, as the social worker and nurses were all bonded. The added benefit of doing things this way was that the message that she needed help came from the medical community and not us, so she did not feel as though we were attacking her.

These steps did not really address her needs, but they did set up a framework so that years later when the "big event" happened (her pre-dawn drug overdose on the front lawn), we had a paper trail.  

What I discovered during this trial was that the social workers did not care that my mother's house was a mess.  They apparently were very used to elderly living this way.  So you may have to accept the idea that her house is not going to be clean and let it go.  The health issues,  on the other hand, are a much bigger concern.  If the medical community can back you up, it might be helpful to get a social worker in there to see what her needs really are. 


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Olderdaughter

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #3 
Splotchy,
Thank you for advice.  It sounds like you have more involvement than I do with your mom.  I am in the health care field.  I would love to be her advocate since I understand everything and could really help.  I do not think my mom wants help with her illnesses.  She doesn't like to do what the doctor's tell her to do and is very verbal and cranky about it.  She does not want me to go with her to doctor appointments.  This might be why.
My sister does most everything for her.  That is the way she wants it.  I have asked for boundaries.  I have asked to do certain things and my sister does certain things but she told me, No.  She wants to call me when my sister is not available to do something or my sister doesn't want to do it.  (Like sitting with her while she gets a permanent in her hair)   That one I seem to get asked to do a lot.  I would love to call her doctor and share my insight.  The weird thing is DHS might get involve or they might tell her I called.  Then I would never live it down.  Any thoughts on that?

D. Claybrook
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Splotchy
Reply with quote  #4 
You definitely run the risk that the doctor will tell her that you called, so you will have to weigh that before you act.  We were dealing with a lot of mental health issues at the point, so I really didn't care if they told her.  (I should also let you know that I had changed my number right before all this happened.  My mom had been terrorizing me by phone, so I needed to do that to preserve my mental health.  She only had my husband's number at that point, but she was afraid of him, so she barely called him.  I had the freedom to control when we spoke by phone, and that helped quite a bit.)

Things were getting really bad on the mental health front, so I called the department of health, the mental health association and the elderly affairs office in her state to let them know my concerns.  I was hoping they would get involved, but they didn't.  My impression was they they only wanted to investigate situations where there was evidence of physical abuse or financial abuse. When they asked me who was abusing my mother, I said that she was abusing herself, and they just brushed it off.  

When the social worker got involved, I was expecting her to call DHS because my mother's house was hoarder level dirty, but the social worker didn't even blink an eye. (I was there.)

I don't know where you live, so it might be different, but that is my experience. 




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Olderdaughter

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you for the information.  
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