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How can I help my mom get along with her neighbor?

My mom constantly argues with one of the other residents and I worry that this will lead to the community asking her to leave. It's gotten to the point that the two ladies antagonize each other. The community is too small to keep them separated at all times, how can I make this better?
Status: Open    Jan 05, 2015 - 03:22 PM

Relationships, Senior Living Communities

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3 answers


Jan 18, 2015 - 03:54 PM

First you cannot make this situation change. It has to be initiated by your mom. Explain to her that being asked to leave because of her behavior would make it very difficult to find a new place to live since they ask for references from previous places. Tell her that she needs to just smile at this person, say “good morning” then go sit on the opposite side of the room.
In psychology they have found that three or four nice answers can change a person’s anger into at least calm. Each time they meet she could try to honestly compliment something about the other person. “Good morning, Mabel, that color really brings out the color of your eyes.” Then go sit on the opposite side of the room. After a week of this and if “Mable” starts saying “good morning” back she could say “I think we got off on the wrong foot, do you thing we could try again?” You never know they might have a lot in common.
I once had a man who, for some unknown reason didn’t like me from the first introduction. Since we had to work together and I didn’t know why he didn’t like me, I could not let this situation stay as it was. So I picked out something that I really did like about him, he had a great laugh. And I told other co-worker about how I loved to hear “Joe” laugh. It got back to him as all office gossip does and suddenly “Joe” was a lot friendlier towards me. In fact we often ate lunch with a group of coworkers and told jokes all lunch long.

Jan 18, 2015 - 04:29 PM

Has someone sat them down separately and asked them what the problem is? Is there a counselor in the community who could help? Perhaps someone from your church? A mediator?

If your mom likes the community, perhaps you need to tell her that if she doesn't tamp it down a bit, she will need to find a new place to live. Share your fears with her. Maybe she will share her feelings and you can get to the bottom of it.

Wishing you luck.

Feb 01, 2015 - 07:57 PM

Sometimes it works if you tell her that the other lady is very sad and depressed and acts that way in hope that SOMEONE will give her attention just so she sees that she is alive and being heard. Tell her that you've seen her sitting alone and how sad she is. Tell your mom that even though the lady is being mean and how you understand nobody would really want to approach her because of it but that she is afraid and alone and very scared and that really and truly Mom, it's so sad and she needs your help because you are the one closest to her. It may make your mother feel needed which I'm sure all Mom's want to feel. Ask your Mom if theres any way she could do or say something that might give the other lady a reason to smile once a day. Mother instincts never go away.

You may even get a chance to talk to the other lady. Make sure you don't say something she can use against your mother, but maybe you can tell her your Mom would like to have a friend and would she be someone that would be available to help your mom by giving her something to smile about every day too.

When you visit your Mom, don't only bring your Mom some cookies or magazines, stop by the ladies room and with a big smile give her a little something too. If she starts liking YOU, she will want to like your mother.

Best of luck.
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