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I need advice on helping my mom set boundaries

Mom is overly friendly and keeps inviting strangers into her home. How do I stop this?
Status: Open    Feb 02, 2015 - 10:00 PM

Relationships, Caregiving

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Expert Answers

Feb 25, 2015 - 09:54 AM

I presume you have already had "the talk" with your mother about stranger danger. But I would also be interested to know if inviting strangers to your mother's house has been a long-term behavior pattern for her.

If so, she may just be a warm, generous individual that enjoys entertaining. If not, then a consultation with a geriatric psychologist may be a next step.

However, lonliness on your mother's part could be the driving force behind opening up her home to strangers. In that case, another option to consider is co-housing. Your mother could remain in her own home and rent out a bedroom to a woman who is her peer. There are a few services available that match homeowner with roommate; goldengirlsnetwork.com, roommates4boomers.com or try National Shared Housing Resource Center.

I appreciate your concern with keeping your mother safe while she still maintains an engaging lifestyle.

APFM Staff Answers

Feb 20, 2015 - 01:07 PM

Has mom always been friendly and inviting guests into her home? If this is a long established pattern, it could be hard to break.

Is mom lonely and therefore seeking company? And any stranger will do, as long as there is someone to talk to.

Is mom suffering from memory loss and does not realize they are strangers? She may not know she is putting herself at risk.

By seeking the source of the problem, there may be an easier solution.

If mom likes to host, maybe you can guide her towards safer hosting situations.

If mom is lonely, maybe she can move into a senior community where there are lots of peers.

If mom is suffering memory loss or confusion, maybe she should not be home alone at all. In which case home care support or a move to a senior community would be safer.

I hope this is helpful.

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