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My mother is confused but won’t accept help.

My 81 year old mother is starting to get confused but won't go on any matter. She's difficult, sabotaging any help. She lives alone in apartment and has become frail due to not eating much. She is depressed. She doesn't trust any doctor or anyone. Has retirement money but won't use it. She smokes. She still drives but shouldn’t. We found a great Independent/Assistant Living place that we were ready to sign up with but they refuse to take smokers. We were all devastated.
Two of three daughters live nearby but have limited finances, time, one having cancer and is on disability, the other has an autistic daughter. Another daughter lives 9 hours away.
We have painstakingly gotten names, agencies, churches, etc. to help her but she refuses to do anything. She is VERY volatile. Thinks we are trying to put her away. She is a clean hoarder.
She hates her life her world but won't let go so she is quite depressed. Wants to do activities, be involved but won't.
Status: Open    Feb 24, 2015 - 02:28 PM


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4 answers


Mar 01, 2015 - 04:37 PM

As a Careprovider for the senior the best way to handle this situation is to be patience with them and be persistent about getting the extra help from other sources.


Mar 02, 2015 - 08:35 PM

I, too, have a very difficult 86 year old mother who is so difficult that she has fired every helper I have tried to get to clean her house, drive her somewhere, bring her bottled water, etc. She wants help only on her terms and only from me. I can't.

I and my siblings have tried for years to help. We only end up getting very frustrated and angry. Nobody wants to even visit her anymore. My only solution has been to listen when she calls and not get upset at the awful things she says. I don't offer any advice because she won't take it. I don't try to solve her problems because she will sabotage the efforts I put in.

I recognize that she has walked away from our help. That is her decision. I can only offer an ear to listen when she calls. I know that one day I will receive an emergency call where I will have to go to pick up the pieces of the mess she has made.

I cannot allow myself to be drawn into her world that she has made miserable. It doesn't do anything for her and just makes me miserable. I just pray for her and try to help out from a distance. And I do keep my distance, because this kind of toxic relationship can bad news for me.

But it is important not to let your spirit be destroyed. Your love and life has to be given to yourself and your immediate family.

Try not to let guilt be your guide. Try to think logically and keep yourself going strong for your family.


Sep 14, 2015 - 11:50 AM

Maybe Adult Day Care would be a great way for her to get to meet new people and get involved with activities.
This may also help with her depression.
Once she is involved with a group she may be more willing to move to Independent/Assisted living if she knows some of the people and the activities she may realize that this could be interesting and not "put away".


Oct 11, 2015 - 12:08 AM

My mother is 80 y old lives in Morocco. I adore this woman who sacrificed so much to raise 10 children . 4 of us live in the states. This year she became different . She is often confused . We brought her help. She drives them away. She hates going to doctors. She always says there is nothing wrong with me. . She won't eat what she doesn't cook. She became so fragile . I don't recognize my beloved mother anymore. She gets mad for every little thing. I use all my vacation to visit with her . She confuses dreams with reality. We finally found a nurse who is though and won't put up with her new attitude . She cooks and clean and keeps her on good schedule . We pay here more than the average nursing assistant , but it's worth it. My mother Gave up cursing and trying to chase this help. This nurse has thick skin. I am older son. I love my mother so much . She did so much for us her children to raise us to be the successful men and women we are now. I won't give up on her. She doesn't have much time with us her. I want to enjoy every little time I can with my mother. Be very patient with your mother. There is always a way . Not perfect way but a better way. Salam
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