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My mother needs a friend. Is there somewhere I can find one for her? (long /depressing, sorry)

(5 Posts)
clumsymum Thu 13-Aug-09 13:09:00

I know this sounds ridiculous, but bear with me.

My mum is 79, and very much on her own. My father died 10 years ago, and shortly after that mum broke her ankle, which never healed properly, so she became widowed and disabled in a short space of time. Since then she has had a hip replacement and a new knee, but never really got over each of those ops, due to a lack of determined effort after them. She's lined up for another new knee in Sept.

She lives 130 miles away from us, nearer my sister, bu sis and BIL very much lead their own lives, and don't bother much with Mum. We see her as often as poss, but with school, work and ds's growing social life, it's awkward.

She has been driving, but seems to be giving that up now. Hasn't driven to us in over 2 years, and now her ankle is giving her more pain, so I think just going to local shop is getting more and more difficult. She doesn't have a bus service (and her mobility would make busses difficult). She has used the train to visit us a couple of times, but HATES it. Prefers me to drive and collect her !!!

She has no local friends really. Her next door neighbours have her round every Monday afternoon, but they don't really have much in common, apart from that she has a cleaning lady who goes in once a fortnight, and who will get her shopping and stuff if necessary. That lady is taking her for hosp appointments and stuff from time to time, but Mum does pay her petrol and stuff for doing it.

My mother has no desire to go out and socialise. We suggested WI a few years back, but she didn't lke it (not her kind of people, apparently). Before now I've suggested she asks about being a "reading lady" at the local school, tried an internet course for mature people at the library, lots of other things, but everything gets rejected. She spends her days reading the paper, watching the TV, and ringing sis or I to complain about her pain and difficulty.

I think some of the pain and difficulty might be a bit easier to manage if she had something else to focus on (I'm disabled myself, and have growing arthritis problems, so I don't think I'm being too unsympathetic).

She says she doesn't want anybody else but sis and I, but I'm finding this a bit draining, and rather sad.

I have wondered about depression, but when I tentatively suggested this might be a problem she got DEFENSIVE, and said she wouldn't even consider treatment as an option (my father had severe depression, and was addicted to the old-style ADs in the 1970s, which led to all sorts of probs).

I just wish I could find her a friend, or someone to give her a little support, and tbh to deflect some of her attention. I find myself worrying and stressing, altho I can't do anything for her.

Do any charities offer home visitors? someone who would go in now and then and chat to her over a coffee.

This has come to the front of my mind because she was on the phone again last night, telling me how bad her ankle is, and I think she started to cry as we ended our conversation.

To a certain extent, she won't help herself (always refused to join anything, find contacts herself), but i feel so .... guilty I guess.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 13-Aug-09 21:36:51

I'm not sure but I think that Help the Aged / Age concern might run befriending schemes.

gnatbite Thu 13-Aug-09 21:48:21

Age Concern definitely do, you just need to find the one local to her and give them a call - obviously she'd have to agree to it too. I think they also offer a telephone befriending service so if she felt that someone coming in was a bit much to start with, maybe she'd be more comfortable with that for a bit?

Good luck, I hope you can sort something out

Yurtgirl Thu 13-Aug-09 21:52:18

I couldnt spot in your post what sort of accomodation your mother lives in........

If she lives in a Housing Association property - some HAs offer support to older people - South Yorkshire Housing Association for example

Age Concern and Help the Aged are probably your best bet though


clumsymum Fri 14-Aug-09 16:40:26

Yurtgirl My mother is in her own bungalow.

I have recently started thinking that DH and I may need to consider options for her living with us in a few years/months time. Something I thought I would never consider. We would need to sell up both houses and look at a way of affording something which would give us space for her to live seperately, but under our wing.

Trouble is, I can see she'd be 'popping thru' for company every end and turn.

Which would get on DH's nerves quite quickly (and mine too tbh).

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