I am just so mad!!

My Mom, who will be 87 this spring, lives in Alabama, which is also where I grew up. I got a phone call last night from my sister…one of my sisters…telling me my sweet little Mommy, who uses a walker and a wheelchair to get around, had been robbed. Not by a mugger in an alley, but by someone who had supposedly come in to “help” her.
Can you imagine? An elderly woman taking a bath, so you use the time to take her credit cards and license, and social security card.
This all happened on Saturday….My sister who lives close, was at the lake, so Mom didn’t want to bother her, but she’d had a dizzy spell….she’s had problems with vertigo lately. So she felt quite proud of herself, that she called the mangement of the retirement community where she lives to get some help while she bathed. They told her their “personal care” people weren’t there on the weekend, but they contracted out to an agency who would supply someone. And they did. Thanks a lot for the help.
The awful thing is that my Mom, who is suspicious anyway( probably good for her), will now be totally robbed of trusting people who really are there to help her. No small loss, even though no monetary loss has occured(at least so far as we know). Walmart turned down a $2000 charge attempt….another smelled something wrong with a $1500 attempt. My Mom had no idea anything had happened until the credit card companies called her yesterday over “suspicious activity” on her card. Thank goodness for that. Otherwise she might still have no idea….it’s not as though she runs out to the store everyday like I do.
Anyway, I just feel so angry for her. Not that’s it’s unusual to take advantage of the weak and elderly…it happens all the time, alas. But it’s just another example of how hard it is for families to take care of their aging parents, when they live far away, and even when they live right in town.
NBC did a terrific series on aging parent issues….using Brian Williams, Ann Curry and Tim Russert and their elderly parents and the problems and obstacles they face. And they, like our family, are ones who are fortunate to have resources, and it’s still hard! I can only imagine how difficult it is, when those resources don’t exist. My heart goes out to them.
And for those of you whose parents aren’t yet in that situation of needing lots of help, you might want to at least begin thinking about it. Because it is coming. Lots of difficult and sometimes painful decisions to be made. When to leave the family home….how to handle finances…who will do the caretaking.
I hope my Mom can put this behind her, although she feels so violated. Not too strange really. She was.

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