Boundaries

I took our neighbor to the emergency room yesterday evening – the second time in a month and both times from falling. The fall a few weeks ago required a CT scan and staples in her scalp. This tumble wasn’t as serious, but she has three cuts (one into muscle) and a very sore hip.

Neighbor lives with her son and I’ve discussed my feelings about him here before. While I don’t feel quite as negative about him as I did in the beginning, I do still have a problem with the way he talks to his mother. She has difficulty hearing, so he barks at her in a very loud, condescending tone. This behavior was in full force when we went over to get her off the floor and prepare her for the trip to the hospital.

Once we were alone, I asked her if she liked having him living with her. She thought a moment before saying, “It’s alright. I guess it’s just hard to live with someone when you’ve been used to living by yourself.”

One of the things that bothers me so badly is the feeling of helplessness that we have since Sonny moved in. She used to rely on us to help manage her decreasing mobility – by moving furniture around, performing chores that she shouldn’t attempt, etc. Now, the freedom to do those things just isn’t there.

To provide an example, the reason her arm was punctured this evening was because the handles on her kitchen cabinet doors are very old fashioned and have sharp edges protruding from each end. She said she literally had to lift her arm up off of the handle after falling. This is the second time over the last few months that she has fallen and cut herself on the kitchen cabinets.

After seeing the damage last night, I suggested the handles be replaced with something that has a rounded edge. If this had happened a couple of years ago, we would have taken this task on ourselves. Now, with Sonny around, the dynamics of our relationship have changed so much that all we can do is step back and hope he makes the right decisions to protect his mother from harm.

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 11 years and three fabulous felines.

3 thoughts on “Boundaries”

  1. I hate having the helpless feeling when you know you can make the necessary changes to keep people safe. :( Is there anyway you can anonymously report them for an elder care check-up? do you think he’d comply to any suggestions the experts would make?

    Before the boy moved in, didn’t you have someone come in and check out the house? Would they come back for a follow-up? I know… so many questions.

  2. @ Randomability: You are correct that someone checked out the house a few years ago. It was the physical therapist from the nursing home where she stayed while recuperating from hip surgery. I don’t know if a follow-up would be possible since she is no longer a patient of that facility.

    If I felt she was living in a abusive situation, I wouldn’t hesitate to report it, but I’m not sure this really qualifies as abuse. It’s more a case of two people being forced into a situation that neither of them really wants to be in. Sad…

  3. It is sad for both people. I know my mom talks horribly bad to my grandparents. Caring for them so much stresses her out, and I find myself being short and hateful with them too.

    I hope everything works out.

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