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Profile of Chessmann
Hello, everyone.

I am seeking help for my mom. She is 76, lost her husband in 2002. Is incredibly lonely, has little feelings of self-worth, is afraid of doing anything (changing the thermostat, etc...) for fear of "damaging something".

She is also a classic example of "if you light a match for her, she will extinguish it and curse the darkness".

I have tried all I can, without allowing her to use me to be a crutch and excuse to stay right where she is (emotionally speaking). Her emotional stress level is near the breaking point. I have tried for 3 years, but sometimes those who are closest to someone are the ones who are not listened to.

I am looking for resouces - organizations, whatever - she needs friends, people who will call her to talk with her just to talk, a way to get out of the house (she can't drive) to do something constructive and build some self-worth.

I would appreciate any information.

Thank you!
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Vandy Grift
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Profile of Vandy Grift
Chessman I feel for you , and your Mother.

I can't tell you the specific names of any orginizations in your area, but they DO exist. There are all sorts of outreach programs that can do the things you want. Many if not most of them are faith based outfits. They help all sorts of people (and for the athesists among us, no they do not push religion on them. They want to help people) My own mother does a lot of this type of work.

The are other orginizations that will help as well. Use the internet or your local phone books to find Social Services, Elderly services, Community outreach groups and the like. Call them and talk to the people, they want to help.

76 years is not old and your Mother, if she is in good health she can enjoy many more years of life. These groups can help. I hope you find the help you need and your Mother can recapture a joy for life.

"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
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Profile of Chessmann
Thanks, Vandy. I'm working on it!
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Professor Piper
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Somewhere, out there...
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I know that "Meals on Wheels" does more than simply drop off food...They often visit and try to 'connect' with the folks they deliver to...

Also, try what Vandy suggested...If your Mom is of a particular faith, contact a Church that would fit and see what they have to offer...MANY of the churches around here do wonderful things for the aging...Visits, socials, mall trips, trips to shows, etc...

Senior centers are also a blessing...They help the folks remain Social, which is VERY important as the aging process marches on...

One last thing...Is your Mom Internet savvy? If so, hook her up with some chat rooms for the 'Senior Crowd' or even Yahoo games and stuff...Even if it is 'artifical' the interations on the Net can be a great substitute.

God Bless and good luck with getting your Mom what she needs.

Prof. Piper
"Nemo has been found! He was on an Admiral's Platter at Red Lobster!"
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Profile of RandyStewart

How's everything in Richardson? I'm familiar with the area. How's that construction at the intersection of 75 and Spring Valley? They just love to tear up that area, build, and do it again. Hehehehe.

The guys above recommended you look into senior citizen (possibly faith based) organizations. My own grandmother is an avid member of her club but there was a three year isolation period between grandfather's death and her getting involved with her group. She didn't display debilitating signs of depression but in her book it was ok to cut off the world and stay home although family and neighbors were constantly keeping her company. She just sort of went into a mechanical mode.

What the group has done for her, we as her loving family could not. The niche among them seems to be that they share many similar stories and experiences. They know where each is coming from and understand each other. You ought to see her calendar! Hehehehe. I love it. She has bingo on one day, pot luck on another, an organized mass with a particular dedication, holiday get togethers, and on and on.

Transportation wouldn't of been a problem for her but as it turns out, the journey to and from the center is part of the fun for her so the van ride is a must. She and her gals get to pick up where they left off on their idle chatter and just a nice scenic route and time to check in with each other.

She's created some pretty interesting and strong relations too! While she was visiting with my parents (different city), she was on the phone to a couple of her friends from the center. Her friend who'd been elected activities director was reminding her to keep an eye out for bargain Luau party supplies!

We thought it was great. Encourage her to give it a shot, get out of the house, and have some fun.
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
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Profile of Lee Darrow
I just did a gig for an unusual bunch of women that your Mom might find interesting - the Red Hat Ladies.

The Red Hat Ladies are a bunch of women, all over the age of fifty (with he auxillary Pink Hat Ladies who are under fifty, so no one gets left out) who are dedicated to the Fine and Wonderful Art Of Having Fun, Enjoying Life and Laughter.

Google them and take her to a meeting. These ladies ROCK! They make no bones about having a good time and make sure that anyone in their presence DOES!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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Profile of Chrystal

Great advice Lee!! I am a big fan of the Red Hat Ladies. Chessman, perhaps do a search on the net. This organization spans the all of North America and it was all due to a wonderful poem titled "When I Grow Old I'll Wear Purple".

I recently ran into some ladies from this group on a cruise and found out they have honorary members who don't have to be elderly to join. They get to wear pink hats. :O)

Good luck to you Chessman and I realize what a difficult situation you must be in. If you mom isn't the kind of person to join things, perhaps look for a volunteer organization that matches a suitable person for one on one visits.

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Profile of Chessmann
Thank you all for the information.

Right now the Visiting Nurse Assoc. is looking for a volunteer to spend time with her, take her to the store, help with her laundry, etc... up to 4 hours 1 day per week.

I will definitely look into the Red Hat Ladies - sounds great! She is 76 and has a bit of vertigo, so there will be *some* things she cannot do, but that (hopefully) will be a minor issue.

Two things that we are fighting are:

- BIG feelings of inferiority. She hasn't had Christmas or Thanksgiving with us for 3 years because she doesn't want to be a burden.

- She doesn't think anyone wants to be around her.

Thank you again for all the advice - I truly appreciate it!

My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
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