Losing track of ‘normal’

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I’ve posted once before on this forum and received welcome support and advice. I’m back today for more wisdom!
My nearly 90 yr old mother lives alone with minimal help, needs more but she’s stubborn. I’ve definitely taken up the advice given here of trying to be a facilitator for Mum, organising a cleaner, a gardener etc and I do her shopping, washing, financial affairs, the usual stuff. I have managed to reduce my visits to roughly 3 times a week, spending 1-2 hrs each visit. I try hard to keep in mind the advice I was given here but I’m aware that I lose track of what’s normal as I have a very complex relationship with my mother. So my dilemma currently is this. Mum and I have had many heated discussions about doing ‘risky’ things. Previously I have asked her to leave jobs for me or for the cleaner especially things which can wait. She is dependent on a wheelie for mobility which cannot get through her front door, I tell you this because she has been outside today brushing up leaves. She told me she had done it and this time I did not respond, I'm just too tired to argue. This is just today’s example of risk taking.
Would I be justified if she came a cropper doing something like this not to attend, i.e. not rush round trying to beat the ambulance, worrying myself sick the alarm people are going to ring me etc etc?
I fully understand her need to retain some sense of independence but I think she has a duty to take more care as she would expect me to of myself. If I’m travelling anywhere I have continuous texts asking if I’ve arrived safely and when il be coming home.
Sorry this is a bit of a ramble today, hopefully you can understand my feeling of losing track with normality.
I suppose it's the inversion of the parent/child relationship, isn't it? She fusses over you (all those texts) but doesn't like you fussing over her? Maybe the more you fuss about her 'dangerous' activities, the more she does them to 'defy' you - ie, prove she's not past it??

I would, if I were you, speak to her GP - simply to tell him that you worry about her activities. It might be useful to speak to a solicitor as well in respect of any 'legal obligation' to see what your responsibilities are in law for her? (If at all?)

'Death by neglect of care' MAY put an onus on you - but on the other hand, my own personal understanding is that we have NO legal duty of care for anyone else??

The bottom line is that your mum is unlikely to be more 'responsible' simply because she may well, at this stage of her life, be deciding she doesn't want to limit her lifestyle in order to live longer. I heard recently a programme on the radio saying that 'the very elderly don't necessarily want a LONGER life, they want a good QUALITY of life.'

This may well be your mum's attitude?? After all, at ninety, she's had a good innings, and that may be her rationale??
If mum chooses to do stupid things, then she will have to take the consequences. " IF you want to end up in residential care, you are going the right way to do it".
Turn your phone off when you are out. They didn't have mobiles when she was growing up and they managed without. You are in control of your life now, and she is in control of hers. If she is deliberately silly, then it's HER fault, not yours! Just keep reminding yorself, and her, of this.
Hi Barbara
With a 95 year old of my own, and having spent the day with 2 other 97year olds and their carers/adult children, I can assure you that your normal isn't changing, but Mum's is. Even though she may have 'capacity' legally, her brain cells are deteriorating and her sense and logic will be starting to degenerate. So she won't be as aware of risk as she was, and conversley she may become more scared of other things -such as your being away for example.

Although, having said that, there is nothing you can do to change her, and no, you cannot be held responsible if she does something silly, especially as you don't live there.

All the conversations with my cousin's today (carers) focussed on the stubborness, illogical acts, rudeness, fixation that our carees express, some more than others but all with increasing regularity. All the oldies had trouble following multiple conversations and remembering names but were fine and alert one to one....for the time we were together, but each carer knew the caree would be more muddled later and have little recollection tomorrow

As our oldies have deteriorated we have each had to increase the level of care. One has paid carers 3 or 4 times a day and goes to day centre, the other 2 are in residential Homes. As your Mum deteriorates you will need to look at increasing her care, being aware if she stays living alone there will be periods when she can get herself into trouble. (Though that can happen anywhere too, my FIL often fell in hospital moving from chair to bed, a distance of about 4 inches!)

So, accept Mum is changing, the stubbornness will increase etc. Don't fight it/her, you will only get frustrated. Increase physical care (handrails, door latches etc) and paid care calls . Plan for future and learn you won't be perfect, none of us can be as their needs increase.

Did you see the news the other day of the 103 year old man who was found after 3 days collapsed on the flat roof of his bungalow? Milkman noticed uncollected bottles and found him missing. Only clue was a ladder round the back of the house!!! Heaven knows what he was trying to do up there. Just pray Mum doesnt get the same idea... better still remove ladders.

Also think, if she did fall outside and sadly died there, would she be happier to have gone that way being active than to last a few more years chair-ridden, hoisted, isolated. I know which would suit me and my character better.

Hope this doesn't offend any one
I second Mrs A. If she shortens her life by her behaviour, but 'goes on her own terms' that is more of a blessing than ekeing out an increasingly frail existence on terms she does not want (eg, care home, etc).
me to
Thank you so much to you all for taking the time to give such informative and supportive replies. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been.
Oddly, as soon as I had written my post I felt better, more ‘normal!’ and now I feel galvanised to carry on with Mum knowing I’m doing ok. When I told my husband of the risks Mum was taking and that I felt disinclined to rush to her aid, he replied that while he completely understood he knows me well enough to know I couldn’t do that no matter how frustrated I might feel.
As for engaging more paid help, currently Mum refuses and, yes, I know the answer to that one too. I just have to pick my moment.
I smiled at the 103 yr old, fortunately Mum lives in a bungalow, a few years ago she stood on a step stool balanced on top of a 2 step ladder to fix the washing line and fell off onto concrete. No matter, she brushed herself down and went out to the shops. She had actually chipped her pelvis, this discovered a few months later.
Thank you to you all, bless you.
Glad it helped to 'set it down' and see what other's thought. I had to be 'given permission' by a good friend (also a counsellor herself) to 'crack' and move my poor MIL-with-dementia into sheltered care. I just felt so guilty, but my friend told me it was for her good as well as mine - and my son was worried I was heading for a nervous breakdown having MIL in my house all the time (I was it was true).

If your mum refuses a cleaner, I wonder whther you can have one come in WHILE YOU ARE THERE ....that is often recommeneded here as a way of 'sneaking in' outsiders. If they start to arrive while we are in the house doing things for our caree, our caree can think 'oh they are here to help my daughter, not me'....and 'feel better' about it. Also, you can be on the spot to 'check the standard of work' etc etc etc! Or maybe, say, to have someone in, once a forthnight to do a 'big clean' with you that lasts another fortnight??