COVID-19 Alert: Manage caregiver stress during this health crisis. Learn More.
Call 888-575-0946 for Home Instead services in your area.
Sharing is Caring:

When mom is in denial


Question: My mom is in a bad situation and she is in extreme denial. She is living in filth and hoarding, and has a bad pest control problem. I have a low income myself and cannot help her. I am also currently in school and work 2 jobs. My mom will be 80 this year. I am desperate for help and don't know what to do. I am at the point of dropping out of school because I can't concentrate-- she is stressing me out so much. Please help me!

Dr. Amy: It sounds like your mom may not be able to properly care for herself. I encourage you to start by talking to her doctor to about having her assessed for mental health issues and for dementia. If you run into problems or your mom resists, you can call Adult Protective Services. Telephone numbers vary from state to state, but for your area, Las Vegas, call (702) 486-6930 or toll free at (888) 729-0571. They can come out to assess your mom's situation and make recommendations. Your mom may qualify for assistance—including someone to come out to help her a few days of the week. She may find it easier to listen to someone who is outside the family.

One of the hardest things for an adult child is to see our loved one making choices that appear to be wrong-headed. I hope you are able to help your mom improve her living situation both for her own sake and so that you can continue your education without constantly worrying about her wellbeing. Good luck!


Get helpful tips and articles like these delivered to your email.

Share your thoughts, stories and comments:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Ask Dr. Amy now!

    Dr. Amy would love the opportunity to answer your questions.

    Your personal information is kept private and confidential, and is used only to communicate directly with you regarding your question.

    All fields are required.

    By submitting this question, you agree to the Terms of Use and disclaimer for this site.

Find home care near you or your loved one: