I'm sure the friend down the road will be willing to help once you explain. She'd be pushing you out the door saying "don't worry", at least I would. And you'd be able to ring home every day and check. I think your work would also be understanding - ie somebody who can't think straight would be better doing what they need to do than being at work.
I'm glad your mum is showing signs of getting better eg the emails but it is scary not knowing what the problem is, whether it's a once off or something else.