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BUT since it seems since she started living with us last November she seems to have just given up. She was cooking, running errands etc, but now she is too afraid to drive, hardly ever makes her own coffee/breakfast/lunch/dinner. I'm so frustrated because her and I talked about it before having this house built that she would do these things and was excited about it. Now, it seems like I'm her waitress and taxi driver. I really didn't think it was going to be this way, at least not so soon! She convinces herself that she can't do something and is scared of everything it seems..so she doesn't. I am so opposite of her and it's really hard to relate to her. I don't understand it. Some days are better than others but good grief. Like I said, I shouldn't complain but jeez. Thanks for listening...reading.

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Sometimes we do too much in the beginning. It sends a message. Don't ask her to do jobs around the house, tell her you need the help, give her list and let her be.
Don't wait for excuses. Send the right message. You are capable, you did and can do, you are not ready for grave so make the trip there faster than it has to be.
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With my mom, who is 89, uses a walker, but is sometimes unsteady on her feet due to severe degenerative arthritis of the lower spine and scholiosis, we tend to hover and want to do everything for her. We have learned that when she if feeling very lousy, she wants us to do things for her, when she is feeling better she wants to do them for herself. So we take our cues from her, it can be different on a daily basis or even an hourly basis. Basically , I think mostly everyone wants to feel useful, and wants to take care of themselves to whatever
extent they can. I am lucky as my sister and I get along very well, and we are a good team in helping my mother through this most difficult stage of life when sometimes your body and mind betray you and you must depend on others to do for you what you have always done for yourself. I think we need to remember that no matter how young we are now, we will all get there someday, and may depend on others whether family or professionals to help us. I get impatient sometimes with my mother when she seems unreasonable, or I indulge in self pity because I must make my mother first priority over other things in my life, but I try to remember all that she has done for me throughout my life, and although I don't believe that "owing" is the right word, I find I want to in some manner return the loving care she gave to me.
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That does put a different spin on it with breathing issues. Mobility issues makes it hard too. Maybe you can get her to help with making dinner by having her sit and cut the veggies for you...fold laundry, load the dishwasher. Maybe take her for a short walk will help to keep her muscles strengthened.
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Sharynmarie..thank you for your comments. I listed the primary issue is depression, but it actually is general age issues. She has breathing problems and is on at home oxygen so she has limited mobility (gets winded without the oxygen). Like I mentioned, some days are better than others. This morning she made her own coffee but I agree, I feel like I'm enabling her when I just do things instead of having her do things. But, in the same respect, it was my (and my husbands) push to get her to sell her house and move in with us in a new house that way she wouldn't have to be by herself. There were times when she lived by herself when I would call her and she would skip meals because she didn't feel well enough to make herself a meal. She's only about 98lbs and can't miss a meal. I've gotten "tough" with her and told her that she needs to try to do things for herself and use her muscles/move around because the more she just sits and gets waited on, the worse it will be for her.
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Victoria~I read your profile to get more info on your mother's health. You have listed depression as her primary ailment.

I have suffered from depression and while it is debilitating,sometimes it comes down to not being available.

When my son was little, he refused to tie his shoes, cut his meat at dinner time. He knew how, he just didn't want to do it for himself. I refused to do it him. It may or may not work, but I think the more you do for her, the less she will do for herself and more depression, less self esteem. Unless there is some other physical/mental issue going on with your mother...make yourself not available, leave the house so she has to make her own lunch. Leave a note saying the dishes need to be done and I will be back after I run these errands, I appreciate your help, you are a blessing. Something to that effect.

I don't know how old your mother is, but driving can become scary for the elderly. If she is just being lazy...you would know that better than I would, maybe tell her you need her to take to somewhere because of...any excuse you can come up with. The longer she goes without using these skills, the more dependent she will become.

I don't know your mother's finances, but maybe independent living would be a better solution for her or assisted living.

I really suggest you stop doing for her, and if necessary, tell her you know she can do this for herself.
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