My 96 year old mother moans and groans ALL THE TIME!

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My 95 year old dad died of alzheimers 9 months ago. My mother who is 96 and at the time of his death was strong and healthy except for being legally blind. I thought after my dad passed away we would travel and get out of the house and be able to enjoy life again. She went into a major depression and it was obvious after 64 years of marriage, she was lost without her husband. She was hospitalized in November with an ulcerated esophogus. She was so weak they suggested putting her in a rest home. I told them that was not an option and had an ambulance bring her home. She is back to being a strong and healthy woman. She is back to eating and walking around with her walker. However, now she moans all the time. The only time she doesn't moan is when someone is talking to her. She used to listen to music or books on tape and her moaning would be quieter, but now she moans all the time and especially at night...all night! I have been sleeping with her since my dad died because she doesn't like to be alone. I miss sleeping upstairs with my husband and I miss sleeping! I tried the baby monitor but it keeps everyone awake instead of just me. I am tired, but I want to do what is best for my mom. I love taking care of her and feel this is exactly what I need to be doing right now in my life. I am a 51 year old mother of 5 with 3 children still at home. Any advice would be welcomed!


Try and take care of yourself so you do not burnout. You are doing the right thing caring for your mother. I did it for 20 years. I had to sleep downstairs with my mother as well, for years. I never really slept and I still don't. She had heart disease and had unstable angina. Her heart disease was inoperable. The baby monitor was easier to use for my daughter, as when I tried to use it upstairs I was afraid to sleep in case my mother got sick and I missed it. I also had to help her go to the bathroom so that she would not fall.
Does she have any pain? Could she have had a small TIA or a uniary tract infection? I am not a doctor, but when my mother developed a dilirium she started to do strange things including being afraid of the dark. She moaned too, but there was usually some pain or fear associated with it. Maybe she is still missing your father and she is moaning instead of crying. Does she talk about things? I know how difficult what you are going through is. I wish I could be of more help other than trying to let you know it is the hardest thing to watch the decline of someone you love and not be able to do anything but continue to love them, unconditionally. I know it is difficult to do, but you have to try and get some rest so your health does not fail. The years of lack of sleep and stress take its toll, silently, and only surface when the stress is gone.
I just spoke to someone about your mother moaning and she suggested to try rubbing her back and speaking gently to her when she starts to moan, I think the moaning is also fear...ny friend took care of her husband and until he was 94. He had a difficult time because of dementia and she said that this helped calm him down.
Your welcome, Tory. Anytime. Hang in there. You are not alone and I know how scary it is and it is also lonely. I did not realize she could not see. She must be terrified. I remember my friend told me that when her husband developed the dimentia he could not hear music any more. Her husband was a concert pianist with perfect pitch and music and notes sounded like noise and upset him. My mother used to hallucinate and see terrible things that happened in her past. I| used to keep a little light on at night and try to reassure her she was safe. Good luck. Let me know if it works...and take care.
thanks for all the above. I, too, am going through the "moaning" things with my 81 year old mom and didn't understand it. but FEAR makes a lot of sense. She is not in physical pain (that was ruled out), but moans at night. thank you.
As I was reading your "moaning" topics, I could not help myself to be just a listener.
First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and thanks for unselfish deeds.
YOU ARE INDEED VERY SPECIAL ANGELS, of whom were sent among us so we can all learn from you how to administer loving practices towards our elderly, helpless loved ones.
You brought tears to my eyes, for more than one reason. BLESS YOU ALL RICHLY, throughout your life, and hopefully that will be many, many more years to come..
I am not that old yet, barely in my seventies, yet I find myself moaning even during the day.
This started after my husband's death; and because of turmoil's, disappointments, total negligence ( even in my own flash and blood) I noticed that my inner pain came to surface by sounds of moaning.. This happens every time I have some stress in my life. The loss of my hope, and too many shocking experiences brought out this Moaning sound from me, I know this with certainty
This can be embarrassing at times, because I caught myself making noises even in department stores.
I am very lonely, yet I try to keep myself busy doing something all day long.
Otherwise I am a very happy go lucky, positive thinker, a person with faith in God.
Yet I still can't get rid of my inner pain!
In my case, the moaning is a sigh of a deep emotional scars bursting open with pain, which is closely connected to lack of experiencing compassion and Love. .
Bless you all who could understand this, and especially every one of you whom are opening your hearts up to share your loving care. You see, your kindness can be an ointment on someone's wounds..It will be noticed up in heaven I am sure of that.

For me, even a kind word in the morning from a by passer can make my day, and I noticed, that my moaning doesn't come to surface at all.
I am so thankful for your compassionate hearts.
probably a neurological quirk . im working around a frame carpenter right now who isnt more than 25 yrs old . while hes working sometimes he splutters like a freakin motor boat .
My mom (90) moans a great deal as well. I think a lot of the insights mentioned are good ones...I know pain is sometimes the cause for mom, but sometimes she does not even realize that she is doing it.
Johnson and Johnson makes a baby lotion that has lavender in it. The lotion helps relieve stress because the lavender smell helps relax people. When my mom was having her three surgeries in 2013, we found rubbing this on her neck and arms was soothing and helped remove the stress.

Sometimes just a simple touch or smell can be all that is needed to help reach someone. Give it a try. Seniors have such dry skin anyway it can't hurt!
Well, I guess misery does love company because I can definitely relate to the original comment here. My mother has just recently started crying a lot. It is beginning to wear on the whole household. I wish I could figure out if something is lacking in her diet or what I can do to help her. It is very sad to me and unnerving for everyone else.
My mother is only 76 and she grunts as if she's picking up something heavy, but only she grunts for no reason and its happening more and more often.

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