I had a huge disagreement with my elderly Mom over the importance of getting cataracts surgery. She was informed several years ago (pre-Covid) during an eye exam that she really needed the surgery and the longer she waits the worse it will get. They prescribed eyeglasses but was reluctant because the physician felt it was useless and continued to express the importance of this surgery. I have also brought it up over the years since the appointment more than I can remember. Fast forward to April 2023, the primary care physician informed her that she needed to get this surgery ASAP. To make a long story short, when I followed up and started asking questions about contacting the doctor's office about the procedure, she became hostile towards me and informed me not to worry myself and if she becomes blind, then it's on her. It was at this point that I ended the argument because I did not have the energy to go back and forth. I understand being afraid of the surgery, but losing my sight would be more frightening than the actual procedure. I even offered to pay any expense that the insurance did not cover but this still was not enough. It was at this point that I realized why should I get my blood pressure up worrying about this or any situation when the individual's response is "why you worrying", I'm not? The problem is, her eyesight is getting worse. She won't wear eyeglasses, when she drives she can't see the lanes, and she can barely see the debit/credit machine at check out and the cashier has to assist her but when I try to help, she yells, "I got it!" I am so done. She will tell family and people outside of the family that I don't check up on her, take time out with her etc. I can not count the many times she has called 3-4 in the morning to say she is calling 911 because she is not feeling well and when I jump in my car and get there, she is sitting in the living room relaxing and tells me she is feeling better and she just needed to open the window or she was feeling dehydrated but drank water and is now okay. I am a single woman, not retired yet and do not like being out that time of morning speeding to her place of residence. She never calls to see if I made it back home safely so I told her that I will no longer be running to her place that time of morning because I have to watch out for my own safety, and she really needs to call 911 and not use that as a way to get me to her place if she feels bad because; 1. They will get there faster and 2. If she has the ability to call me 3 or 4 times until I answer, she has the ability to dial 911 once. I stated in another post that boundaries when addressing issues with a difficult parent are so important for your mental and physical well-being and will continue to stand by my statement. Any similar experiences? If so, how did you address your situation with a parent that seems okay with losing their sight?

Good on you for setting boundaries! Your mother is manipulating you.

My mother refused to go into AL, my brother & I tried for 10 years, she lived alone in the mountains of NC. We gave up and waited, around 3 years ago she had a slight stroke, she became afraid to stay alone at night, so she called the EMT's over and over again, nothing was wrong, so they started charging her $600 each time, that ended that, we swooped her up, moved her into an AL near us.

Well, guess what? She is no longer afraid and loved being in AL, activities, new friends and she doesn't have to lift a finger. It's a win, win!

She was also refusing cataract surgery because she was alone, she lived 700 miles from us, at age 95 she had both eyes done, she was thrilled with the results!

Keep in mind we caretakers do not always need a front role seat, we can sit in the back and watch, worked for us.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to MeDolly
VickieS Apr 6, 2023
Thank you. Your last paragraph hit home.
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Sounds like dementia is setting in, to me. Disable mom's car and lose her keys. Then tell her to call 911 when an "emergency" crops up and give her the number to order groceries locally which can be delivered.

You may be surprised to find that once you leave her alone to live life on her terms, the surgery may suddenly sound better and better to her. Be sure to set down those boundaries though, and stop rescuing her. And disable that car......once her options are seriously limited, her entire perspective is likely to change.

Tough love is often called for in such situations, I've found.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to lealonnie1

Your mom is being foolish. This is a pretty routine procedure. All you can do is tell mom once she goes blind she will be placed in a facility.

Stop speeding to moms house for emergencies. Call 911 and let them handle it. You can meet her at the hospital if need be but to race across town everytime she has a medical emergency is unreasonable since paramedics may really be needed and this will just delay her getting assistance.

I am glad you are going to start setting boundaries with your mother.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to sp19690
VickieS Apr 6, 2023
Thank you so much for your feedback. Very helpful.
I had cataract surgery yesterday with a lens inserted to correct astigmatism. I never felt one bit of pain. It took 20 minutes, and I was awake but relaxed throughout. I went home immediately afterward.

This morning I drove myself to the doctor’s office for my followup checkup. No glasses necessary. Everything is fine.

Tell mom she has a choice. She either has surgery or she stops driving. If she chooses to stop driving, you need to disable or get rid of the car.

Don’t wait until she kills herself or someone else, which is likely based on what you describe.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Fawnby
VickieS Apr 6, 2023
Thank you. I will share your experience with the surgery with my Mom
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I flunked the DMV vision test in 2019, preventing me from renewing my license in Calif. I freaked out and wasted money on "progressive" glasses that made my eyes roll in circles and did no good! Don't waste money on glasses!

I had the first eye done in June 2020, during Covid. I never had an IV before and was scared, and it turned out to be a 10 minute procedure where I felt NOTHING, and was back in bed with a blow dryer gadget keeping me snug and warm until I got driven home.

Next morning went to see Dr, who removed the patch. I could see like an eagle! I was so happy I cried! I drove myself home, loving the blue skies, white fluffy clouds and green hills...what I'd been missing for years!

We did the other eye 3 months later. I have permanent implants to see perfectly until I die. I'm still thrilled 3 years later, typing at my desk and looking at all the colorful impatients I planted outside my window yesterday, and my neighbor's bright American flag flying next door, making me proud to have Medicare and live in America!!

The procedure is nothing to be scared of, no pain involved, will make her happy and independent! It's the best thing I ever did in the last 20 years...I've never been happier. I treated myself to a new 4K 65 inch TV too! It's life changing and INCREDIBLE! I didn't realize how much I was missing. She's got this!

>Read this to your Mom! (I'm 69, by the way) Good luck!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Dawn88

Tell her doctor that she continues to drive and ask them to inform the DMV - in my part of the world they are mandated to do that but too often don't.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to cwillie

"Cataracts that are left untreated for too long can lead to severely impaired vision or blindness. The longer cataracts develop, the greater the chance they become “hyper-mature,” meaning that they're tougher and more complicated to remove. In almost all cases, early detection and surgery is the solution"

You need to tell her doctor she is still driving and request that he contact DMV. Or, you call them yourself. I have cataracts forming and been told ready in another yr or so. Can't wait.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JoAnn29

?Simple has to stop driving until she can see properly.
Is there a "must wear glasses" restriction on her Drivers License? If so and she is driving without glasses and is in an accident that can pose many problems.
Has she had a drivers test (road test) for her license?
If she can not pass then no license.
If she can not see then no car.
The question though is If she does have the surgery for the cataracts is she competent to drive. It sound to me like she may have some cognitive issues if she does not understand the ramifications of driving without being able to see properly.

You are well within your right to not jump out of bed at 3 or 4 am to go to her. She can call 911.
Next time she calls at that hour you can call 911 and give the dispatcher your mothers info, tell them that she is not feeling well and called you rather than 911.
Allow your phone calls go to voice mail until you want to answer them in the morning. (many phones have "sleep" or Do not disturb" settings)

the beginnings of more problems may start when she is no longer able to drive. You then will be driving her. I hope you set boundaries as to when and how often you will drive her around.
It might be time to look into Assisted Living where she can take a bus or van to the store on a routine basis.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Grandma1954

First, she needs to stop driving. Her Dr. should be able to help but if not, you can call the non-emergency police line who can assist. It is better to stop her now than after she injures (or kills) herself or someone else.

I was in a similar situation where my mother refused to take proactive care of her health. Her expectation was that someone would always be able to deal with anything but ended up having to call 911 so many times for help, they started to refuse to come. As I couldn't take care of her, we had to place her. Had she been proactive in dealing with her health, the situation would have been different.

Set boundaries now and don't back down. Her refusal to do anything should have no impact on your life. If she continues to refuse surgery, she will end up blind and incapable of caring for herself. If you can't care for her, let her know that if she continues to refuse surgery, she will end up in a long-term facility. She still may refuse but it isn't your responsibility, and she knows the consequences.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Mountaingyrl

Block her phone number for your rest and safety. Her car should be disabled until she gets the cataract surgery.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Patathome01

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