I need some new ideas for how to deal with my 81 yr old mother who is not really ill, has high blood pressure managed by medication, has received heart monitoring test results that say her heart is healthy but refuses to follow doctors protocol and is convinced that something serious is wrong. I have two sisters with full time jobs who live close by and I live 500 miles away in another state. Our mother has always been obsessed with her health. She is a widow having outlived 2 husbands. I am 61 yrs old. My sisters are in their 50's. We have tried to convince our mother that she needs to move to a facility that can assist with her health care but she refuses. She visits the ER at least 3 times a month and is always released and sent home. She is anxious but refuses mental health care. We are at a loss as to what to do. None of us could handle having her live with us. This is not an option. We have reached our breaking point. No solution is good enough. What boundaries have others made in similar situations? Do you tell your parent call the ambulance and let me know how things turn out? Desparate
They're also scared, the staff is friendly and the patient feels taken care of in our small community hospital, and they are given meds for pain. They like meds! In most cases, however, there is an underlying physical issue that needs to be taken care of, and usually is not, so they see the same patient again and again. We are grateful mil's physician alerted us to the problem so talking to your mom's dr or hospital social worker is a great idea.
I agree with akdaughter, call the hospital social worker and explain the situation (they may not give you much info regarding your mom because of HIPPA) however, you can tell them that you just want them to note on her record what you and sibs have observed (be specific) and ask if they can make a note on hospital ER admissions records next to her name to have them contact hospital social worker for consult. This should help. It is best sometimes if outside experts (social worker and physicians) can intervene on your behalf. Hopefully, she will heed the advice. Check what your legal rights are with DPOA. Preview some AL places and then narrow down to 2-3 and arrange to take mom for a visit -- see which one she likes and which ones will best meet her needs now and in the future.
Good luck! and hang in there.
There seems to be some complex reasoning going on for people who want to go to doctors. They often obsess on some small symptom until it becomes something major. Often the symptom is created by the way they live. For example, someone who sits in a chair and watches TV all day may get rashes on their back and bottom, or the pressure on their spine can cause back and leg symptoms. They can be resistant to advice that can help, e.g. get up and get moving. They hope a doctor will have a magic pill that will cure it. It doesn't help that there are so many advertisements now for pills and medical remedies on daytime TV. (I can't stand those ads that, IMO, should not be shown to laypersons.)
The only thing I've found that helps is to say that the ER is for emergencies only and what is wrong with them is not an emergency, e.g. heart attack, stroke, trauma. Then say if they want to go to the ER, you will not be there for them. They are on their own. My mother changes her mind fast about going to the ER when I say that.
The doctors saying nothing is wrong with my mother and me saying I won't take her unless something is really wrong seems to have worked. Unfortunately, now she feels the doctors don't care about her anymore. I think in her mind there was a confusion between a medical visit and a social visit.
I believe strongly in conserving Medicare money, so it bothered me to see my mother abusing it with her factitious illnesses. If everyone did it, Medicare would have gone broke a long time ago. My mother doesn't understand this. All she thinks is that it is free to her, so it is all that matters. This thinking bothers me a lot.
My only advice is to just say no and try to stick to it. You may find like I did that sometimes they will go behind your back. I hope that it works out for you like it did for my mother. I do not mind taking her to the doctor if she needs to go, but I don't want to take her for imaginary illnesses or attention-seeking behaviors.