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My mother is 78 and has lived with me for 17 years. This is going to sound absolutely crazy to most of you and while I'm thankful for being in a situation that's still very workable, it remains frustrating. Here's a little landscape: It's me, my mother and my 17 yo daughter who lives here. My daughter and I are very active and high energy, with lots of friends, I own two businesses and we both prefer to be gone a lot and active--golfing, theatre, whatever. Here's what happens DAILY that drives me nuts:

We invite my mother, she refuses to go anywhere or do anything and now it's to the point where she won't go even to lunch with us. She says repeatedly that she's happy taking care of us (and she does, all the laundry, cleaning, etc. for us) but I always say that's not enough. She needs friends. She needs to leave the house. She needs others.

She has hearing loss, a pending prolapse surgery, lots of deaths in family lately but swears she's not depressed. It's TV, books and one phone call a day from family who all live states away.

Tried taking her to the local elderly activities center which is awesome. she refuses. Says she doesn't like it. They go on trips, tours, she can volunteer. She won't go.

My daughter and I are at the point where we don't care to even include her anymore she's so stubborn on not going anywhere. I've tried to explain it puts guilt and unfair burden on us to worry about her. And we don't want to stay home and be bored all day, doing absolutely nothing. Don't want her to be alone but yet she won't join in or anything. Won't go to a picnic. Won't go to a movie. Won't go. No mental issues with her ever.

What can we do? How should we feel? What's going on really? Other than this she's active and reasonably healthy. I've even had personal trainer come to train her, she liked that but we cannot afford it any longer for any of us.

Sounds little probably but still driving me crazy.

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Your mom is making a choice, and you don't need to feel guilty about it. She has the option of going with you, but chooses not to. That's okay. Do watch for suicide signs, but likely she is just tired of doing stuff and is happy enough with what she has.

Hearing problems can make going out hard. If her hearing is corrected to the best place it can be, then you can't help that either.

The thing to remember is that elders have choices and we may not think they are the best ones, so we feel guilty, when in fact they are doing what they want to do.

Give her the option of going with you, make sure she is safe, and then enjoy yourself and let her be. Some of it may be stubborness, and just an invitation and then an "okay, just thought we'd ask," is good. Then, after a few times, she may decide she is the one making the choice and she may choose to go with you.

You are a good, loving person to be concerned, but only your mother can make the final decision.
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My mother used to be so active with our church, taking care of family, women's groups, shopping etc. Now at 80 she is done. She and my dad are mentally fine, health wise could be better but also could be a lot worse. But it's frustrating to me that she won't let me take her shopping anymore. What used to be fun to her is not fun anymore. I miss my 'old' mom these days, but she and dad seem to be fine. She isn't depressed, she's just tired of 'running around' like she used to. I guess I'd want to slow down and smell the roses so to speak too when I get old. My opinion, if she's NOT depressed, give her her space and some peace and quiet. You do your thing, let her do hers.
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If your mother has no dementia or mental health issues it is her choice to not participate. Go and do what you want. I know it probably makes you feel guilty, but you have made many offers and she does not want to do any of these things. Do you feel her hearing loss may be part of this? Has she had a recent hearing test? Does she need hearing aids? I know this may not be of much help, but there is only so much you can do. I know. I have an elderly mother living with me and she will not do anything either. Tried for a long time to get her to do things, but have given up.
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Wow - I am tired just reading your post (joke) I do wonder, however if being so caught up in doing, you are missing something important going on in your mom's life, that shouldn't be fixed by more activity - or a personal trainer. There is a stage in most people's lives when they decide that there is more to life than frenetic activity - - perhaps your mother is entering that contemplative phase. Perhaps she just wants to sit for a while and appreciate smelling the roses. She certainly doesn't soud as if she is holding you or your daughter back.

Frankly, I think your mother sounds fine - and you sound like a loving daughter who is concerned about a change. Having been there - done that myself, I think you might take some time to reflect on whether the constant activity and need to not be bored might not lead to your own burn-out. I now take time every day to have quiet time with my mother - she enjoys watching the antics of our backyard wildlife and smelling the flowers - and I enjoy the fact that I will always have these memories even after she is gone and I am old & grey(er). I am a better person for cutting back on constantly doing - *and* am more effective in my professional and civic life.

take care & be well. I am not judging, just giving you another view on how to look at things. Heavy load did a great job of covering most of the health & wellbeing checklist
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I am 52 yo and sound similar to my mother. I am a very active person, but prefer to be active in my own house, housework, music, reading, landscaping, filing, computers. It has taken me years to expand my ability to trust people, and if I did have trouble hearing or seeing, or found their conversation inane, I probably would turn down social activities also.

What you and your daughter do is absolutely fine for both of you, but as you age, you enter a stage of contemplation and don't necessarily need something or someone else to entertain you. I hate it when my husband and kids insist I go to the movies or dinner with them. It just isn't fun for me.

The only suggestion that I would have for you is to search the web for the incidence of suicide among the elderly. You will find the signs and symptoms of elderly who are at risk for suicide. But just because your mother doesn't enjoy the same activities as you doesn't necessarily mean that she is depressed. For your own peace of mind, research suicide and elderly and than accept that she is happy with living her life the way she wants (as long as she poses no danger to herself or anyone else).

At least that is my opinion. Everyone should have the option to livetheir life the way that they want.
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Why not let the mother do what she feels like doing? She is active around the house and says she is happy. It seems a well intentioned but misguided control issue - the expectation that the elder mom should take part in the activities the are the choice of the daughter. Respect you mom and let her decide what to do with her time. Whose life is it anyway?
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your mother sounds alot like my dad. When my mom's dementia wasn't as bad, they were both going to adult day care. But now, he won't and doesn't want to go anywhere, especially without her. As long as she seems happy with what she's doing, there's no reason to worry. How about having activities at home? Maybe throw a party just for her? Does she like that? Sometimes, just having contact with others is enough and it sounds like she's happy just taking care of you.
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Everyone has made such good points, but I just wanted to add one more thing.
you might also check if she is getting enough sunlight, and eating properly with real nutrition. Makes the world of difference.

THen, all that said, she has free will to do whatever she likes - even if it means sleeping till she wants to wake up and being a homebody. You can always bring back pictures on your cell phone to share....
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First thing to do is to make sure that you've done your best to help her hearing problem. The second thing is to try to understand your mother's hearing loss. When I went with my mother to the audiologist I learned something. I thought hearing loss for her was like when I listen to the TV and the volume is too low. It's not like that. There were certain sounds that she misunderstood. For example, when the audiologist said child, she heard mild. She didn't ask her to speak up. She thought she heard her corectly. Every case is different.

It makes a person look stupid, or disconected when in converstions with others they misunderstand what people are saying. It isn't worth the effort or embarresment to make converstion. When she cooks, cleans etc. she feels competant and succesful. Chit chat is so much work if you can't be sure what you are hearing is what others said. It's even worse if your mother doesn't know that this is what is happening.
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If you're goal is to have her come along, then you're probably going to have to think of an outing where she feels needed. I think she's hanging out at home because she feels productive and valuable there. It's a hard thing when you have to go places with people who are always better at everything than you! She needs to feel as though she's contributing as well. May-be if you told her you were going on a picnic and need her to cook for you and come to help serve. She might feel as though she were a valuable part of that day. We all need to feel important and needed. If you're as active and successful as you say (and I'm sure you are) than it would be very hard for anyone especially an elderly mother to feel needed.

She seems to want to stay in the place where she feels most needed and accomplished, which is home. Was she a stay at home mother while you were growing up? She may just want to keep taking care of her family because that's what she has always done, and she's good at it. It's a terrible thing when you grow old and feel obsolete, but it's a great thing when someone cares enough to make you feel important, useful and valuable. That's a healing for everyone! Even if she still doesn't want to go places with you, ask her to make your favorite dish (which only she can) or complement her on the way your clothes always smell so clean. The point is to notice her accomplishments with gratitude. You may notice a huge change in her as she begins to stand straighter and smile more. Best of luck to you and your family.
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