Follow
Share

I'm new here. Mom is 80, lives by herself about 1/2 mile from me, has a new Dr, and I am her only caregiver. She broke her hip last June (2017) and I have noticed an increase in her anxiety. Mom has always been a "worrier", but now she is obsessed with all her aches, skin tears, bruises, hair on her arms,... everything about her. She just can't understand why "they" won't tell her why her hips hurt all the time, where did this bruise come from, why does she take so long to heal from a little scratch,.. frankly, it's exhausting for me.


On her first visit to her new Dr, moms BP was very low, so the new Dr changed her daily meds and set up a Cardiologist appt. Now mom has a new cardiologist who changed the meds a little more- really nothing changed except one was removed and one was increased. I have been filling her weekly pill box, and she says she has been taking them like "I" say. She frequently goes into a panic because she can't remember what all of the pills are for, so I made a spread sheet with pictures and what the meds are for and put it with her pill box. When asked about the picture, she says she has to move it to get to her pills, but doesn't understand what it is. (That may be a passive/aggressive issue for another question)


The new cardio Dr is also wanting her BP taken two hours after meds. I set an alarm on her phone, text her everyday to make sure she has taken them and show up at her house to take her BP 2 times every day. We have been doing this routine since 7/31 and it has been successful by varying degrees.


I talk of these changes to see if maybe that is why her anxiety has ratcheted up. I know any change in routine can be upsetting for older folks, but it seems her mind is consumed with all the normal aging "ailments" and can't accept that as the answer. When she starts to worry ...about her hips hurting, or whatever, it causes a snowball effect that she gets stuck in until I can come and calm her down (in varying degrees). I had spoken to her previous Dr about her increases anxiety, but she didn't think she, and Mom wouldn't agree to, an anxiety med. I've just been noticing how much worse this has been getting.


So the question here is, how do I get the new Dr to understand the real story and help my Mom?


PS: This could fall under many topics.

Thank you all. I do have POAs (for about 10 years) and all the Drs have her medical directive. Her new Dr is in the same practice so all of her records are there. Mom is on an AB for UTI (5th day) and there haven't been any changes so far. So, I am going to consult with her Dr and see if Dementia Eval is an available option and go from there. Thank you Sunnygirl 1 for pointing out that the anxiety may be home related, that hadn't occurred to me.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to lovemymom42
Report

I agree with the others based on my experience. It sounds like the beginning of dementia. Best of luck to you and your mom.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JuliaRose
Report

Oh, honey! You have my sympathies!

In retrospect, my mom's uptick in anxiety was the first symptom of her cognitive decline. She couldn't understand some many things, just as you describe.

This led to her not being able to live in her home; we moved her to a nice Independent Living facility; there was a geriatrics doc who come twice a week to see patients; he referred mom to a geriatric psychiatrist who also practiced on site. It was she (the psych doc) who insisted that we get mom a complete cognitive evaluation, which revealed mild cognitive impairment.

She got mom on a low, but regular dose of antianxiety meds, which helped a great deal.

Get your mom a full cognitive workup!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Actually, what you need to ask the doctor is when you can have Mom evaluated for dementia. Anxiety, forgetfulness and obsessions over normal things that suddenly seem abnormal are the first signs of this disease. She doesn’t seem able to handle taking her meds on her own even though you’ve given her a pictorial chart. So, since she’s on her own, there really is no constant supervision over what she does or doesn’t do. Also, if you haven’t transferred all Mom’s records to the new doctor, do so ASAP.

You may may want to consider having a health aide come in to make sure all is well if you can’t be there. I know it’s not an easy thing to accept because I’ve been through it (3 times) but for Mom’s well-being, it’s something that needs to be done and the sooner the better.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

It's my understanding that you don't need a release or Healthcare POA in order to provide the doctor with info. He can't give you info, but, you could give it to him. So you might provide him with a note or letter detailing what you are seeing regarding her anxiety. But, if she is not that way when in his presence.....I'm not sure he would do much about your concerns. I might try to get an appointment with the doctor so you both can go and speak with him at the same time and provide him a written letter explaining her anxiety in detail, so he can discuss it with her and determine what treatment is advisable.

I have family members who obsess over health concerns too, and they refuse to take anxiety medication. It's frustrating.

I might also explore if your mom is more anxious now for any particular reason. IF she is struggling with taking her meds correctly, even though she has a box for it, it could be bothering her. I know that one of my LOs got very stressed, anxious and worried. At the time, I didn't realize that it was because she was struggling to do things in her home that she could no longer do, like working washer/dryer, operating tv remote, preparing food, etc. She had cognitive decline and it prevented her from doing her daily activities like before. She was embarrassed to tell me, so, she hid for a long time, but, she was suffering with anxiety and depression.

I'd keep close watch and make sure that she is able to function and that she's not overly stressed due to that. And of course, have them check her for UTI and medication interactions.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Sunnygirl1
Report

I think Mom has more than age decline. She maybe in early stages of Dementia. Just call the doctor back and tell her Moms anxiety has worsened. This could effect her BP. Being anxious all the time is not good.

If u don't have it, now would be a good time to get POAs, if u don't have them, while Mom can make that decision.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report