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1. Get psych eval,
2. Detach with love. Easier said than done, but the sooner you realize what you can (and can't) control with this situation, the happier you and your husband will be.

Been there...done that...life is now much better.
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THanks, Eddie, for your words of wisdom. :-) Wayne You sound very intelligent and it seems that you've been around the block a while. :-) Wayne
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Re:she still refused to do anything

Sounds familiar! :-) Wayne

I wanted her to have home health care continued; I wanted to help her move about more. but all my efforts have failed. If I can't get somone to move about more than it's out of my hands. After they are gone, I can, with a clear conscience, say "hey. look, I tried to help them". no one can take that away from me. Look, I've gotten very tired from doing caregiving for 16 yrs now. I've never been married. Have no kids. I feel that my life belongs, somehow to them. I feel like I'm in prison. I live in a gated community, so I feel like I'm trapped here while I'm at home. All around, not good.........not good. I don't even have a chance to follow ice hockey anymore. Oh well, this too, shall pass. I've become emotionally disconnected and tired. Physically drained. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. :-) wayne
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Re: gotten so that she wanted everything done for her

Boy, now, does that sound familiar! :-) LOL Wayne
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Lost Ma a year ago, but, before she died, she'd gotten so she wanted everything done for her. I couldn't, since I was also caring for my husband, who was in worse shape physically than she was. Plus, he wanted to help himself and she did not. I managed to get her into a nursing home, but she still refused to do anything, put out a DNR on herself, and sat around waiting to die. I had to let her be that way. Honestly, what could I have done to change it? What can you do? Nothing. She's an adult, and has chosen to be this way. Mental illness aside, even those suffering from depression can begin to help themselves if given the right tools. Sounds to me like you've been supportive, kind, caring, helpful, but now it really is up to her. I know it hurts to watch someone you love decline because they will not help themselves. It hurts until you feel guilty for not doing what they want you to do.

Even if you did take her in, care for her hand and foot, and did exactly what she says she needs, she would not be happy. The ONLY person who can make her happy is her. So do yourself a favor, make sure she's got the care she needs, rather than what she wants, and then take care of yourself. Have some fun. When the guilts set in, tell yourself firmly that you've done everything you possibly can, and you have a RIGHT to your own life. :D
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its a changing world. there are more demands on our time than at any point in history. the days of dad mowing and weedeating 3 acres while mom makes the house sparkle are behind us. some of our senseless habits have to go. smaller, more effecient and sensible homes will be a good start. i know im getting old and tired. i operate from a priority list and if your drivel isnt on my list it aint going to get done. spin like a tasmanian devil if you choose but im going to go clean my bike carburetor..
old people preserve their energy for the things that are important to them. nothing wrong with that..
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Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime.

Translation: give them tools so they can achieve a modicum of self-reliance. Then walk away and see how they manage by their lonesome. At least they'll never say you never tried to help. ... Actually, they might say it anyway; just to keep playing the victim or for the thrill of b___g about something. It gives them a sense of purpose sometimes.
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y mom hasw been bed ridden for m,onths now. Claims that she will fall if she gets out of bed to use the bathroom. Claims me and dad are too inept to help her. If she can't help herself out of that bed there is absolutely nothing I can do. She had home health care p0hysical therapy. She failed miserably. Wouldn't and didn't want to do the physical exercises that were prescribed. Now she is without home health care. There is nothing, I, as a caregiver can do. I just fetch and carry for her all day long. Have a great weekend! I know I will. LOL :-) Wayne
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There is probably much more going on with your Mom than is evident to you. I agree that a psychiatric evaluation is a good thing. Perhaps with the right medications, her quality of life will improve.
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Wow, you don't have to take care of her 24/7, and she's in an assisted living place? Wow! My Mom is the same way, but she lives with me. Sorry, but I need to vent. I get to see this day and day out everyday. She doesn't do anything for herself, won't see a doctor, won't take vitamins. I hope you find some answers. I've given up.
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sounds like my neighbor who is 85 that I help her. She loves the attentions she gets if she want do anything for herself. I have tried and the last 10 yrs she said she is dieing but she is still here. Her doctor said she ok except she does have a pacemaker and RA. She has an aid that comes 2 times a week and an nurse once a week. I take her to doctors appointments and I gave her my advice but she has one friend left that is her age that they call each other and compare their illness. If you have something wrong she has it. I give up so now I just give her love because that is what they need now is someone who cares for her. The attentions she craves and people that will come and see her.
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Akasun may just be right. If she has always been like this, why would she change at this point? Get her checked out physically and mentally. After that, I think you can rest easy that you have done your best to help. That is all any of us can do.
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Rhonda,
You say Mom has been this way most of her life, and everyone here is talking about a good psych evaluation. That is an excellent idea. BUT, let's back up a moment. Has she ever had a really thorough physical examination? Has her vitamin B levels been checked? How about her thyroid function? Either of these being off kilter can cause depression like symptoms. Is she on medications and if so, has anyone taken a good look at what she is on, the dosages, and if they might be the cause of her problems? I would highly suggest beginning with a thorough physical examination with blood testing, then going ahead with a pysch evaluation. Things going awry with the body can and do affect the mind/brain.
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You've done what you can do. It's hard to accept that your mom is leading the life she wants to live and you should have that privilege, too. AL facilities can only do their best to get residents involved. They can't force a person to participate, though they try their darndest. That's why you often see people parked NEAR some activity. That's probably as far as the staff could get them towards actually participating.
I've suggested, pleaded, shouted, cried for my dad to do something other than sit in front of the TV and whine about how bored he is. I now realize that he either won't or thinks he can't and the result is the same either way. Now I just refuse to listen to him complain about his boredom. When he complains, I tell him I can think of a dozen things for him to do, so if he's bored, it's by his own choice and I won't listen to it.
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You cannot. Until someone is wanting to change the behaviors in question, all you can do is stand by and wait. The only person you can change is you.
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You mention you mom has been like this her entire life; as such, it is not likely she is going to change at this point. Certainly you might get a mental health check-up but you mention she has been on and off medication for much of her life but medication requires she take it faithfully. It may be a little late in life for cognitive talk therapy, but it is worth a try.

I have had several residents who had similar issues. Family brought them to our facility and talked about how much they hoped they would become involved with all the activities. I always asked if they had always been social and when the answer was " no, she always kept to herself" I tried to get them to understand that she was unlikely to change now.

You have done your best here. You have found her a safe, comfortable place to be that provides her with the option of socialization. The rest is her choice.
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Ronda, the heart of it is that the experience of "life" is not the same for everyone internally though it might look similar externally. The very fact that you are even able to do the things you'd rather not do shows a level of mental health and energy that you mother simply doesn't have. The reason why she doesn't have that could be depression, hormone imbalance, vitamin or mineral deficiency, any number of things. Definitely evaluation physical and mental is in order!
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Sounds like your Mom is the star of her very own pity party. How about planning a day out during this beautiful spring? What might motivate her?
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I would definately say a psych good evalsounds like it's in order (not a 15 min "prescribe a pill" doc visit), and maybe even a round of therapy if it is affordable ("nothing to lose" could be the answer to "there is no point"). That she is in bed when she doesn't know you are coming means it isn't JUST a sympathy ploy to manipulate you guys.
We had a similar issue with my Grandmother becoming more and more house-bound, after my Grandfather died, finally spending most of her days laying in bed staring at the ceiling. Fill in the blank for all of the (bogus) excuses of why she couldn't do this, couldn't do that, or why it was "impossible" for her to do something else. After 10 years of this inactivity finally her hip broke. She's in a Board & care now that doesn't take "I don't wanna" for an answer (they were told by my Aunt that it was OK to be pushy with her). She is also now on anti-depressants. She is doing much, much better now that she is NOT in charge of her own ship. While she isn't back to where she was 15 years ago, she is much better than when she was living on her own.
I would say that
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@MishkaM. Maybe I didn't use a good analogy. There are days any of us don't feel like doing things, be it going to work. It's called life. We pull ourselves up by our boot straps and do it anyway. So I am not really talking about myself, but I am talking about how people should handle life. It's not healthy to curl up and vegetate. We make our life what it is, we don't wait for others to come by and do it for us or it will never happen. We take responsibility for ourselves, or we should. She is captain of her ship, not us,and it is going amuk by her own doing. It's a sad thing to watch but our encouragement s have done nothing, coz she has to be the one who decides to get up and do things. We do go check on her at random times, when she has no idea we are coming, only to find her in bed with the lights out.
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yes, my Mother in law, is in Assisted Living. She rarely goes down for meals. She has a Kitchenette, so there are some things she can eat without going down for meals. However we strong encourage her to go,down for meals and meet people. The facility does check on her to see if she is going down for meals, but they don't force it. This Facility is awesome at encouraging fun activities. When we brought her here, it was our hope that she would have responsibilities and could enjoy what time she has left, but thriving she is not. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink?
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Hi again, just a thought but could you be suffering from depression? You mentioned not wanting to get up and out of bed. Sometimes, I think, that when one has their own depression but manages it better it is hard to watch a loved one with it who is NOT managing it well. I think it is a mix of -"if I can get over it why can't you" and also sadness at seeing the loved one falter. - and maybe also fear that they could end up like the their loved one who is faltering. Just some thoughts. Also -if meds aren't working could you try to add Abilify ?-I think that is the new drug that helps boost anti-depressants for drug resistant depression. BUT-I also think that Abilify can have some harsh side effects so be cautious. Again, good luck!!!
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Your bio says your Mom is in Assisted Living. I thought most of these places urged the residents to get up and out. Does she go down for meals? Can you visit immediately after the meal so there is a chance of seeing her in one of the public spaces?
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Thanks for you input. She has been like this most her life. She has been on antidepressants off and on to no avail. We recently put her on another antidepressant but she hasn't been on it long enough to see results. A Pscych eval. May indeed be the next step. I don't feel like getting up and going to work, or to clean my house etc...but I do it anyway. She succumbs to these emotions, and would love everyone to wait on her 24/7. We contest that it is not healthy for her to live this way, and we are not going to be an enabler. Very difficult balance to have. My husband is extremely frustrated with her.
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Hi Ronda- may I point out that if she is not mentally healthy than she is NOT healthy. I would try and get a psychiatric evaluation done to see what is going on. Sounds like depression which is a serious medical condition. Try and be patient even if frustarted. I know , easier said than done. Good luck !
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She isn't sick, in fact she is very healthy, just not healthy mentally.
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She loves to be "sick" and she wants to die. She won't get out of bed, though she can, she won't walk, exercise, participate in events. She lays around and does nothing all day inspite of our encouragement s and telling her her daily activities are detrimental to her health.
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I don't think there is a blanket answer for this general question.

What kind of help is needed? Why won't the person accept help? Is dementia or mental deficiency involved?
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