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I am an only child doing my best to visit my mother every other day, cook for her, listen to her complain how lonely and miserable she is. She lives in her house, which is not fancy but nice. My mother doesn't have any grandkids, just a 56 year old daughter who is doing her best. I talk to her about going to a nice Assisted Living facility in our area. She doesn't want that. She looks out the window of her house and sees life moving forward, but since she had a small health issue last December, she has given up. Up until then, she was sooooo active. My father has been deceased for 15 years. I only stayed with her one night and that's the day he passed away at home. Very strong and independent (well, use to be). She has had so many loved ones and friends die, and I really never saw her cry. She never dwelt on things or too much of a worrier. If something happened, it would upset her and then move on. After she had that health scare last December (fainted with a bleeding ulcer we didn't know she had), she hasn't been the same. She doesn't go anywhere, but to the beauty parlor once a week. It takes her hours to do that. (not physically but in her head). She worries about everything. She use to love watching tv (soaps, Dancing with the Stars, etc). Nothing. Just kind of lays in the bed. I'm not a doctor, but I think she suffers from depression and an anxiety disorder. I have gotten her some meds when all of this started, but she will not take them. She says she will be a zombie. I have a wonderful husband, but I am not going to burden him with all of these details. When he sees her every several weeks, she said she looks good. She does. Truly, the problem is not physical. Sometimes, I just need to share this with someone who is experiencing similar things. My colleagues are all young so I really don't have any one to relate to. Thanks for the forum.

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Try to convince mom to take the meds. She says she’ll be a zombie because in her day, psychiatric meds were only for the truly crazy people in institutions who needed sedation.

Things have changed! Doctors don’t want their patients to be zombies either! Explain to her how meds can help her feel a little better and take the edge off of the anxiety and depression. Assure her she is not crazy and meds are much safer and common now. It’s obvious she is unhappy... tell her how much that hurts you to see. Present it as “I love you and hate seeing you so sad, and I really think you can just try the meds for a little bit and see how it goes.” Good luck.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 6, 2019
Thank you; I sense your compassion.
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I sympathize! I am 52, an only child, no kids of my own. My mom sits at her home down the street drinking wine and lamenting about her horrible life. She's only 77 but in pretty bad physical shape and can barely walk. This is because she's been a shut-in since around age 69 when she started drinking heavily and ran off all of her friends. She unplugs the phone from the wall, hates TV, music, holidays, laughter. She sits in a dark house all day sipping wine. It's been horrible for me to absorb all of this and be her only outlet to the world. I also try not to burden my husband. We have a great marriage but I gotta tell you, if his mom was doing this for so many years, I believe I would insist that we move away. It's so unfair.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 6, 2019
Wow! I finally found an only child who knows. I am sorry you have been dealing with this for much longer than I. I agree. It is horrible for our mother's and us. I cry alot in front of my mother and alone. I pray alot too. I ask for His peace, strength, guidance,love, and most importantly, his forgiveness. She says she wants to die. I tell her that she doesn't really want to die, but she is not wanting to live. Neither one of us can really figure out what happened to her thinking. With her physical health being good and her siblings living into their 90's, I told her I don't know how long I can have the strength for she nor I to live this way. I still have the strength both mentally and physically. I am very healthy, thank goodness, and I have lots of energy. Thanks for listening.
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Your mom is suffering from depression and the answer can’t be for you to somehow be the fix. She needs an updated medical exam and meds for her condition. I hope you can convince her to go for this. Sadly, if she refuses there’s little you can do and it may be time to back away a bit. Maybe tell her this, that you’ll only help if she gets some help, and see if that provokes her being willing to go. Best wishes in this, not an easy one
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Allowing someone who is severely depressed to dwell on their troubles is unhealthy. If you will, it wears a rut in the brain so that the person is more prone to negative thoughts. It's a self-perpetuating cycle.

Mom needs professional help. She needs meds and perhaps a social worker to speak with. She needs someone who knows how to challenge her wrong thinking in a healthy way.

At this point, you are enabling her misery. If she doesn't have dementia, getting up and leaving when she starts in on her tale of woe may shake her up. Insist she see her doctor.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 6, 2019
Thank you
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This is such a sad thing to watch happen...our parents out living all their friends. Especially when they still live in their own home. Are there senior centers in her area she could attend....or would she refuse? Would she at least visit a local retirement community just to "see" it..no obligation on her part...and maybe the community could have some residents show her around and talk with her on her visit? Assure her there is NO obligation for her to move....just check a few places to see what is our there. My mom died quite suddenly...2 1/2 months after finding out she had metastatic cancer. She still lived in her home near me (she had moved to be closer to me). When she died I think all but one close friend had died but she kept busy volunteering for her church and going to her local senior center. She even drove her sick and dying friends to doctors and hospitals! I know she was becoming sad at losing all her friends. It is hard to watch. I wish you and your Mom all the best.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 6, 2019
Thank you for your reply. I have talked to her about the Retirement Community but she is not interested; not interested being at home by herself either. Just a hard time in both of our lives right now. I saw my father die with Bladder Cancer, but this is harder. Thanks again.
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I think we share some similarities. I'm the same age as you. My mom is going on 85. She lost her sister just a few months ago, and only has one good friend in town, who doesn't drive so only visits if I pick her up. Mom isn't good about answering her phone before it stops ringing, and can't seem to master checking messages, so misses out on calls from her friends in other towns. Or maybe she doesn't answer on purpose - those friends are still living independently and perhaps she doesn't want to hear how much they are doing...I'm not the only child, but might as well be since my brother is AWOL most of the time. Mom is in a NH with plenty of activities and people on her level, but while she used to have interest in making friends, she now seems to be depressed about her situation and just watches TV alone unless someone comes to get her and takes her out of her room, such as for meals. I asked at the care plan meeting for someone to encourage her to join in for games (she used to love Scrabble), cooking demos (she used to love to cook and still watches the Food Network), etc. Things she should be interested in doing, she just isn't anymore.
I found out recently that she is having trouble seeing clearly. She finally admitted this after months of not saying anything. I have asked to have her eyes checked and to get her some glasses. She doesn't wear glasses now, but maybe that is the root of the problem...
BTW, my mom also had a bleeding ulcer due to overusing pain meds (she has bad arthritis) and as a result spent a month in the hospital. That was the point she had to move into long term care. She had to leave her apartment in an ambulance and never got to return.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know I read your post and can kind of relate.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 6, 2019
Wow! Yea we seem similar. It is a sad situation to see once vibrant people giving up . They want to die but they don’t want too either . Good luck
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Misery loves company......in this case, YOUR company. I'd stop visiting daily & crying with her, helping her amp up her pity party to the max! Tell her you're more than happy to help her when SHE is ready to start helping HERSELF. She can do that by agreeing to start taking her meds, as a first step. Until then, you're done visiting daily; she can call you if she's in need of anything urgently, of course.

I too am an only child who refuses to enable my mother in ANY way. Her drama & histrionics have been a huge burden for me my entire life (62 years) and I refuse to play into her antics anymore. I managed to get her on Wellbutrin back in 2011 when she refused to leave her apt after an illness b/c she felt 'ashamed' and like everyone was talking about her behind her back. The meds DID help quite a bit, but it's still been one thing after another since then. She's now 93 in January. I wound up moving both of my folks into Assisted Living in 2014 after dad broke a hip and rehab refused to release him back to independent living. That was THE best decision EVER, because dad passed in 2015 & now mother is taken care of and she has social stimulation, activities, etc.

In my mother's case, the ONLY thing that works is tough love from me. Anything else backfires and keeps me jumping through fiery hoops and getting nowhere. Like a hamster on a wheel.

Your mother may need some tough love too, since commiserating with her every day isn't helping. Get her to start taking her Rx or get her back to the doctor for another workup. Otherwise, stay away for a while & see if she comes around to your way of thinking.

Best of luck!
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 7, 2019
Thank you for your words .
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I don’t understand why people still have a stigma about meds. Sometimes it’s necessary. My mom would not go to the neuropsychiatrist to see about meds. She has Parkinson’s disease so she would have to make sure the meds would not interfere with her Parkinson’s meds.

I don’t know if it’s attributed to advanced age and not being able to be as active, a huge change in lifestyle due to her having Parkinson’s disease but anxiety got the best of my mom. Depression wasn’t a huge issue.

She did not have the energy to go anywhere other than the doctor. My mom would do beautiful crafts and participate in craft shows, volunteer, visit others, etc.

Then as you say, doing nothing! Not even the senior center for lunch. Everything wore her out because she is in her 90’s. I think they are bored and idle minds lead to chronic worrying.

Anxiety happens to all of us with legitimate concerns. Depression too. My therapist has explained that to me. He said that I had situational depression when I was the primary caregiver to my mom. I had anxiety also. Caregiving causes a lot of stress. Mom lived with us for many years and the whole family took a hit. So, I applaud you for not wanting to overburden your husband.

Assisted living sounds like a great alternative for your mom. My mom moved in with my brother and sister in law when I couldn’t do it anymore. The weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders! My anxiety is so much less now too. I have normal concerns now. The extreme anxiety is gone.

This forum helped me tremendously and I am forever grateful. So lean on us. We are here to help if we can or just listen if you need to vent.

Take care and best wishes. It really is hard to watch a parent decline. Especially since your mom was a positive person before which leads me to feel that her depression and anxiety is not situational as it is for some of us.

Let us know how you are doing and if you are able to resolve your issues with your mom. Hugs!
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 7, 2019
Wow! Thanks so much for you kind and supportive words !
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H'm.

I think it might help to go back a bit and see if you can't find the end of the thread, so that you can start untangling things. What caused the ulcer?

It's often overenthusiastic use of over the counter painkillers. If so, then of course you need to ask... why did she need regular pain relief?

Meanwhile, bear in mind that your mother's having real problems, a reason why you and we should and do sympathise with her, does not mean you can solve them! Quite often you can't; and then although you still sympathise you definitely want to cut back hard on efforts and sacrifices that just won't help her.

Your mother is 88. There is a limit to how well and how happy you can expect her to be, you know.

And don't make the mistake of thinking that psychological and physical difficulties are distinct from one another. Very often they are tightly intertwined.

Since she was forced into contact with the medical profession last year (I'm guessing she's not habitually a fan?!), what have her doctors had to say about her health in general?
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 9, 2019
Thanks for your replay. Yes, you are right. I am not 88 and I don't know how that feels. I am 56. I am a patient person; very. I am a teacher. That being said, when you are a person who is a problem solver and fixer, and you can't fix this problem, it really hurts. I hate, really hate, that she is miserable with her life. She use not to be. She didn't abuse pain killers. She would just take a 80 mg aspirin to keep from having a stroke. When she had that little health scare, it made her finally realize her own age, mortality, all of the deaths of friends and family that she never dwelt on, and alot of regrets. Alot! So, I just pray alot, cry, talk to her, visit her, cook and take her food, and keep putting one foot in front of the other until something changes.
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This is tough for you. I’ll throw out some suggestions. Get her out of the house more, perhaps lunch 2x a week or dinner. If she isn’t cooking for herself, maybe meals on wheels during the week. It gives them a visit from someone and something to look forward to. What about a companion that could one afternoon a week to play cards with her, or maybe you can get her to attend a senior center. My mother would not do that but your mom might. My mother doesn’t like Rx drugs and I had to intervene with the doctor to find something to help her with her anxiety after a very bad fall. This can be a slow process to get them feeling more like themselves. I am still working on it.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 9, 2019
Thank you for your input. It is a slow process. It has been a year on the 12th of December. It is still bad for she and I, but I have learned what to do and not to do that really upsets her. I try to get her out of the house, but she really doesn't want to. I told her she and I would go out of town, get good meals, shop, and spend the night. She says that sounds good, but nothing. I really miss who my mother use to be. We use to hang out and shop, laugh. She'd cook for my husband and I. Now, nothing. Most days, she lays in the bed and worries, or is jealous of the people (who are mostly younger than she) whose lives are moving forward. Part of her problem is that she doesn't like being 88, and she is very lonely. I see her every other day, and I talk to her on the phone countless times during the day to try to give her some company. What she really wants is to move in with my husband and I, and that would never work. I tell her, and have told her countless times, that that is not an option. I really have no desire to live to 88 years old. I guess I'd be as miserable as she is.
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I too am an only child with no children in a VERY similar situation with my mom who is 84 and has just been diagnosed with vascular dementia, only I am doing long distance care-giving. She has MUCH regret, laments the past and all who are now dead (family and friends), has lost her ability to handle her own finances (her main job), and feels hopeless with nothing to live for, won't take medication, and doesn't want to live either. She won't, won't, won't do anything to help herself, as well. So I feel your pain and can understand only from my own perspective what you are going through.

To share: What I have learned so far is that I must remember that she now has an irreversible disease of the brain. With dementia, the executive function of the brain is broken and they CANNOT remember, cannot plan nor do complex things, and they CANNOT help themselves nor what they are doing, even though they desperately want to and may (or may not) know it is difficult or irritating to me/others. So they become stubborn, anxious, irritable, and push back against everything and everyone because they are trying to hold on to their independence and control as much and as long as they can. Many, including my mom, will not take medications. The reason is usually because they have seen other loved ones or friends who were over-medicated in assisted living and nursing home situations and don't want fall victim to that. Heartbreaking.

Tough love and /or reasoning does not work with dementia patients...they often cannot remember what they did, even a few minutes ago, nor what they are doing or why they are doing it. So many losses they are facing: often they are deeply depressed about having lost the dear family, friends and people they know and love. They also experience profound loss of their previous capabilities and abilities due to the disease they have, and as a result the try to hang on to as much control as possible. They no longer feel needed and that they are just "in the way" with nothing to live for.

I have determined that my job is to love her as she is now, be as involved with her as I can and allow her to do what she can and help with the rest that she cannot do. I do my utmost to treat her with respect, dignity, and honor... the same way I would want to be treated in a similar situation ("do unto others...") and try to work around these difficult issues with her as best I can. I have also realized that we are now in a different season of life and her personality is now different than the mom I knew as a child. But I believe we can still have a good relationship - just different now.

Here is a very good list that I received from CereScan.com/conditional/Alzheimers that has been very helpful to me. It is serving me well and I keep it posted by my phone as a reminder:

Living with Dementia:

1. Agree, never argue
2. Divert, never reason
3. Distract, never shame
4. Reassure, never lecture
5. Reminisce, never say "remember"
6. Repeat; never say "I told you"
7. Do what they CAN do, never say "you can't"
8. Ask, never demand
9. Encourage, never condescend
10. Reinforce, never force

I would also recommend reaching out to the Alzheimer's association in your area for someone to discuss available resources for your situation and various ways to handle it.

I am praying through it all every day, too. Day at a time...

Best wishes to you
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Geaton777 Dec 9, 2019
L&H, that's an AWESOME list. Thx so much for sharing it!
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I'm so glad to read that you will not move her in with you. She has a romanticized notion of what that life will be like. She may not be "lonely" but she might start feeling guilty of the extra effort she's put on you. I'm also an only to a single mom and even though we are happy to help her she often feels terrible about needing it. She's still independent but we've had some fruitful conversations around this topic. She never had many friends but if she had, they're all passed on by now. She's 90. I hope as time goes on, she'll remember what we've discussed and agreed upon. ;-) May you have peace in your heart as you help her navigate the coming times.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 9, 2019
thank you for your kind words
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Your post is so beautifully written HelpPlease1963. It seems to me that your Mom is loosing Her will to Live. Can any Person imagine how tough and awful it must be for Our Elders to out live all of Their Family & very special Friends.
I witnessed this situation with my own Mother and it is very tough on them.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 9, 2019
Thank you for your kind words . What in the world does age do to the mind . It is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to be so strong for, and my dad died with Bladder cancer; life is good but boy can it be a challenge to .
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Does your mom like being around people. I would see if you can visit a very nice ILF or ALF. See if you can just bring her to some activities. She will hopefully love it.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 10, 2019
I would love for her to do that. She use to but now she has outlived her "friends" and the ones left won't have anything to do with her. Sad, sad. Thanks for your input
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Why are you doing all those things for her? My friends father is 87 living in an assisted living home. He is rich and doesn’t have to be there but he likes it. He is a Casanova at his age and has a girlfriend there. They watch movies, eat together and do things with other couples. One of his friends is a 100 and gets around very good.
My mother was put on anti-depressants at 83. She said her mind cleared up and that she felt foggy before. She was put on Wellbutrin. It helped my husband a lot too. Your mother says medicine will make her feel like a zombie. Well, she is acting like one. Your mother is depressed and is taking advantage of you. If she wants to live alone let her get help to come in. You shouldn’t be going over there so much. My friends mom is 90 so you could be doing this for a long time. Medicare or social security will pay someone to come in 15 hours a week to give you a break. You need to use tough love. Give her a choice.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 10, 2019
Thank you for your input
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My mother became very depressed after my youngest sister’s death (dad had passed six years before and she had just gotten out of that depression.) she was on anxietyAnd depression medication but she barely left the house unless it was with me or my sister. Would no longer go to the senior center or out with friends. She gave up and saidShe wanted to be with my dad and sister. She passed away a few years later. Doctor said it was failure to thrive. We tried everything to no avail (attend doctor’s appointments for med changes, offer to have her move in with my sister in an in-law apt, calls from friends and relatives to stop by or go out for lunch, etc.) We had to accept that we couldn’t change her and could only try to be there for her. Very hard.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 10, 2019
Yes, it is very hard. I think you summed it up perfectly. I had always heard about newborns who were not held or cared for had "Failure to Thrive", and yes, I do believe that sums up my, once energetic, fun-loving, mother, to have deteriorated to the point of Failing to Thrive.
Thank you for your input.
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Do a Few things During the Week but don't Be so Hooked to The Hip and an Enabler. Focus on you now and your Hubby, You both are NOT getting any Younger.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 10, 2019
Thank you
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does your mom have internet? I found that switching the landline mom had to internet and got her a magic jack so landline wise she has the capability of using the same phone just a different number. Like less than 5 people were calling her a month. The switch out increased monthly to around $35. I purchased her a smart TV. The abundance of channels, YouTube to watch cooking or whatever. I bought her a firestick with alexa built in so she can ask questions all day. Just a thought.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 10, 2019
She is technology illiterate; she use to love to watch her soaps, Judge Judy and laugh, and the Bachelor. She only turns on the tv when I come to see her, which is every other day. thank you for your input.
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Gm, I am the owner of an a ALF, I see this happening everyday. Clients don't want to leave their comfortable environment. If your mother is alert you may have to sit down and really explain to her that she is not a burden, but you can not care for her without the experience. Tell her that you care enough for her that she either spend her income on homecare ( which will become expensive) or go into an Alf to get the correct care that she needs, not all Alf's have bad people. If she decides to have homecare her income will become exhausted and when it's time for Alf she may not have enough to live off and the next step will be a nursing home ( which she has to be qualified for), and if she is not be able to stay there, she may have to move in with a family member. This is an important matter, you also can explain this to her doctor that she is not capable to live alone and he/she(the doctor) can write an order to your mother that she has no choice but to move or get help at her residence for her safety. I would not give my mother that option because I have experienced my residents having no more income after homecare and they was just floating through the system and getting denied help. You have to be honest with your mother, because she doesn't see the big picture, just choose an Alf wisely, look for the Best Care more than the best room. I would not advised to let her visit a Alf until she comes to some agreement after the doctor talks with her, because she will find everything wrong with the Alf and you will find yourself moving her over and over, she may also need to see a psychiatrist, this transition may change her mental condition and or behavior, there is nothing wrong with talking with someone besides you, this will make her feel involved and she won't see rush. Let the doctor know so there can be an order written. Sometimes they acted out because you are family, an experienced Alf will take good care of her, you just keep your promise to your mother and I think she will be ok. She will make you feel bad through this process but this is part of the transition, this process is not easy but you have to not give up, just know that this is better for her health, you have to stand strong and stay with your word. Let her doctor know how you feel and let them explain, because you are family she will think because you are not experienced and think you are just trying to get her out of the way. She won't listen through you, let the doctor explain to her the dangers of not taking her medications and concerns of living alone. She is going to be mad at you but that's tough love and she will eventually come around, you are doing this out of love and she will eventually thank you. I hope this helps you and your family.
Good Luck!
Don't give up😊
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 10, 2019
Wow! profound words. Thank you.
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Suggesting going to an Assisted Living Facility directly is like talking into the wind, sometimes. Useless. As was in our case. We had to build up the case FOR AL emphasizing all the benefits she would gain from the family's view point. More time together, live closer, more frequent visits.. even though none of them may be true while at the same time building up the amenities of the facility ( social interaction, outings, games, in house physical therapy, dining room, pool, library, inhouse hair salon, weekly manicure, laundry/ dry cleaning sent out, house keepers weekly, bed made daily, medications given as ordered by physician, on site nurse practitioner/ doctor ). It took us about 6 months, then toured them through a couple of facilities to find THE ONE. And we've been blessed where they are. My husband's parents who have early ALZ are in a CCRC meaning they're in a facility where they will age in place. The facility offers independent to assisted living to memory care all on 66 acres. Both suffer from depression as well. Therapy has helped mom immensely! Almost as much as the medication.
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HelpPlease1963 Dec 10, 2019
Thank you so much for your input.
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Try to contact Social Services, Churches organizations that Adobt a Granmother, ect to get her some visitors. Have her enrolled in a daily outing with a Senior place where she can be picked up from her house a few hours a day. Take her to visit a few Senior Assisted Live In places so she can see for herself that she could make friends, play games, socialize with people her own age and not be lonely.
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I think your mother may be depressed. Please take her to see her doctor and explain how she is acting to him. There are medications that are not too strong that will help her.
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There are very nice Independent Living facilities that offer assisted living services. I think the older generation doesn't know that there are actually nice living accommodations and they are not like nursing homes. You can take her for a free lunch at most locations so she can get a feel for how it is. I think it doesn't hurt to tour one and maybe take her when they are having a residents event. What I found out with my grandmother, is they don't realize they actually want friendships and were missing it. These residential homes have all types of activities for the elderly to enjoy a good quality of life. She is probably depressed, and that is why it is worth looking at some senior communities. You might want to even tour by yourself first...
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Your mother has reached a point where she needs a little 'help' to get over the rough spots.

I fought the doctors re: putting DH on Zoloft until the day I saw him so depressed and his head hanging down from worries. The Zoloft helped him his last year on earth. I had no regrets as I had to allow the Zoloft to allow him to continue living his last year.
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My mother refused to move to independent/assisted living no matter how hard we tried to convince her. Last February she fell and broke her femur and that changed her attitude. She finally decided (on her own terms) that she would move into a facility and to our surprise she has turned into a friendly socialite which also shocked us because we always considered her an introvert. She has been on antidepressants for about 10 years so that may have helped. The hardest part is trying to convince them to move and it is almost impossible if you are close family; they seem to respond to the advice of strangers more.
Good luck and remember, there is still hope.
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Hey, you're still young too! Agree with what you said, that it sounds like mom has depression for starters, and maybe she has stifled her feelings of loss all this time. You cannot make her do anything, but you can control what you do. Find some resources and offer them to her; offer her to take her to the appts if need be. I'd suggest finding out who a good geriatrician is as they may be more cautious and better able to explain about meds or a psychiatrist who knows the meds better or a psychologist who can work with the regular MD.
I'd also be aware of looking at what resources are out there for supporting her at her own home. Assisted living is not for everyone.
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I hear you - my mom is 93 and has outlived 8 of her 9 siblings, almost all of her friends and two of her 4 children. She's very clingy with me - and some of it is my fault. I've tried to make her happy and FINALLY realized you can't make anyone happy...especially someone who is narcissistic. She' back to living with me but has really gone downhill this past year. I'm a single homeowner, work full-time and at 59 have my aches pains and am slowing down. It's hard to do it all and I plan to have a come to Jesus talk very soon. She is going to have to do something because she no longer drives but doesn't want to really go anywhere or do anything. But gets "testy" when I want to socialize. I'm single so my friends are basically like family. It's tough and sad to watch her decline so. She was always a very independent, proud woman. I want to get her on some meds as she seems depressed but I know he will not take them. She seems to have lost her enjoyment of anything. It's a sad, tough situation. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas and God bless all the caregivers!
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leslie2l Jan 6, 2020
Texasgal,

It sounds like you and I have the same Mom. I am 55, work full time, and am single.
I find it impossible to be or do whatever mom needs and I live with anger and resentment most days. Do experience this? I want to enjoy her, but she is miserable, depressed, negative, and has nothing to talk about. I feel like I am nothing more than her gopher.
When i finally bust and tell her this, she'll behave for a day or two and then back to the same.
I think i would be patient and more caring if her behavior was age related, but she's always been a narcissitic, controlling person. Shes never been social, very critical of other people, so really no friends. No hobbies. It hurts my soul to see such a wasted life.
My sister and i have tried and tried to make her happy as well. I finally realize- like really get - that no one can make someone else happy. So now, I want to do what makes me happy, and when she gets testy when I go out or dont include her - well, im not going to sit at home watching tv all day just to keep her company. I can honestly say that having her live with me has just about ruined my life, and very much has changed my personality.
How do you deal with the day to day living with your Mom? Are you able to not lose yourself?
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Sounds like depression and maybe some delayed grieving. Please take her to see her usual doctor. He/She may prescribe antidepressants or get her a referral to see a geriatric psychiatrist. Look into grief groups in your area - GriefShare is one that I know of that is peer-to-peer weekly meetings to deal with grief. Many churches have this type of group available.

As far as human development (from my RN psych classes), she is at the stage where she needs to look back at her life. She needs to feel that she is leaving a legacy or has made a contribution to society. Talk with her about what she would like to be known for. If she feels despair about this, get her involved in the community in some way.
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Well written letter and like others I completely understand where you are coming from. I am dealing with the same thing with my 95 year old dad who doesn't want to get up let alone go outside for any reason. I wish that I had some answers for us but I can only sympathize. He has outlived his friends and as an only daughter I am the only one around and do all that I can. He doesn't like watching TV either, just stares out the window for entertainment. We talk and talk when I go there but run out of things to say, Since his memory is not as good as it once was (but he is still sharp) I often repeat the same things. Lots of people do not understand why you don't just put her in a senior's home...but I do . All I can say is good luck and enjoy your time with her. I sure wish that I still had mom.
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All I can say is I wish I pushed my mom into assisted living when she was in better shape as her quality of life would have been so much better. TV is not a good daily companion. Find a good place that people living there enjoy. Tell her to try for 3 months afterward she can come home. Most places are open to the idea of helping transition. Find a tiered place so if her needs become more she can age in place if possible. Good luck!
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