Follow
Share

Hi! We have my 82 year old mother living with us -- small apartment off to the side but attached and opens directly into our home. We are beginning to see more consistent signs of anger, depression, loneliness, etc. We think it has to do with the fact that she is homebound -- rarely gets out, etc. She refuses to keep normal schedules for sleep or eating...she does have a home health aid who comes three times a week and that is great but we know she needs more. Just looking for some references or guidance on what we could do to brighten her days or convince her that she needs a more consistent scheduled? She's nasty lately and upsetting the house. Starting here ....thanks in advance!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Wonderful suggestions.....wonderful. Thank you !
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Remember the old saying about bringing the mountain to someone....

So she's been a "social butterfly" but changed after your father died. She won't go to the senior center, so try to bring some aspects of the senior center to her.

Find out if she can get Meals on Wheels; even if you cook for her, it creates limited interaction and they come to her. My experience is that they're very kind, caring, sensitive and helpful people. When my father would return from a rehab stint, he was always anxious for them to come. It was a easy, comfortable relationship - they came, brought in the meal and he chatted with them for a bit.

And he didn't have to go through the ordeal of getting the walker or rollator and lugging the oxygen concentrator (well, actually that was my ordeal, but it was a lot more than just greeting someone at home).

His Senior Center had visitors who came out as well; so does the VA (if her husband was a Vet and qualified for care).

Even though she has a dog, she might benefit from more visiting dogs, especially therapy dogs. See if you can find an organization that could provide that.

Ask her opinion on flowers that are in her line of sight. Bring her into decisions and make sure she understands that you want her opinion, as an active member of her family. Ask her what she'd like for dinner, but don't just ask "what would you like?" Give her two choices, one better than the other, so she does get to make a decision. Help build up her confidence in herself, which may have been lost as she's become more reclusive.

If she's religious, find a church of her denomination and see if they have friendly visitor programs (but no proselytizing, just friendly visits).

Do you and your family have guests? Include her in the conversations. Does she have any interest in art? Even if not, try some painting yourself and ask her opinion.

If she starts making decisions, she takes a big step from being isolated and not having to decide anything.

It's going to take a lot of effort to turn her friendly ship around and get her involved, but start slowly and make changes if something doesn't work.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This site is aa God send...truly. Thank you all for the input and guidance!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I’d call the doctor and discuss what you’ve observed, make the appointment, and on the day of insist on taking her out, maybe to lunch or an errand and end up at the doctors office. I’ve surprised my dad with things I insisted on home doing and heard the griping. Later I’d overhear him brag to others “my daughter made me do it, she takes good care of me” after I only got the complaints! But if you think she’s going to resist the doctor visit make it matter of fact and another errand. It really sounds like she could benefit from a good med for mood/depression
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yes. Do. There is something going on, and at least it'd be a start. Please keep in touch, I know we all feel for you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you all so much....I think the doctor visit is one thing I must do. We have fish for her -- she has a dog who hangs with her all day and just loves her to pieces....we have strategically place gardens (flowers and vegetables) right outside her unit -- she has a little deck -- barely uses it though but can see everything from her windows too -- also have numerous bird feeders because she loves bird  - we have also placed our chicken coop so that she can see them and their activities...literally most things my husband and I have done have been with her in mind. She's always been a social butterfly --- but once Dad died 13 years ago she began to drop her friends -- won't go to senior center because she hates "old people"....shes not as mobile as she used to be but we can get her out of house -- problem is we make plans and last minute she cancels ...no matter what you say or try to do she's nasty and negative -- it's exhausting. and then of course tells me constantly I talk to her horribly , etc. etc. I will admit sometimes I just close the door and walk away for my own sanity. I have a full time job -- with lots of responsibilities and staff -- I have a husband and a 15 year old son -- lots of balancing here. She does not see any of her behavior so even broaching the subject turns into a mess.....
Should I just call the doctor - make an appointment and just bring her??
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with the Medical work-up and trying different things to see if she’d enjoy them. Even walking around a local mall (bring a wheelchair if she has impaired mobility). But be prepared for the fact that Mom, if she wasn’t before, isn’t going to become a social butterfly if you put her in a social situation and tell her, “ok, Mom, now make friends!” My mom was a negative social recluse and she would have punched me in the nose if I’d told her that.

However, as we age, it’s very difficult to accept that “this is all there is”. Media shows us the perfect Senior couples who are handsome/beautiful, perfectly coiffed, stylishly dressed, lunching with friends, traveling, golfing, enjoying a glass of wine while each sitting in a separate bathtub and holding hands at sunset ( Viagara or Cialis ad). Then we look at the mirror and as in my mom’s case, we think we don’t recognize ourselves any longer. We may have had to leave our home and rely on the hospitality of one of our kids. Our mind and limbs don’t work at all like they used to. Life, to put it crudely, sucks. We tend to take it out on those around us and while we don’t intend to be, we are perceived as being nasty old people. That’s for sure not what we wanted to end up like when we were in our thirties.

If you and Mom are so disposed, what about a kitty? Much less work than a dog and pretty good listeners as well. I have four and when I have conversations with them, they all confer with each other as to what the best way is to handle Mom’s latest crisis du jour.

. I’ve seen this from both sides and I hope you can find some way to make Mom feel better.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Is there a Sr. Center nearby or an Adult Day Care you could take advantage of? My in-laws doctor said that folks that live or visit with other seniors do far better than those that live at a family members home. I'm not suggesting you move her, but provide her with situations where she is with people that understand her and have shared life experiences.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Daughter's answer is so important to heed.

My Mom was so horribly depressed, it was actually scary. She's been to a Dr. And had a work up. She was found to have a UTI along with a plethora of other issues. But the one most easily fixed was situational depression. 10 mg of Lexapro, and she bounced right back!

I'm wondering if Mom might have an interest in a small garden out back? She directs, you plant? Or a pet? Maybe a fish tank with some exotic fish. Decorating them is fun and the lights on them are beautiful as well as soothing. Try to put some other forms of life around her. A pair of love birds perhaps?
She can pick flower seeds and together, you guys can plant them in pretty decorative pots she chooses. If possible roll her outside for some sunshine and bird watching.

This is kind of jumbled up, but I'm sure you get the gist. Best of luck, hope she's feeling better soon! Please let us know.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I’d start with a visit to her doctor and before going give the doctor a heads up about what you’ve been observing. Sounds like she needs a complete assessment to see what may be going on, including the possibility of depression. Is she home bound by necessity or choice?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter