My mom who is an otherwise physically healthy person broke her hip twice. She fell as they were packing to leave their independent apartment due to being isolated and locked down. They moved to another facility that does not lockdown because they are strictly independent apartments. This is their first move from their home of 30 years which will be closed on next week. My Dad is 91 my Mom 77. She was not cooking, cleaning, yard work, paying bills - my sister and I had been doing all of that at their house. She maintained she was depressed since her sister had suffered a very unexpected stroke that left her unable to communicate or care for herself and she thought she was having stroke symptoms too. Doctors disagree. My dad is blind and physically challenged moving around. She fell trying to get out of bed in the hospital and when she got to rehab after a week did the same thing and had to have another surgery to make repairs. She called us and cried everyday in rehab, bring me home I will do therapy there. We brought her to their new apartment and she sat down and has not moved. She will not participate in therapy, shower, dress, NOTHING. Taken her to a psychiatrist who is working with her and medicated her for depression but she just does not try at all to participate in that either. She can barely get around even though it’s been 3 months since her surgery. When I ask her to take walks during the day she says she does not want to hear that. How much is depression and how much is her letting us know she does not like the new situation, which my dad loves since they have meals, no more medication reminder worries, and house cleaning every week. Anyone dealt with a situation like this?

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Re the 2 broken hips: I haven't seen recent statistics, but looked at some yearsago when my mother had 2 hip fractures (but not so close together as your mother's fractures). The stats re recovery and morbidity were pretty bad at that time. Three months post-surgery and with no much rehab are not good signs for significant recovery. That your mother is not getting around well is not surprising. You've said she's not doing very much at all.When you had the planned-for in-home PT, did your mother refuse to participate when the therapist came? I do not know the logistics of this, but if you could find another rehab facility, might she do better if herdoctor could send her back?

I know this sounds far-fetched, but I was in 2 different rehab facilities within a shirt time period when I had a re-injury (which I think occurred at the first facility) and had to have surgery again two days after I was discharged from the first facility. The first facility was well-known and had an excellent reputation, but I was totally miserable and received very little therapy. I selected the second facility myself, and it was a terrific experience. I made a good recovery. I know your mother would not want to go back to rehab, but it really might be better for her. I also had tons of in-home therapy, and I did it, but it's sometimes much harder to have as much incentive when you are at home and hurting. In a rehab facility, you usually want to work hard so you can get out!
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I think that anything we can say would be guessing. When you look back (you gave us such a complete write up) do you think that there was ALREADY some depression? You describe someone who already stopped at home, no interest in home and garden. Then the moves. Then the falls. It is really taking a huge slamming by life in times of covid when we are ALL feeling closed in and depressed.
You don't mention her spouse; they have started out in all this with a big age difference. Was he already somewhat debilitated? If so, a move to independent living where there is more they had to do for themselves might have been difficult.
I think you are looking now at someone who has been so injured, likely with so much pain, that there is nothing to look forward to other than a long slow slide into oblivion for them both.
You have rightly got the assessment. Mom is now on medication. It can take as much as 2 weeks to work on the depression, and there is often, understanding this is anything but an exact science (as a doctor told me), a search for the drug cocktail that might help.
I am so sorry. This is not an easy life passage. I am 78. I get around relatively well, garden, walk daily, do home, etc. BUT it doesn't get easier. There is more and more aching and more and more a feeling of time compressing and it being just one more day. You aren't there yet, but really talking to elders you may get a feel for what they experience.
You are right there and doing all you can. Remember there is only so much you CAN do. Allow her to say what she feels. Don't negate her feelings about this difficult time for her. Tell her you understand as much as you can without being there. Tell her that you will do anything you can to help. Quite honestly there might not be a whole lot more you can do.
She may think now that moving into your home (s) would help her. That is very unlikely imho.
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AlvaDeer Sep 2020
And no, people don't break their hips to send some hidden psychological message to you.
You can’t help someone who won’t help themselves.
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77 is really relatively young. I know that if all this was happening to me in 10+ years, I would be angry and depressed.

I would imagine that some of this is the fact there is quite an age difference in mom and her hubby. What didn't seem like a big deal 50 years ago now casts her in the role FT caregiver and she is still young enough to want to have some semblance of a life (just guessing).

My DH is only 4-1/2 years older than I am but acts 20. We are going to be entering retirement planning soon and I am going to INSIST on couples counseling with him. We married and I was way too young and that has come back to bite me--I had to grow up along with 5 kids.

An antidepressant that isn't showing signs of working in 3 months is not working. Back to the doc for a uptick in the dosage or a new med altogether. Some talk therapy may help her decide how to move forth.

She has a lot on her plate--moving and 2 surgeries and just the garbage-y way the world has been this year as affected EVERYONE.

Probably mom just isn't listening to you at all. My kids don't listen to me at all. A disinterested 3rd party would be helpful.

And I agree with the lingering after affects of long term anesthesia. I had my gallbladder out 24 years ago and it took me 1 full year to get 'ok'.

What works for one person with depression may not work for another. And you indicate she wasn't fully functioning prior to the broken hips? To some people, depression is the 'norm' and they don't KNOW how to be 'happy' (or rather, functional).

While I treated for cancer last year, I kept so busy it was nuts. But I didn't want self pity to overwhelm me, as it wanted to. It was VERY hard to get up each day, feeling like trash and make a day be worth the living. It's worth it, but very hard to do.
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Dexpression is real and some medications have really bad side effects, even suicidal.

Breading your hip or any other part of your body, really hurts and is painful and the older you get the harder for your body to mend.

I doubt your mom is playing, she is letting her true feelings show and that us she us not happy.

you really can't help being depressed and pills make it worse.

if sge can't live with you, you need to explain that to her snd you need to show extra live and visits and phone calls to helo her get over her dexpression.

She also needs things to do to keep busy like puzzles, pain by number, listening to music, go out to eat, family members visiting. Activites when she's able like Swimming, Going for a walk in the park, coming over for dinner, ect.

Juse put yourself in her shoes and do what you would want done for you if the situation was reversed
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If I were 77 and broke my hip multiple times with surgeries plus having to move, I would be depressed too. However, your Mom is also seeing your Dad in decline and she doesn’t feel that great herself. She is obviously a “fall risk” too. She knows that and it could be part of why she doesn’t feel like a shower. I saw this happen with both parents. They dreaded getting a bath. On some days, walk her to the bathroom and let her just take a “sink bath”. Give her a washcloth and soap. Since she can stand, she can wash her face and neck, underarms, and “below”. Give her some time. After this COVID mess is over, things will most likely get better. She has had a lot going on. 77 really is not the new 67 either. I don’t care what they say. Younger people come up with that stuff. Some folks are just luckier and have better genes. You sound like a good, loving daughter. All the best to you. Give her a few more months. If they can afford it, have someone come in to help out.
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My god, that poor soul has had so many setbacks to her life. Who on earth would not be severely depressed - that is quite normal. Perhaps knowing it or not, she has given up and wants to pass on. Change is difficult for older people and some never get adjusted to it. I am a victim of so many things - I became totally disabled 12 years ago and lost everything I ever had and now live in Assisted Living because I can't walk. While I can still drive, handle l00% of my affairs, still work (51 years on a job I love), have hobbies and do all kinds of things (I ignore the horrible constant pain), I am heartbroken - body and soul - and no matter what goes on, I realize I no longer want to be here but am for one reason - my beloved kitty. I have given up. What she is feeling is normal. Leave her in peace and don't fight her wishes.
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You wrote that "She was not cooking, cleaning, yard work, paying bills - my sister and I had been doing all of that at their house." Well, then, your mother was certainly NOT independent in her own home if you were having to do all of that "stuff" for your parents.

So, clearly, your mother started having mental health issues before this recent episode.

It could be depression - or it could be dementia. I don't think dementia should be ruled out, since lack of interest in personal hygiene and inability to manage one's financial affairs are classic symptoms of dementia.

It is a common phenomenon in seniors that they believe that "if only" they can get "back home" - whatever that means - that all will be well, and their previous level of functioning will return - even though this belief is irrational.
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Addendum - I disagree with the comments above that state or imply that "77 is young." Life expectancy in the US is only 78 overall - for male & female averaged. (Check out the statistics.) If our bodies were still "young" at 77, we would not have so many people dying by 78.

Most people in this country die between 70 and 80. (Incidentally, that has not changed since Psalm 90 was written in 1440 BCE that stated, "The days of our life are seventy years— Or even, if because of strength, eighty years.") The current median age for Alzheimer's disease onset is only 62.

Some people have exceptional genetics that enable their body to age more slowly than others. However, the reality is that very few people at 77 are able to be as fully independent as when they were even 67.

In addition, a string of health crises and general health bad luck will cause our body to age more rapidly than otherwise. So, a person might be very "aged" at 77 whereas another person might be more "youthful" who has not experienced a lot of health crises.
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Blaire Sep 2020
Re: Is 77 "young" or "old"?

Dragonflower is mostly right: 78.5 years is the average US life expectancy--at birth. But the life expectancy of the average US 65-yr-old is several years longer:

"[M]en in the United States aged 65 can expect to live 18 more years on average. Women aged 65 years can expect to live around 20.6 more years on average." Ref:

Why: The average 65-yr-old has survived many causes of death--infant mortality, childhood disease, adolescent suicide, military service, workplace injuries, etc.

It's so hard, knowing what to accept and what to try to change. That old Serenity Prayer stuff. Life expectancy is definitely a part of the equation. Do your best, Abell, and then take care of yourself. The only way. Sending love, stranger.
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Some levels of depression cannot be fixed with medication. Sometimes, a person gives up and wants to pass away. When that happens, nothing can fix the situation, and that's the truth. If your mother is 'young' or 'old' or somewhere in between, it doesn't matter. If SHE has given up the will to live HER life beyond this point in time, THAT is what you're all dealing with. Going for a walk doesn't sound interesting, nor does doing physical therapy or exercise of any kind. Allow your mother to live the rest of her life on HER terms, that's my suggestion. Just because you think it's a good idea for her to do XY&Z does not mean SHE thinks it's a good idea to do XY&Z. We try and try and try to save our loved ones from themselves, but we simply cannot do that.

If your mother truly is depressed, then her psychiatrist will medicate her, the medication will take effect, and she should be willing to get on with life. If that doesn't happen, then you'll know she's given up. You can always have a heart to heart talk with her to see where she stands.

My mother is almost 94 and continuously says she wants to die. Who am I to tell her that's 'wrong' or she 'shouldn't' feel that way? She's the last man standing in her family of 8 siblings, her husband of 68 years is gone for 5 years now, she's in chronic pain & suffers from all sorts of debilitating health issues. When she says she wants to die, I tell her I understand where she's coming from, but that decision is up to God, not me or her.

I don't know what your mother's situation is, exactly, but to me, it sounds like she's given up. If so, let her know that you understand and will be there to support her and not force her to do anything she doesn't want to do.

If she's responding unfavorably to her new living arrangements, then she should acclimate at some point, which they all seem to do once the newness wears off and they make a couple of friends.

Wishing you the best of luck dealing with a very difficult situation.
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