I do not know which is correct: ask her to come out of home, ask her not to be so anxious about every little thing? or accept her behavior's change? That optimist, kind, good-behavioured woman has changed, a lot.

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You’re not going to change her behavior. You can choose how to react to it. Do you think that this is grief or something more? I am so sorry that she is struggling and I realize this has taken it’s toll on you.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Find her something she can do. Being bored at home all the time will make anyone depressed, anxious, and pessimistic. The longer someone stays just in the house the worse they get.
Maybe try hiring a companion for her who will take her out a couple times a week. Start small like having mom go out to lunch once a week with the companion. You go to if that's possible to make leaving the house easier on your mother.
Once your mom starts going out of the house regularly, she'll start to look forward to it.
I've had elderly clients who were homebound for years not because of conditions that prevented them from going out. They were lonely and depressed. At first it was hard getting a few of them to even go outside. After a while we'd go to lunch, shopping, for drives, visiting, all kinds of things. They would look forward to it. The hardest part is the first step of getting someone out of the house.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

Asking someone to not be so anxious is a sure fire fail.

My DH will say to me "Oh, calm down!" When in the history of the world has telling someone to calm down has actually calmed them down? In fact, there is pretty much nothing worse my DH can say to me.

"Honey, what's wrong? What can I do to help you? Would you like a hug? A nap?"

Anyone of the above would elicit a much better outcome than demanding me to stop FEELING what I FEEL!

How many times has he asked me if he could help?

In 45 years, not once.
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Reply to Midkid58

Your mother may still be working through her grief - everyone has their own journey. COVID has also played havoc on people's mental health.

You can't tell someone not to be so anxious over every little thing - it doesn't work that way - I wish it was - I be in the land of bliss. Have your mom make an appointment with her PCP and if able, go with her. Have the PCP do a cognitive test, and have your mom talk about her anxieties. As previously posted - the anxiety could be dementia at work or just anxiety. Meds can be prescribed to take the edge of the anxiety.

I wish you both the best.
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Reply to cweissp

Hi Mahnoush

Your mom has lost a lot with the death of your father, her husband. Sometimes our identity is tied to the lost spouse, the lost job or home or position in life that we never quiet recover. It is a progression of life that can happen at anytime to any of us. You miss her. That’s understandable but she is perhaps lost in her new reality and no longer able to help you feel better when she sees you.

‘You posted under depression. If she hasn’t been seen by a doctor for the depression, they might help her to feel better. Exercise helps me while meds really don’t. Each person is different. She could have some other health issue that the depression masks.
I had an old aunt who went to bed when her husband died. They were extremely devoted to one another. They had no children. He called her wife. She called him sweetheart. Always.
When she was in bed immediately after his death she said, my heart, my heart. Everyone thought she was crying for her husband.
Several years later when she was taken to a cardiologist with swollen ankles we were told that she had had a heart attack. That it had been awhile since she had it. We then suspected that it had happened when he died, when she was in bed crying my heart.
She was a tiny little bird boned woman without an ounce of fat on her body it seemed. Always healthy, smiling and so pleasant. She grew dissatisfied with life. She would still smile and visit but there was a sadness about her. The loss of her husband changed her. There was nothing anyone could do, We weren’t him. While she was the one who drew us all to them, without him, she had lost her inspiration.
I read on the forum often about people being upset with parents behaving someway the poster finds unacceptable. It’s as if the parent is sick and tired, can’t care for themselves, yet their family is upset with them for not being happy to see them or not wanting to stop living the life they loved. The children want the parent to go quietly to the facility and not complain about it, After-all, if they fall. Someone is already there to pick them up. They get three meals. They just have to show up on time. They get a bath.. it’s scheduled. Etc etc. what’s not to like. they have been sentenced to old age. The children didn’t cause this. It’s not their fault. It’s just the way it is. Elders are expected to suck it up, whether in their own home, the posters home or the facility. No one wants to hear anything that makes them feel like they aren’t doing a good job. It’s very very hard to see our loved ones fail, or give up, It’s stressful., It’s tiring. surely, we think, there is something we can do.
Sometimes just a quiet visit is enough. A hug. Kind words. A phone call. Sometimes it’s not enough. There is nothing that will ever be enough it seems.

So when hard work (also good for depression) is no longer an option due to infirmity and the person has lost their sense of humor or desire for life, we turn to drugs. If drugs don’t work (and they really do for many) then we, the onlookers, have to accept that this is the new reality for them. Life is short until we reach this phase and then it can seem very long.

I hope your mom feels better and you can cherish her regardless of where she lives or how little she has to offer in return and do get her checked out in case she has conditions she isn’t aware of. Hugs
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Reply to 97yroldmom

It is somewhat important to know how old your mother is because dementia can look a lot like depression and visa versa. She could very realistically still be depressed over his death and the (probable) big change in her daily life, or she could be experiencing cognitive decline. If I were you I'd try to get her in to see her doctor. Someone should go with her, and if possible go into the exam room with her (she will need to sign the HIPAA paperwork to assign this person as her Medical Representative).

You can't "ask" someone to not be depressed or anxious...that's not how it is "fixed". Also, I would not accept her behavior change without first doing everything to figure out if she has a mental or physical health issue that requires attention and that actually might have a cure or therapy. If it is dementia, short-term memory loss, or cognitive decline this needs to be confirmed so that you know what you're dealing with and how to help her -- she will need more and more help for everyday things. Based on the results of her physical, you and your family should have a meeting with her to discuss how to best help her in future days.
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Reply to Geaton777

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