My Mom (76) has not gotten out of bed, eating properly and denies depression. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mom (76) has not gotten out of bed, eating properly and denies depression. Any advice?

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She is 76, formerly very active in her community, Rio Rancho, headed up numerous boards (Indigent and Senior Citizens and volunteered at her local Sr Center. Since Jan 2014 she has complained of stomach pain and nausea and most recently dizziness. She has taken a colonoscopy, endoscopomy (sp?), and has been to an ENT and audiologist and they have found nothing .She lays in her bed or on her sofa, does not shower and barely eats. I live in Omaha and unfortunatly cannot leave to go there. My husband and our family have tried in vain to get her to agree to move up here, and she is not willing. She states that she doesn't feel well enough. She is prescribed Lexipro and Lorazapam , however we are not certain how much she is taking, and she has a multitude of other physotropic (Isp?) meds from previous perscriptoins she may still have laying about and may still be taking .Her neighbors /friends to the store for her ,get her mail and clean up after the dogs in the back yard. She only eats toast and cereal and sometime Ensure and Apple Juice. Please advise what assistance your agency can provide to her. I love my mother dearly and we want her with us. (We live in Omaha NE)

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There are a lot of good answers here. I agree that calling adult protective services (through your social services office) is likely the place to start. It's wonderful that your mom has good neighbors - she's more fortunate than many - but it does sound like she needs help and is too ill to get it. Whether that is from too many prescriptions or some other reason, she needs a professional assessment.

Please check back and let us know how it's going.
Carol
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this sounds like a problem with the meds. my mom has vascular dementia and was on anti-epileptic drugs for the shingles (many different ones) - she would not eat or get out of bed. we thought it was her dementia advancing. it was the emergency room doctor who told us to get her off these anti-epileptic meds - we had my mom back to herself within days. your mom needs an evaluation like mentioned in earlier reply. is one doctor prescribing all of her meds and is she using one pharmacy? they need to get on the same page. you might consider hiring a management care company or geriatric care manager - they are private and can get expensive, but it is worth it - these services can be written off as medical expenses on taxes. they have a staff of nurses, social workers and caregivers and homemakers. they are great when the elder does not live near family. they can do an evaluation and they can bring in a nurse to review the meds in the house, go to doctor with your mom, etc.. google for these services in your area. hang in there...
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Is it possible for you to make a trip to see how she is doing? I would go unannounced then you are likely to get a more realistic picture. Or as diane suggests call Adult Protective Services in Rio Rancho to stop in and check on her.

AgingCare is not an agency, it is a resource to find help and support for those of us providing care.
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nformation on financial aid and local benefits programs in Nebraska for the elderly, ...

Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA) | Answers4Families

www.answers4families.org/...aging/eastern-nebraska-...
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Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA) 4223 Center Street Omaha, Nebraska 68105 (888) 554-2711 (toll free) (402) 444-6536. Programs and Services ...
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Other responses are good. I suggest instead of telling her what you see ask her questions about her days, be specific about how the activities she is no longer participating in are going. When she responds that she is no longer participating reflect back to her how hard it must be to be missing out on her life when she is so young and vibrant. As questions about her parents and their aging process and get her to share openly. Talk about good you have enjoyed during your visit and ask her if she had tried it. Instead of telling her about her decline get her to reflect on the things that she used to enjoy. It might take several weeks to move her from denial into action but you will get no where challenging her denial directly from your perspective. Get her talking about living her life and you will get further.
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It sounds like, for whatever reason, she is no longer able to live alone. I realize that you aren't there. In my mother's case, a bath lady called an ambulance and she was taken to the hospital. But - she is 95. Anyway, the doctor stated that she was no longer able to live alone.

As you know, the more that your mother lays around, the worse she will feel. Perhaps all she needs is fluids and a good diet (and exercise) that she would receive at a rehab facility.
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The nausea and dizziness will probably be from the meds she is taking and this will be made worse if shes not eating a good nutritious diet She is probably a bit depressed and also lonely . In my experience most doctors will just prescribe more drugs . They tend to treat the side effects of one drug as being a new symptom and people end up on cocktails of pills. Try and spend more time with her if you can Possibly stay with her for a while and see if she improves . She really needs a good friend
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This happened to me. My mom lived in another state. Each day I would talk to her on the telephone and she sounded 'fine'. Yet, she wasn't taking her meds properly, etc., etc. People who no longer can live alone have a way of sounding fine and/or hiding the fact they are experiencing loss of memory, etc. They use certain phrases to make their children believe they are okay.

I didn't know she was losing her meds and/or not taking them. /she wasn't eating, either. She would lie on the couch and fall asleep for the day with the television on. (Somehow, that made is okay)

Also, if she's in bed all day, she may not be eating properly. YOU or someone with the authority need to talk to her doctor and ask him what type of meds she is on and if he believes she is okay. Then tell him she's in bed all day. He will in all probability send out a visiting nurse to see what's going on.

Then, you need to go visit her (there's no two ways about this) and see what's going on. You also need to go in with her when she's visiting the doctors to hear what they are actually saying to her.

There's a lot more going on here than what she is telling you.

Believe me, when our parents get older, they devise ways of hiding stuff from us in order to keep their independence.
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Also, just because she' been placed on psychiatric drugs doesn't mean they are the right ones for her. I know there are doctors who prescribe these drugs to their elder patients, but in my experience, only a psychiatrist (preferably one who has been trained in geriatrics) can prescribe the correct drugs, doses, etc. Drugs alone don't help. She also needs talk therapy, etc.

Once again, she will not get better staying in bed. She needs exercise, good food, and positive influences in her life. She needs to know she's not alone. She needs to see good doctors who understand the elderly body.

You are hearing only what SHE wants you to hear. How is she getting her groceries? How is she cooking them? Is she a danger to herself, i.e, can she use the stove properly if she is depressed and weak (one would imagine she is also weak. Is she getting enough hydration? Look up Geriatric Care and Geriatric Psychiatry to get more info.
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We have recently changed to a doctor who deals specifically with the elderly. He is wonderful. He took my Dad off 7 meds including lorazapam which is NOT a good drug for the elderly. This is what alot of doctors do, is continue to medicate instead of getting to the real issue. I would also considering getting at CT scan of her abdomen to make sure she is not having some blockage, or intestinal anneurism (sp?)How far away do you live from you mother, so you can make a visit, as suggested above? If it is an employment issue for you, if you have worked at the same job for 12 months, your are entitled to the Family Medical Leave Act. I think you need to see for yourself what is going on and your mom will be happy to see you.
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