My Mom has withdrawn socially; she doesn't answer telephone calls and doesn't like going out for any activiites. Advice?

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She does like going to church on Sundays but that's about it. Should I force her to get out of the house at other times. Every now and then I can get her to go out to a restaurant with me. She doesn't talk much at all so I'm kind of alone but yet she is out of the house. Thanks

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The "Hear-and-care" comment immediately above is probably on the right track as hearing loss often triggers a change in behavior by causing the person to withdraw from people and activities simply because they cannot hear what is going. The odds are also high as 30% of seniors and 50% of people 70+ have hearing loss. More importably there are so many solutions now available to give them back their life. I agree www.hearingloss.org is a great place to start for help.
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Your mother might have untreated hearing loss and might benefit from hearing aids or other assistive listening devices, or a captioned telephone. There are studies that show links between untreated hearing loss and dementia. You can visit www.hearingloss.org, which is the largest consumer organization for people with hearing loss, for more information on how to find hearing aids and other technology.”
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Sherney2, I see in your profile that your mother has dementia. How long has she had it? Is it mild, moderate, or severe? Is this lack of social interest new or has it been a part of her personality for a long time? How old is your mother?

I think that she still gets out to go to church weekly is good. Is there some other church activity she might consider, on an additional day of the week?

An occasional trip to a restaurant sounds nice, even if she is not very communicative. Offering to take her out is good. Forcing her is probably not.

Do you think she might be depressed? That is treatable. But it may be just a part of her progressing dementia. It is worth discussing with her doctor.
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Sherney2, as some people get older and have more medical issues, they prefer the safety of their own home. Thus, going out can become overwhelming.

My Mom rarely goes out now because she can hardly hear even with a hearing aid, and her eyesight is so very poor that she can barely see in front of her. But she and Dad will do yard work to get out of their house and get some fresh air.
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My mother is the same way. She only wants to go to church and out to eat on Sunday now. She says no anytime I ask her to do anything else... then complains that she is bored. Sometimes I encourage her to go in the front yard to get out of the house for a while. She usually says no right away, but sometimes goes out later when she thinks about it. The lady across the street visits her sometimes when she goes in the yard. It always makes her feel better.

I think there are two things at work with my mother, who is 87 with spinal stenosis, diabetes, and dementia. She feels weak, so it is easier not to do anything. And she is not as mentally competent as she once was, so she avoids socializing. Other people are understanding and don't pay any mind to her lapses, but my mother probably feels awkward trying to act normal. She has a feeling now that people don't really want to be around her anymore, that they do it out of sympathy or obligation. Much of it, of course, is that she isn't making herself available to them because of the difficulty now.
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If she doesn't want to go out I wouldn't force her but try to encourage her. Maybe just for a nice drive through a park or an interesting part of town. Somewhere she doesn't have to get out of the car. But if she doesn't want to do this either don't try to force her.
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Take her to her Dr and discuss her new behavior..
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