My mom is 73, has high blood pressure and fibromyalgia type issues, but no other known health problems except maybe thyroid. She had a complete hysterectomy/ovary removal in her 40's. She sees her doctor every 3-4 months to get her prescriptions refilled. She has never been very active, except for gardening when she feels up to it. At this point, she is very housebound, but she has never been very social and has no friends who aren't online. I am really concerned about her because all she does, day in and day out, is sit on her La-Z-Boy in front of the TV or listening to music. She's in a spiral where she is extremely sedentary and she says all physical activity, even walking to the end of the driveway, makes her hurt because of her fibromyalgia she says, but she's so sedentary these days. She won't even try to be moderately active. Now she can't get comfortable sitting anywhere and can't sleep and seems to be in constant pain. I try to get her out of the house for a little activity like, going to the flower market, but often we have to turn around and go back home because she feels nauseated or gets bowel cramps just by walking around a little bit.
I'm concerned about her weight. She has never been very overweight in her life, but now seems to be very heavy, especially around the middle. I try to coax her to investigate how many calories she's eating, but she swears up and down that she eats healthy food and not too much of it. She seems to live on toast and jam, fat free milk and lots of eggs. Eggs, eggs, eggs, every single day. I asked her to list what she eats on a typical day and she is consuming more calories than she thinks she is, but of course, she doesn't think she is. I don't think a woman her age who is 5'2" should be 170 pounds and I think all this extra weight is wreaking havoc on her bones and muscles.
She used to take Ultram and then Meloxicam for her fibromyalgia issues, but she always claims the pills don't work, she doesn't like to take them, and she cries all the time. I'm sure the stress makes her feel even worse.
She now uses a cane all the time and she hardly ever did before. She can't pick up her cat any more. I don't know how to stop this sudden downward spiral. She is rapidly becoming immobile and I just don't know what to do. Her mind is fine, except for her insisting she doesn't need to lose weight. I don't think she has a very good doctor and I don't think she is very good at communicating to him in any case. I've tried to suggest very low-impact exercises she can do right in the living room, but she is having none of it.
I live with her so I'm basically her live-in health care, when I'm not working. How do you get someone to exercise and diet when they are SO sedentary that even climbing stairs is hard for them all the sudden? This came on after Christmas, after she gained quite a few pounds, and I think it can be turned around somewhat.
My mom has always seemed to suffer from depression throughout her life, she has always cried easily and her lack of social connections doesn't help. This has been a life-long issue for her, so it's not going to be as easy as telling her to make new friends or join a senior center. She DOESN'T do that sort of stuff, ever. Oh, and she does not like talking to counselors or anything like that. It gets too personal for her. That is why I am focusing on trying to get her to lose a little weight, as it's something she MIGHT be persuaded to do. When she had a knee replacement some years ago, she did extremely well with her physical therapy.