My mom is alone and depressed but is refusing any kind of help. What can I do? - AgingCare.com

My mom is alone and depressed but is refusing any kind of help. What can I do?

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My mom is 67 and is about to retire. My dad died a little over a year ago, and my mom assured my brother and I that she would be ok finishing work and living alone. (Both him and I have jobs in another state.) My mom has always been very stubborn, self-deprecating, and has struggled with depression from time to time. She was never very social and has recently lost contact with the few friends she had. She also doesn't speak English well. I know she would struggle alone after retiring so I planned for her to move in with me for some time. Both my brother and I are in our mid 20s and just started our careers so we can't afford a separate place for her. She also doesn't get enough retirement benefits to afford her own place once she is done working. However, she has done nothing but make the process as difficult as possible. She changes her mind every day, she cries all the time, saying that she would rather die than sit on our shoulders. My brother and I are actually excited to be there for her and spend some time together, but in her eyes she isn't needed or wanted and is just going to be in the way of our lives and it's killing her. She says really awful things about herself every day, but at the same time blames us for not being there. This is taking a huge toll on our mental health; I started getting panic attacks at work, and have no energy to do anything after speaking with her. What can I do to make this stop? Can there be a way to help her?

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Is there an organization that speaks her language that you could contact for help? I know there are Spanish and Chinese organizations. Where she could talk to people in her own language. Does she go to church? Is there a bereavement group in her language she could go to? She needs help from outside sources. Not just her family.
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CM, it's simply the same question, asked a few minutes earlier.
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What's the other thread, please, Babalou?
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A few things strike me as being important and unusual about your situation.

1. Your mother was quite late starting her family - about forty, if you and your brother are in your mid twenties. This matters because it is about what constitutes 'normal' for her. For forty years she had no children. For just over twenty she has had you and her brother. What this means is that she can love you very much, you two can be the most important people in the world to her, but living with you is not normal, real life. For her, living independently and doing her own thing is normal. The bulk of her life has not had you in it.

2. She blames you for not being there, you say. Does she blame you? Or does she describe feeling lonely, unhappy and anxious about the future - and you feel you're to blame?

3. Most importantly of all, it is just over a year since your family lost your Dad. You must all have a lot of adjusting still to do.

Your mother is facing a number of very challenging issues all in one go: bereavement, chronic depressive tendencies, retirement and economic insecurity. With the best will in the world, two young people who are just starting out in their own lives cannot resolve those for her - most especially if she doesn't want to involve you!

I completely agree with Babalou that you need to be very clear with her about what you can and can't do to help, and about what you would like her to do. She needs more support than you can provide, and of a different nature too. Does she work for what you would call a good, responsible employer? If so, they could be a very useful resource for her, helping with practical plans for her retirement and future occupation as well as access to bereavement counselling and mental health support. If not, those things are available from other sources too: research what organisations operate in her area.

What happened to her network of friends, do you know? Have they moved away, was there a traumatic falling out?
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So, if she is refusing to accept help that is available ( doctor visit and meds), I'm back to my fist answer from the other thread. She's allowed to say no to treatment, and YOU are allowed to say, oops, sorry mom, only the doctor can help you with that. I would not entertain long "pity me" phone calls if she won't take the first step. Some tough love of this sort may force her to seek treatment.

Your mom is very young. She could live for another 30-40 years. You should also investage low income housing in your area.
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Do you have any idea why? These are really treatable conditions. Is it a matter of a language barrier? Can you or your brother go with her?
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No, unfortunately she is refusing to see a doctor for these concerns.
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First question...is her depression and anviety being treated?
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