Mom suddenly thinks she's going to get better?

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Mom's lived with us a year now, since dad died. She's 88 and has a myriad of health issues but her main problem is kidney failure. Her numbers float from 10-20% function. She recently declined dialysis as both her doctors said they would not recommend it for her and sent her home from the hospital with a palliative care team, who comes out twice weekly. So far, she'd been okay with everything, but suddenly today, when I decided she was too weak to attend church, she began 'exercising her legs' crazily and trying to 'prove' her strength by furniture-walking around the house and nearly falling. Mom's a big lady and if she falls or even stumbles, it's all hubby and I can do to get her back on her feet. I believe she could still get out a bit with a wheelchair but she said she 'didn't want to give up' by riding in a chair.

I don't want to have to tell her every day that she's not getting better and in fact is getting worse. Any advice on what to say or do?? She sees her doc tomorrow...Liz.

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Others may disagree with this, but in your place, I would not try to tell my parent she can't get better. She needs to hold on to hope right now, it seems. I would tell her that it's fine to exercise but to do it as safely as possible while she tries to regain her strength. Who knows, she may regain some mobility by getting up and moving around.

If she wants to go to church, insist she take a wheelchair "just in case." If she wants to walk around, ask her to walk slowly and make sure she stops if she feels any weakness or discomfort. Her doctor is probably skilled at helping patients accept reality while not crushing all hope. You can certainly tell him what she's been doing (i.e., the furniture-walking) and ask if it's safe and okay for her to do that.

My own mother goes back and forth between believing she's going to improve and accepting that she won't. Today we went to my sister's for a birthday gathering, and after navigating the front steps, my mother said this is the last time she'll be able to do that. The birthday guest said "No problem, next year we'll all come to you." I thought this was a good response. Make sure your mother doesn't feel pressured in some way to get better for your sake or anybody else's. If she thinks others are counting on her improving, that may motivate her to deny reality and make herself believe that she can do it.

Good luck!!
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Don't discourage your Mom, I think it is great that she thinks she can get better, it's positive for the mind and soul. Let her furniture walk even if it means she might tumble every now and then. Who knows, with that positive thinking she might improve :)
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