Mom just wants to sit in a chair all day, watch TV and eat candy. I find this maddening. How do I approach it? - AgingCare.com

Mom just wants to sit in a chair all day, watch TV and eat candy. I find this maddening. How do I approach it?

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My mom lives with me. Mild to moderate dementia. I think she needs adult daycare once a week for socialization...and to get out of the house....which almost never happens....she would stay inside for months at a time if she could...I find this maddening! My mom will be be so irritated if I approach her about this...but I really think it's for her own good...I love my mom but this is a thorn in my side...

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I hear you - my mom sleeps late a lot now and doesn't get out except for church and when I take her to her appts and shopping. She isn't that interested in TV so doesn't watch it. She does puzzles and sometimes reads during the day. She had a hard time remembering how to do things like cooking and using the washing machine, so I help with that now. I have been living with her for about a year after living on my own for years, so I definitely feel the lack of privacy. But I am able to get out for short periods of time and I get some privacy after she goes to bed ( which isn't until around 10 pm despite the fact that she naps on the couch most of the evening after dinner!). Daycare would be nice for her - I am going to look into it. I take her for walks outside around the block when the evening is warm enough. I have to push her a little to do this, but I know it is healthy for her.
You are certainly not alone with your type of situation. I am also glad to have this forum for helpful advice and a chance to vent. As to staying positive, I listen to inspirational speakers on tapes in my car sometimes and write down positive thoughts which I keep in my wallet so I can look at them when needed.
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Thanks for the replies! I love this website. My mom is 74 years old. She fell and hit her head three years ago and that's when the memory issues started. She was diagnosed with dementia two months ago at her six month check up. I had spoken to her doctor regarding the repeated questions and statements and he noticed she repeated the same thing three times during her checkup. My mother-in-law questions whether or not it is senility because my mom will say things like "I know I already asked you this eight times but..." or my mom will tell the person she is speaking to that she has a hard time remembering recent events...does anyone notice this with their parents?

She has lived with me for almost fifteen months after living with my sibling for fifteen months. I think adult daycare would be great for mom. She enjoys talking to people, once she is out of the house. It would be an improvement over sleeping in, watching murder trials on TV and complaining about all the bad news in the paper. Also, it would also be nice to have an open day once or twice a week to have some "me" time in my own home. I don't mean for that to sound selfish but when you live with a parent 24/7...one doesn't have 100% privacy.

I have a deck that's just off my kitchen and I somehow managed to get her outside last week....for three minutes! Last year I would ask her if she wanted breakfast outside under the umbrella...of course she would say no and "been there, done that." This year I will be saying "your tea and breakfast are waiting for you outside under the umbrella." Mom doesn't seem to realize that if she continues to "not use it" she will "lose it" and that will make it harder for both of us! I have noticed her leg muscles aren't as strong as they used to be...from sitting all the time...she is unsteady on her feet...plus she has scoliosis which adds to the situation. Her doctor has talked to her about being more active but she simply doesn't care and she will say "you know, you just get to the point where you don't care anymore." Some days I answer her with "you have family that cares" and other days I don't reply at all.

I refuse to let this talk pull me down, ever...it has taken some time over the fifteen months she has lived with me to get to this point and I will try my hardest to not let it bother me...I am a postive person...I hope to stay that way! It would be unhealthy for my marriage and kids to let it take over me. It felt great to vent! :)
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Good advice from Jeanne. I think half of us have the same mother, care4mama. What works with mine is that I suggest something and she says no, she doesn't want to. But later she will get up and do what I suggested. This happens pretty consistently now, so I use the technique a lot.
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How old is Mama? How long has she had dementia? When did she start living with you?

Adult daycare can be absolutely ideal for mild to moderate dementia. I wouldn't approach her about whether she wants to go. She won't. Approach her about visiting, about seeing what they do on each day and picking out which day she wants to go. For example, where my husband went they had Red Hat day on certain days, and Bible study on certain days, and story-reading on Mondays, and cooking events on Wednesdays, etc. Maybe one activity would be more appealing to her than other days.

My husband didn't particularly want to go. I said, "Hon, I am doing everything in my power to be able to keep you at home with me. You have to do your part, too. I need some days I can count on for my own appointments and going into the office. You need to try this out so I can do what I need to do." There were various activities he did enjoy. And it was good for him to be around other adults who would compliment his new shirt and hear about his travels.

Mama won't be able to watch tv and eat candy all day at the day center, and that will be good for her.

Don't let her irritation dictate your plans. She no longer has good judgment, even about her own care, so you need to take over much of the decision-making.
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