Mom won't go out or socialize. Any advice?

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recluse

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Hi, it's not my getting away. I do and have others check on her. It is the fact that SHE doesn't get away even for an hour without me. It would be sooo good to have my house to myself for an hour- imagine a whole day! I just don't understand how she can go day after day without interacting with others. I have even pulled away hoping she will figure it out.
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Can you go away for a day or two? If she is used to having you around 24 / 7 that may have caused a rut that BOTH of you have fallen in. I stay with my Mom (91) but it is mostly for convenience. She can do her own ADL's, even does the cooking (because I still work). I do take an occasional day-trip / weekend jaunt, but call her twice a day just to check she is OK. She also wears a life-alert pendant. But having a break in routine may give both of you a fresh outlook.
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Thanks to all of you for responding. Mom is in "perfect health". She does go to a geriatrics doctor...I love the guy! I mentioned it to him. I could tell she didn't like that I asked the question. I think he got it though, as the next week he had a local PT caregiver person call and she is getting exercise, etc. twice a week for an hour each here at home. At least she is interacting with someone other than me. However, it is only for 8 weeks. I will check with them and see if there is some sort of extended care and maybe one outside of the house that I can get her to. I tried getting her to join our local COA...it is an awesome building with lots to do. She refused, then one day I announced to her that I was joining! Didn't faze her in the least. My husband used to say to me that it is all her 'passive aggressive way of controlling me. I think he was right. Thanks for letting me vent. I have a useless brother who lives up in the northeast kingdom of Vermont...he visits her twice a year when he needs $. This is my journey. I think I just need to meditate more often!
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It could literally be any number of things causing this isolation.
-Depression
- A continence problem
- Vision/Hearing
- Comprehension is declining
- Cognitive changes are happening
- Mobility
- Feeling a loss of purpose
- Feeling helpless/hopeless

Have mom evaluated by a Geriatrician. Not a family practice GP. We take our babies to pediatricians because it's a specialty. Well, so is the care of the aged.
Geriatricians are far better trained to pick up on cues and what is and is not normal aging.

My mother became a shut-in, but had 100 excuses for it that every single person around her, including the GP, bought for years & years. Old Ruth was just odd, stubborn, difficult, weird, and must simply just be happy in that house by herself.

Well, NO. It was dementia setting in. "Won't" was "Can't". Mom's pride and shame (who frequently go together) would not let her confide her fears and worries to anyone. The worse it got, the more entrenched she became.

She quit going shopping, to doctor visits, to the pharmacy, to the grocery store. She was eating spoiled food. It's a wonder she didn't kill herself with rotten food and over medicating herself with the wrong pills.

After you get mom seen by a geriatrician, see if there's a day program she can attend. It's not about wanting to go at first. It's about taking action that is good for her mental health that will benefit her physical health at the same time. It will also give you a dependable sanity break.

I also suggest journaling her behaviors every few days, so you can look back and detect change. It can creep up on you when you're with the person all the time.

Realize there is only so much you can do by yourself to caregive. There's no bonus or reward for never needing help. Talk to the doctor about prescribing in-home help for mom's activities of daily living when she needs that help to bathe, dress, toilet, transfer. Doc can also prescribe physical therapy to get her some exercise and help tools like walkers and wheel chairs when the time comes.

It's hard, but necessary to plan ahead for the time if/when mom can't be properly cared for at home so you don't wake up in a crisis one day. Not everybody gets the luxury of time to plan, so take advantage of that gift!

Come back with questions and vent ALL you want. It's a real sanity saver and we'll handle anybody who gives you crap for venting. This is literally the ONLY place I can talk about certain caregiving related issues that others absolutely have no way to comprehend.
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costellery, will your Mom go in the car with you? If she does, does she get out of the car to go into a store, or is mobility a problem for her? If she feels unsteady on her feet she might feel embarrassed about that, thus feels safer in the security of her own home [your home].

Both my parents are in their 90's and have general age decline. My Mom doesn't like to go anywhere when her hearing aids aren't working correctly [usually it is user error]. Plus her eyesight has declined so much she can barely see her hand in front of her face. And good heavens if someone sees Mom is using a cane :P
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C, has she been evaluated for depression?
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My mom is 90, living with me for the past 2 years. My husband passed on last year. She won't even make a phone call to old friends or relatives. She stays in her "rooms" and only comes out to do dishes (her only job) and get her meals. We don't even eat together because she won't talk, just stares straight ahead and eats. I can't do this kind of dinner because my husband and I had such a happy talkative relationship especially at the dinner table. It just makes me cry...she seems to understand. She is the sweetest thing. My friends say "it's not you or her, it is just the situation". I just wish she would go out and give me a little privacy once in a while. She is very healthy...everyone in her family lives in their 90
s...one brother was 100. I have no one else to give me respite...just need to whine today...
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The very first thing I would check into is the state of her bowels. Is she dealing with fecal incontinence? Is she using/abusing laxity vessel and immodium? Check on what she's taking. Sometimes, this us all about embarrassment.
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