My mom is 93 and has lived with us for the past 12 years. She is still somewhat independent. She lives in the bottom floor of our house, has her own kitchen, bath, bedroom and living room and so far is still taking care of herself with an aide that comes in 3 days a week to bathe her and do some light housework. We clean her bathroom and vacuum and make dinner for her. I take care of all her finances, keep her computer working and take her to all doctor appointments. She has been slowing for the past couple of years and uses a walker all the time now and only goes out with us occasionally and we have a transport wheelchair for those occasions. She worries constantly about what will happen when she can not walk anymore. This has been a daily concern for the past two years. She is very slow but is still mobile and has not fallen. I know that she may not be able to walk sometime in the future but for now, I don't want to worry until I need to. I keep telling her that we will get her a power chair and have the aide come every day. I do have contingency plans. We will do whatever we need to when that time comes but evidently, I am not sufficiently worried and she frets about it constantly. It is beginning to make me nuts.
99 percent of what my husband’s grandma worried about did not come to pass.
My MIL told me that years ago that her mom made herself miserable and everyone else around her miserable. It was one of the most helpful things she ever said to me when she saw me fretting over something small.
My mom and my husband’s grandma turned worry into a favorite pastime!
Sometimes I catch myself slipping into worrying but I remember what my MIL told me so many years ago about her mom. I reach out for help, then I am able to talk myself out of excessive worrying. It takes practice but all of us have some anxiety in our lives.
I understand. I went through it too. My mom is 94. She lived with me for nearly 15 years. Now she is with brother and SIL. Long story. It’s not easy. I feel for you. Glad you are managing okay. The chronic worry is disturbing. Ignoring it with my mom didn’t work. Addressing it didn’t work. I asked her to follow her doctor’s recommendation of seeing a neuropsychiatrist. She refused.
Mom did several rounds of home health and a stint in rehab. My mom has Parkinson’s disease. Neurological diseases are tough. They really are.
Your mom is 93. I just want you to seriously consider if she should still be alone. Even with adult children in the same residence, accidents happen. Can falls happen in a facility too? Of course they can. At least they are better equipped at dealing with mishaps.
But I think it's normal to focus on what could happen and what remediation options are available. To me, that's not obsessive; it's just good planning.
And I think it's not unusual for people to worry as they age, in part b/c they're losing control over their minds and bodies, and wondering what may happen as this continues.
E.g., one time on the way home from a medical appointment, the regulator on the oxygen concentrator became uncontrollable, and was spewing out oxygen at 6 liters per minute. I had another backup tank, but even then, it was a gamble that I'd make it home in time before the regulator blew out all the oxygen. So after than I carried a few more tanks, just in case. (We were only given one regulator by the DME supplier, so 2 regulators at that time wasn't optional).
Having been stranded a few times also created anxiety. So, yes, I worry about what could happen, try to compensate, but still am concerned that something else could happen.
I know that some of this is because of so many situations that arose over the last 20 years as my parents and sister declined in health.
Derochka, can you sit down with your mother and ask what specifically are her concerns? Talk out the potentialities, then consider what options and remediation methods are potentially available. Let her air her concerns and help address potential solutions.
I think it's common for people to worry about what might or might not happen to them. I'm sure people in flood, tornado, and hurricane zones have these thoughts. If they don't, they should, as climate change is happening and disasters are probably going to become more common and more intense.
Another method for calming is music. If you have cable and your carrier provides music channels w/o commercials, find one in a category she likes and play that as background music. Or take time-out sessions and play her favorite CDs.
I do know one woman who says she puts her head on the pillow at night and looks for something to worry about. That is going too far.
No matter how much you reassure them they still feel it’s not enough. It’s tough. My mom uses a walker too but constantly thinks about a wheelchair.
Honestly, they are tired and sometimes I think they feel a wheelchair would be easier.
The doctors want them to walk and remain active. Can you ask the doctor if she can do a round of home health? They include physical therapy and occupational therapy. It helps to build strength.
Best wishes to you and your family.
Worrying is a choice. So is getting help for the worrying. Saying "I can't help it" is a big fat EXCUSE.
My mother is 93 in Jan and accuses me of not worrying enough about her, too. What's the point in worrying? She's done it chronically for 9 decades and she's still alive, threatening to die weekly. She's led a life of NO strife, NO heartache, NO major diseases, NO financial woes.....nothing, yet worries about imaginary problems that never happen. In other words, wasted her life on nonsense! I'm not falling into that trap, thank you, and neither should you. We are around to fix all their problems ANYWAY, so why burden us FURTHER?