My mother (67) is continually getting worse in my opinion. What do I do? - AgingCare.com

My mother (67) is continually getting worse in my opinion. What do I do?

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Hello,

I am not sure how to respond. My mother is 67 years old and continually getting worse in my opinion. She survived breast cancer a few years back and has not been the same since. Since that occurrence she has condemned herself despite what the Dr’s were saying. She believes she is crazy and losing her memory, but she refuses to go to the Dr. She gets obsessed with things (literally) and will not drop them; my sister, objects moving around in the house, how horrible she feels, phone calls; she will alternate between calling my cell and home phone till someone answers. She has been committed (pink slipped)2 times (suicide attempts), both time released after 3 days but she will not take her medications. I was the one for years saying everything is okay, it is human to have memory issues. I am now thinking she is right and I was wrong. Even looking at her eyes, she appears to afraid and they are opened more widely than normal. She insists on having her independence. I could not afford a home for her even if she was willing. What do I do? How do I respond?

Help me please. Lost and confused.

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That's a good point made by Vstefans. The bulging eyes would definitely perk up my interest. That could be an indication of an underlying illness that is treatable. I'd do everything I could to encourage her to explore it. Explain how she might be feeling better, if she's treated. Regardless, of what the cause, I'd try to find a way to get her some relief. It sounds like she's suffering from some kind of mental disturbance.
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Freqflyers answer is good, but the wide open eyes plus some of those other symtpoms makes me think of hyperthyroidism and Grave's disease. I hope you could persuade her to get that checked at least. Will she give you a medical POA? Could you get a nurse to visit and check vitals and talk with her? If she is not able to make decisions for herself you may need guardianship.

You know, she's afraid of being crazy at least as much as she is afraid of the cancer coming back, but maybe if she realized it could be something much more physically medical she'd be willing to be seen.
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i see you're in Salt Lake City. If you're a Mormon, have you asked the Relief Society for any help, such as other women who've been through similar situations to counsel your mother? Or help from your home teacher?

I would consider contacting the local Gilda's Club as well. The one in my area has a number of support activities and support groups; in my opinion, they're experts in working with people and their caregivers with cancer experience.

I did a quick search and didn't locate any in Utah, but a more thorough search might find out in your area.
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Anytime someone goes through breast cancer, surgery, meds, radiation and/or chemo, and are in remission, the person is constantly looking over their shoulder in fear that the cancer would return.

Yes, it can change a person, it did me. The darn meds I was taking put me into a panic mode, it just happened to be the side effect from a common breast cancer drug. It got so bad that I stopped the drug a year early [was to take it for 5 to 10 years].

If possible, see if your Mom can make an appointment with a talk therapist, someone who has treated women who have had breast cancer or who had the cancer herself. Her primary doctor or oncologist could recommend someone.
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