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My 72-year-old mother has diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and COPD, but they are all managed. She has lost all will to do anything for herself. Just here to vent a bit..After a recent fall, my mother went into the hospital- then to rehab. She's 72 and besides diabetes type 2, rheumatoid arthritis and copd..all managed..there isn't anything wrong with her- it's mostly in her head. My husband and I have lived with her and cared for her for the last three years. Our problem is that she has lost the will to do anything for herself. Rehab (at the hospital) has given up on her due to her lack of motivation, so we are now looking at nursing homes. Noone seems to be able to motivate her to get better. The Rehab nurses have stated that they KNOW she could do the things they are asking her to do, but she just won't try and I'm furious with her! In her current state, I can't take care of her in the home- she can't use the restroom on her own, can't get up out of bed on her own, etc. We are now having to hire an elderly lawyer to protect her assets to pay for a home. Has anyone gone through this???? Thanks!

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What happened to your mother? I am experiencing almost the exact same thing with my mother.
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It is hard for me to feel sorry for my mom, who at 87 is still in relatively okay health in a nursing home. She has two kids visiting and calling and grandsons who come to see her once in awhile. She seems to feel no desire to continue living. I suppose that is her right and choice but I feel she should value life and her family more. Am I wrong?
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gemini70, I think I'd stop enabling this kind of behavior in your mother. Does she have some other impairments, besides diabetes? Why does she suddenly need a co-eater? Did she never eat alone before she retired? Why doesn't she prepare most of her own meals? Eating together once in a while sounds nice. But every meal? And needing to eat exactly what she eats? Hey, that sounds unhealthy.

Don't let her use her diabetes to create a dependence. Unless she has dementia or some other impairment, it is her disease, her responsibility, and her choices. If she doesn't eat, she has consequences. You really cannot control her blood sugar for her. Don't let her use her disease to hold you hostage. Are you willing to play this role for the next 20 or 30 years? No? Then nip it in the bud right now.

(BTW, if you get yourself freed up from being Mom's constant meal companion, and you miss it, would you consider coming over and making all of my meals? I'm 67 and a type 2 diabetic. I take care of my husband who has dementia and, of course, I make all of our meals. But I'd be willing to play invalid if someone would cook for me!)
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im going through this too, dads health apparently went down hill almost 3 wks ago, now i cant get him up to eat, he does go P, and takes his meds, however he NEEDS to eat and drink.. he lays in bed all day says he doesnt feel good, his head hurts (lack of caffine hes use to), and he has a dr. appt tomorrow if i can get him up, dressed, etc. gonna ask about anit depressants, dunno if it will help him, but this is all exhausting.. has he given up? is he depressed? i dunno, hes 83.
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My mother is young - recently retired, 68 yrs. old, and has me waiting on her to cook for her. If I do not wait on her she most likely will not eat, and she is type 2 diabetic. I am the co-eater..(she doesn't like to eat alone)..so if I am not preparing and eating something she likes then she won't eat either. She will rarely prepare something for herself wich she is perfectly capable of doing. When she does cook, let's say a pot of soup..if I don't accompany her (I don't like soup) she will eat a bit, and store the rest in the refrigerator and if the next day I don't touch it she will throw the whole thing away. She has to be reminded to take a shower and when I tell her she needs to shower she says she's tired and she'll do it later or throw a tantrum. I am so sick and feel like I am losing my mind!!
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Been there with the doc visits. I've come to the conclusion with my mom that it's an "outing" and her "social interaction / visits". Part of her hypochondria / munchausen syndrome. My mom is 90, so get prepared for what may be a loooong battle.
You say yours goes to the Opthamol. and Retinol docs but refuses to get the surgery? Wow, talk about a goose chase.
My mom prefers young blonde doctors, and yanking my chain obviously. Just because they don't have dementia doesn't mean they aren't dillusional or deceived in their own twisted little minds. Who says an elder can't just be crazy??? Who is to say that all the sin in their lives doesn't catch up to them????
In any case it sure does make it h*ll for us.
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WE share your futile misery at our house too!
My mother is 84 with genetic depression, anxiety, spinal stenosis, COPD, rotator cuff disease in both shoulders, legally blind (refuses cataract surgery in both eyes), and recovering from a 12/2009 hip replacement. She has neither dementia, or alzheimer's, She's been living with us for 9 months. She lays in bed or sits in her chair to watch TV. She does not see any reason to rehabilitate because she has no reason to live. She does 3 daily activities: watches tv, goes to the bathroom, and feeds herself (finely chopped foods only). All other personal daily activities require my assistance, or our persona paid Health Aide's help, who works 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. M-F.
Mom is on 1 anti-depressant and 2 anti-anxiety medications as well as her COPD medication. She started PT three times a week, 2 weeks ago, her assessment was a total lack of conditioing body-over. Since she started she's been 3 of 6 times. She performs her "I don't know where I am...I don't know what I am supposed to do to change my clothes...I can't stand up" routines
Since she came home from rehab, I have taken her to her D.O./M.D. monthly, Nephrologist quarterly, Neurologist monthly, Orthopedist monthly, Pain Management M.D. monthly, and Opthamologist & Retinologist 3 x's.
They all agree: anxiety, each tries to tell her, of course, she plays confused,
The Health Aide saves my sanity in these summer months. When school starts for teachers in late August, she will take my place in the daytime home. I am still the oppressor to my mother, but at least there's someone objective to step in and try to get mom to participate in daily life. A Health Aide cost us $18.00/hour, many local agencies require a minimum number of hours...3 or 4, at least a half days work, to send someone to work.
Consider this or some other care giving assistance option.. .We revel in the immediate freedom, cram in a few hours of quality time, then dread the reality of the return home.
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It was llike my disabled husband suddenly decided tostop walking 2 months ago. He said he had a pain and was taken to A&E for xray. iIt was a week before being told there was no fracture, and in that time he developed a kidney infection. After 6 weeks he was ok and told he could go home, but still would not stand. He was moved to rehab,stayed 6 more weeks with very little help. We could see him just getting worse.He is now home having carers 4 times a day as I cannot manage him. Still won't move and has put off physio because he has gout in hands. I think he is frightened to try and get up, but the longer it goes on I fear it will be harder to ever get up. Until this happened he manage in his own way to get up, shower and dress. He was even driving to local shops. It was as though he was saying, "I'm not going to walk". I've been trying to get a psycholgist to talk to him, but nothing has yet materialised. I did feel alone with this problem, but having read other comments feel it is quite a common thing. Would love to know how everyone gets on.
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The problem is that they are not as clever as they think they are. It's sooooo transparent at times and they bust on themselves soooo blatantly.

That's why.......GODhelpus!!!!!!!!
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Wow! It's so nice to know that others have gone through this! I'm thinking of bringing her home just for the day and see how she does..If it's "wait on me hand and foot" then I'll move forward with the advanced assisted living placement. She HAS been diagnosed as being clinically depressed as well, and I'm just not sure what placing her in a room alone is going to do for her but make her worse. All she does is sit in her recliner and watch tv..She would benefit so much from interaction with others, but she has no will to do it at all. They don't want to release her home because they don't think she's safe at home alone. She did fall last night on the rehab floor trying to turn her bed down for the night. I just don't think she's as bad as she's playing to be, and I'm wondering if coming home for 8 hrs or so during the day will snap her out of it.

I remember one day in particular, after her original fall..she wanted to go to urgent care because her back was hurting, so I told her I'd take her when I got home. She was complaining that she couldn't do anything- the pain was just TOO Bad...when I got home half an hour later, she had her hair washed, was dressed completely and was ready to go!

unbelievable!
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Seems like some of us just hang around to torment the rest of us.
Eternity is a loooooooong time & I can't imagine leaving this world like that.
ALZ & Dementia aside; what the h*ll are they thinking???????
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My husband was like that and his mother -his father died youg and was very ill-also her parents were like that.I waited on the husband hand and foot and one night I could not sleep and he was cooking himself a second dinner but if I had asked him to do anything for him self like getting himself a drink he made sure he fell. His mother always dais I do for others and someone should do for me. If my husband was mad at me he could do things for himself-I finally had to decide to have him placed when he became critically ill and died-it would not have been so bad but he verbally abused me until I started sticking up for myself. I am very independent as is my family so it was real hard to accept this being a baby act. I wish I had not been so good and given him so much help over the years. Try for a day letting her do things you know she can do and see what happens with him talking about things did not help-actions did better like leaving the area when he got to be too much-he was in rehab 16 times in the last few years of his life.
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I wonder why some people, ' keep on keeping on' till they take their last breath, but others just give up. Does their idea of not having anything to look forward to anymore, just suck the life out of a person? ( I'm thinking of people that still have their brains but have other physical problems.) Do the people that give up on living already have that bent in them, so that when their bodies go down hill, they throw in the towel? Is that how a negative persons personality shows itself in the end? But the positive person still wants to be involved in life, even after their body goes downhill? Just thinking out loud I guess.
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If my mom is any example: Yes it is an act !!!!! I don't know what they think they are going to accomplish by this type of behavior.
I lost my temper recently & told mom I was NOT going to be used and abused in this manner any longer. I told her to lose my # and that I would be making arrangements to sever our relationship (which I fully intended to do). My husband took over for a couple of weeks minimally (doc visits) and I had no contact with her whatsoever. All of a sudden she was able to do things for herself that she hasn't done in years.
It may only be temporary, but she is doing some laundry, picking up after herself, checking her own blood sugar and generally having the INDEPENDANCE that she swears she has.
I've heard it said that they will LET you do it all for them if you are willing to do it. I was doing everything for mine 'til I exhausted myself. This "wait on me hand and foot" crap is just that....crap!!!!! Ask your mom if she thought it was right when her mother did that to her, and does she have so little regard for you that she would treat you this way. Ask her why she would want to cause you so much pain and misery; what you ever did to deserve this hatefulness toward you.
Some folks need a wakeup call!
Maybe it's time for some tough love!
Either that or shes waiting to die. That happens too, but let her know it may be a loooong time to wait with no quality of life for you or her.
If she calls herself a Christian, tell her she can start acting like one and care for someone other than herself. Give her a Bible and tell her if she intends to die it would behoove her to get right with GOD now.
I know the blank stare, the feigned deafness on the phone (what?, what? huh?), the stare at the floor, the "no response" syndrome, the "I can't" syndrome, and an endless list of infantile con games. Are they all aimed at infuriating the adult child or just to get their way? Alot of both I think.

There is NO reason any of us should allow our lives to be shortened for their amusement!!!!
We care for them and want to care for them, but we have our limits.
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She wants to come home and doesn't care the stresses it would put on us..She absolutely cannot be left alone and my husband and I both work. She's played the victim for years..her mother did as well. We've talked about the money situation, and how after about five years, we'd have to apply for medicaid for her. She's oblivious to it, and wants other people to make decisions for her. It's infuriating. People came up to her at the assisted living facility and tried to engage her in conversation and she just sat there with a blank stare... I just don't get it...
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Sad, at age 72. Does she realize her money will run out? Do you think she is thinking that you will rescue her and bring her to your house when her money runs out?
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Just wanted to post an update for everyone..Rehab is releasing mom because they feel she has plateaued. She refuses to do anything for herself, and when she does, she complains that others are "making" her do it. She doesn't take any pride in anything- being able to walk down the hall, dress herself , anything! I took her to tour an assisted living facility today and within 5 minutes the lady said that assisted living was not the right level of care for her, that she lacked any and all motivation to do anything, and she was right! I'm currently considering placing her in a special dementia unit at the facility where she is. We will end up depleting her savings, but I refuse to bring her home like this, as I will be expected to wait on her hand and foot. It's SOOO Frustrating because I KNOW she can do these things! I've seen her! But she has given up and just doesn't care anymore..What happens to the brain that they become this way...You'd think seeing everyone at the nursing home would motivate her to get the h*ll out of there...but no...just the opposite...
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loulou53,
Try talking to him like a rational adult. Tell him how you feel & what his options are. Let him make the decision?
Love&logic.com is a wonderful site and was recommended to me. Check the testimonials and you will get an idea of what its all about. Empowerment works on elders too. Makes them think they have control. Control is one of the biggest issues for elders, or so it has been my experience.
I'm praying for us.
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YES! My mom stopped walking upright and at one point she even stopped talking and would hand me notes to talk with me. I often have to remind her that she can do these things herself. Its easy for everyone to do things for her, but they all forget or don't realize she will then somehow think she cannot do things for herself. I often tell her she can do these things and she will give me a long look and then start laughing and then do whatever it was she thought she needed others to do.
I learned this while she at a nursing home. The physical therapists told us she wil stop everything if we allow her. They said some elderly forget how to eat...not just the act, like then needing to be fed, but they will need a feeding tube, or the hopsital will keep them comforatble while they die because they will nevre relearn how to eat. They asked us what we want if she should forget...it was a scary question.
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upon reading some of theses comments never gave depression a thought my Dad refuses to wash and dress sits in chair all day glued to tv in his pj,s only time he moves is to go to the toilet or bed.Will not exercise his leg muscles and now is becoming susceptible to falls, due to sitting around all day.Tried the softly softly approach not worked time 4 kid gloves to come off but somehow don't think it will work as stubbornness also a huge factor cant force him either as that is now classed as elder abuse head banging off brick wall any ideas anyone ?Became like this since minor stroke in august 09
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My husband has severe arthritis, but has always managewd to get about at his own pace. 3 months ago he was dressing when he pulled a muscle in his side. He suddenly decided he couldn't stand and as he's 25stone I couldn't manage to move him.I called for help and he was admitted to hospital where they found he had a kidney infection. This was treated and he was told he could go home, but he refused to get out of bed and stand. He was taken into rehab where he stayed for a further 6 weeks with very little help. He has been home for 3 weeks, still not stood up, having cares in 4 times a day and an OT is supervising things. She is getting a physio and a psychologist in this week to see if that helps.He did have a mini stroke last year and I am wondering if that has had an effect on him. He is on anti depressants, but shows no sign of any progress. He has lost interest in almost everything, just lies in bed oris hoisted into a chair. He keeps saying he will try and get up his way but the carers can't let him until he gets the go ahead from the OT. I have cared for him for 15years and now he is treating me like an outcast and is unconcerned about my own pain, which is far worse than his. I 've tried talking to him, but all he keeps saying is "sorry". I long to get things back to how they were. As the hospital said "He isn't ill and he has to do things himself".
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yes I experienced that as well for quite sometime. My mother lost 40 lbs as well and refuses to eat or do anything. After months and months and tests and tests, the result was alzheimers, I had no idea this was the problem. After her diagnosis I researched her symptoms and sure enough those were all part of it. The alzheimers really didn't show itself until a year and a half later. I hope this is not what your mother has.
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My Dad is very much the same. We've switched his anti-depressant, but thus far I haven't seen much of a change. He doesn't like to move out of his recliner. He hasn't been taking care of his teeth. He has Alzheimer's or dementia and forgets a lot, which is part of the problem. I will talk to the doctor about increasing the anti-depressant dose when we go again next time. He also is having low blood counts, anemia, and COPD which all makes him fatigued and unwilling to move around.

It's depressing to watch. I try to coach and coddle him into moving around, but I can't be there 24/7. (He is in an assisted living facility).

Good luck!

JM aka Dr. Jinx
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Krnf,
Glad to hear things are improving for your family.
I pray the improvement continues.
Pity parties can happen to anyone, especially when you are ill or recovering if you see no light at the end of the tunnel. Hope that's all it was with your mom & she's back on track now.
Praying for us all.
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Thanks for the comments everyone..she's actually doing better in the nursing home. They are putting her through some rigorous rehab and aren't letting her play the victim. It's a really wonderful place- I've been very impressed. She actually got up out of a chair on her own yesterday and walked down the hall!!! With a walker. :) I think she needed the tough love. I'm pretty sure she'll be coming home now in a matter of time. I'm glad they were able to talk some sense into her, and being around the other people in there, some of whom are much worse off than her, has done her wonders. She's also going to be a seen by a psychiatrist- to determine is she has any demetia going on, or if it's just depression. Again, thanks so much for all your comments. I hope those of you having similar issues get some relief.
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This sounds like a common problem, similar to what we are experiencing. I would agree with the other advice given here, and do have the doctor check for depression. Medical conditions and the aging process seem to bring it on in the elderly, and I have heard of people improving with the right antidepressant so they get back some of their desire to live and do things. Not a cure all, but it might help.
My mother has become diabetic, had a TIA and possibly other strokes to cause vascular dementia. Her appetite has dwindled and she rarely does anything on her own. She doesn't respond well to my dad's suggestions/pleading, and only slightly better to mine. I don't have the time to coach her through every meal and exercise, though, even though I live next door. It's frustrating.
Strange thing is she complains that everyone else does everything for her (cooking, laundry, etc.), but she can't or won't try to do even small things. I think the executive functions in her brain have been damaged with the stroke or dementia; perhaps your mom has had something similar happen.
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Have you had her checked for depression?
Does she like making you jump through hoops? Does it amuse her?
My mom likes being waited on too. At times I refer to her as "the queen" or "her highness" but her meds were recently adjusted and she seems more rational/human. Her more acceptable behavior may be short lived and nothing more than another one of her cons, but I still hope.
She may have just given up. If this is the case it too can have many causes.
In any case; it's frustrating to us as caregivers.
You do not have to pay for her NH. Unless you are guardian, you are not liable for her in any way. You may wish to talk to your own attorney (not her's) on your own behalf.
Try to speak to her rationally like an adult first. Lay out her options. All of her options (with & without you). She may change her tune.
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My husband was like that he would not even open the fridge to get himself a drink but one night he was mad at me and I found him late at night fixing him a meal. I finally got tired of all the drama-he wiuld give himself too much insulin so he could wake me up when he had low blood sugar and loved going to docs and hospitals and rehabs finally I realized with the help of a counsuler he needed to be placed he was slowly killing me I had serious health problems which he downplayed and was abusive-he died whild I was doing the paperwork bymyself to get him on medicaide-he loved to play the victum which was a family thing with his mother and grandfather he was carrying on the family tradition-it took years for me to wake up but did finally soon after a lawyer told me that 60% of caregivers die before those they are caring for-but before he died to learned to start taking care of myself and had interest so I had friends to turn to after my caregiving days, If a person will not help themself there is no way to make them and nursing homes do not get paid for PT if a pt. is not making progress and there are so many who will work hard to remain mobile so those who will not try are left behind.
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She's okay with going to the nursing home actually..she likes being waited on....I just hate seeing her not trying to get better...I don't know what in the world happened to her will power. We've explained to her that if she goes in the nursing home we'll more than likely lose the family house to pay for it..and she just doesn't seem to care...
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How does she feel about going to a nursing home? My mom is 75. She had surgery 2 years ago and checked herself out of the rehab hospital. Just wouldn't do the exercises any more. Didn't want to be there with "the old people." It was a nightmare. Doctor was so mad at her. My sister really stepped up and after pleading, we got a home nurse to come and change her bandages. Mom too just gave up. Didn't want to walk down the hall (even though walking was good for her rehab) to go potty so had my brother buy her a portable one for her bedroom! Wouldn't clean it (yuck). Now she is better but won't go see the doctor about her arthritis and won't clean her house. She is a widow and lives alone so she doesn't care. But if she had to go to a nursing home, she would change.
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