My mother (88) just sits and does absolutely nothing. She recently started doing it and I'm concerned. Is this abnormal? - AgingCare.com

My mother (88) just sits and does absolutely nothing. She recently started doing it and I'm concerned. Is this abnormal?

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She lives with me and I am her whole life. She will not go anywhere or do anything without me. I would love to see her go to a senior center for bingo or a movie but she refuses to. I recently went back to work and she came right out and said she wanted to go with me! I was in shock. And now with her just sitting and doing nothing ( not even reading or watching tv ) it's driving me crazy. I just took her to the eye doctor and besides having floaters her eyes are fine. She has suffered from depression most of her life and refuses to take meds for it. I am at a loss as to what to do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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You are her security so she seeks you out. She may have dementia which, at 88, wouldn't be unusual. Drugs may or may not help. However, she should be seen by a doctor.

It may be time to hire an in-home caregiver for the time you are gone. As was mentioned, she could go out looking for you and get lost. There are no warnings for wandering behavior.

I'd know that you're worried and you have reason to be. Depression increases the risk of Alzheimer's.

We want to know how you are doing so we'd appreciate an update.
Carol
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Poor thing , and a toll on you. First of all I would take her to the doctor and if all is ok, then its in your lap. Maybe he can put her on an antidepressant. Try being a bit crazy. Play music, sing, dance, play cards, and have her help you with everything you do, if you can. I went to daycare with my mom to get her a haircut, for lunch, for lunch, for breakfast, for breakfast and craft time. etc...eventually with my help she met people there and couldnt wait to go. This was a life saver for me because I took off 3 months from work to get her adjusted, then went back. Good luck!
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If she is becoming incontinent, she will avoid going into situations where she might wet herself. If you take her out, keep it short, just an hour and make sure there are spare depends or pads in her purse.
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cjbaily, didnt want to make anyone feel guilty, I know how hard it is. next month I start my 9th year of (full care) taking care of my mom in my home. I just wanted to suggest things that have worked for us. Old movies and music tops the list, you can get them on amazon. My mom lit up with Lawrence Welk songs. Also hire a cooky caregiver, they are the best because they can bring in the energy that we sometimes lose caregiving.
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About a year before my mother's death, she became disinterested in TV or in recorded books. Before that she would listen to the news and the books. She was almost blind with Macular Degeneration. She would take on tasks like stringing beans or peeling potatoes though. See if you can get your mom interested in helping with chores. It might make her feel useful. BTW we had to do over anything she did, but I never let her know that.
She was also interested in my grand daughter and would play with her. Are there young children around?
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Taking her to the store for a while each day or night will help.Who is with her when you work as If she is acting like this she is liable to go out looking for you which could be dangerous for her.Good luck and try to keep her occupied.
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Have her assessed for dementia or Alzheimer?? Just a suggestion.
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Cape123, I feel your pain. My dad, 91 is the same way. I am fortunate in that he will watch tv, mostly CNN, then gets all upset about the news. I tell him there are many other channels. He says like what? He is on 2 antidepressants and dr. wants him to increase one which he refuses to do. I do have a caregiver come in once a week, but dad doesn't like her. He did have another one but she quit and took another job in another line of work. He really liked her and I think he actually looked forward to her coming. Maybe you could find someone through trial and error that your mom likes. It will help her and YOU. I feel guilty when reading Reverseroles answer...play music, sing, dance, play cards, etc....I am just worn out after years of trying to help my dad and he just argues with me about everything. But he doesn't listen to music, won't sing or dance and would not play cards anyhow...
Try to find a caregiver, those folks are a godsend.
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Reverseroles, I know. Just me feeling guilty. Usually about everything. It's what I learned growing up.... My dad's first caregiver was great! And she didn't put up with his stubbornness and negativity. I probably should try to find someone like her because he is not happy with current provider.
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My mother did something very much like this. We believe it was a combination of mini strokes that weren't being detected as they had little in the way of symptoms, and depression. Just mentioning depression was very insulting to her. I'd start with a visit to her doctor, though I know from experience that it isn't always helpful. A mood lifting med could be a great help, as well as tests to rule out other things that might be going on. The possibility of her wandering was been mentioned, that's a big scare, so make sure there's a plan to cover for that. Best of luck
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