My mom has CHF, causing her to be weak, but I feel as if she can do more for herself. I feel guilty to think this way. Any advice?

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I don't want anyone to think I'm saying my mother is lazy I know she is sick and weak I just would like to see her show more independence. I never realized how needy my mom was until my dad died. I don't know if my mom is afraid of falling or what but she won't do ANYTHING except physical therapy only 2x per week. I want to keep peace so I do my best not to upset her because of her heart condition. But exercise and activity are GREAT for her type of heart failure. But my mom only will do PT that's it! I guess I'm just venting ....Sorry to all....

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Lorraine, I feel like when I picture what you are saying I see my mom over the last two years. She would leave garbage on the counter when the garbage can was right next to it, and I didn't understand not throwing things out. She barely got dressed on her own. It was like she never cared how she looked, or how the house looked, she just didnt want to do anything but watch tv. She'd even call me to call the credit card company or someone else that she wanted to ask. I couldn't understand why I had to do everything. Eventually I just stopped fighting it. I would come in, clean her house, change her sheets, throw the garbage away. Again, I'd try to force her to do more things with me...her favorite was going out to eat, and if it meant her walking to the car and in the restaurant, then I was happy. Usually she was out of breath and it was hard for her to do, but in the end she had those memories with me, and it was a little exercise. All you can do is encourage, not fight... good luck
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I imagine you've talked to your mother about this topic. How does she explain her total lack of effort?

Is she afraid of falling? Does she have a walker? A wheelchair? My husband fell A LOT. It discouraged him from doing much. When we got a wheelchair it gave him a new outlook on life. He could scoot it around with his feet, and get where he wanted to go without fear of falling. It may seem counter-intuitive that a wheelchair could increase activity, but that was our experience. He got enough standing, transferring to bed and chairs, and short walks (plus his PT) to retain enough strength to transfer.

Are there some activities your mother could do safely seated in her favorite chair? Matching socks, folding laundry, labeling photographs? This doesn't get her the benefits of walking, but it is at least some movement and feeling useful can improve one's attitude.

Call your Area Agency on Aging and ask about a needs assessment.
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Difficult.

I have to say, because I'm just like that, I actually found it less stressful when my mother stopped being able to do things like make her own breakfast or feed her cat. The smell of that sickly golden syrup flavoured instant porridge, her being in the way, the little dollops of cat food gravy in the utility room sink - yeuch, petty stuff that got on my nerves... The grass is always greener, I suppose?

And, in fact, it was probably a bit evil of me to be relieved I could take over. Strictly speaking I ought to have made more effort to encourage her to continue, instead of saying gaily "oh don't worry I'll see to it."

My bad. You're right.

Used your mother to be a reasonably capable, energetic bustler-about previously? Is it as though she's just stopped *caring*? Is depression something you've considered?
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I don't know why my reply so always go up 2xs ooops but back to mom it's not so much that she won't exercise it's that she won't do ANYTHING FOR herself like make toast ,coffee,throw away her trash ,things like bringing her dishes to the sink ,maybe at least put her cloths on a hanger ,little things like that I feel it would help her but she gets sensitive feelings hurt ,so I just do it ...
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Lorraine it is *incredibly* frustrating! - no wonder you feel as you do, and no need to feel guilty for feeling it.

I love the idea of sort of blending more walking into her everyday, where you can; and yes do keep up the search for anything that might motivate her (my mother wouldn't do Singing For The Brain, always some excuse not to go; but nothing would keep her from the Book Group). But in the end it's her heart and her energy level, and only she can decide what's worth the effort. I know "accepting" that is a heck of a lot easier said than done.
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Polar bear;;hahalol RIGHT!!
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Wow great insight Mrs Erica magoo sounds like the exact same situation .My mom is the nicest person she really is cute and she's mentally with it ,but maybe she's not as sharp as she used to be. your right !nothing I can do just be there for her .no sense in arguing
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My mother's form of exercise is walking to the bathroom 10 x a day, and changing clothes 2 x a day when I take her out. She refuses to do any other exercise.

Lets face it, most people can use more exercise but we don't because we don't want to. Elderly are no different.
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Barb from brooklyn;I am sorry but who would I even ask for a needs assessment. They see a doctor,home health, Nurse physical therapy, physical therapy assistance & my mom goes to a special CHF clinic to seeat CHF specialist also a cardiologist, ....I thought all bases were covered but if there is MORE HELP OUT THERE ????please let me know ....THANK YOU ...YOUR advice is always so apricated..
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Wow great insight Mrs Erica magoo sounds like the exact same situation .My mom is the nicest person she really is cute and she's mentally with it ,but maybe she's not as sharp as she used to be. your right !nothing I can do just be there for her .no sense in arguing
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