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My mom lives with my sister. My sister had a stroke and is in a wheelchair but mentally, she’s fine. My mom moved in with her years ago to help her out. Now, my mom has very bad anxiety and her memory is getting bad. She constantly worries about dying and she doesn’t want my sister to have to take care of her. She said she thinks she’s going to wake up one morning and not remember anything, or she’s not going to wake up at all. I believe this is the trigger to the anxiety. She takes a low dose of Xanax twice a day. When the anxiety hits, she shakes, mumbles and claps her hands. She won’t leave the house except to go to the doctor. We have a wedding and two showers coming up and we can’t convince her to go which means someone in the family will have to miss it. How can we convince her to go? The drugs do nothing to calm her. She refuses to go and we’re afraid to leave her alone.

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You cannot take her to a wedding. First, its not fair to the Bride if Moms anxiety kicks in. Find someone to sit with her and go and enjoy it. Are you taking Mom to a regular GP. If so, he is not equipped to help someone with Dementia. Even a neurologist would be better. And sis is not going to be able to care for Mom.
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She goes to the doctor once a month and he does nothing. He knows everything that’s going on. All he says is he wants to get her off the Xanax. She has been on so many different drugs. They just keep changing them and notihing helps. I will check into the neuropsychologist though, thank you.
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I echo Grandma1954 in wondering what's in your sister's plan for the future? And what's in your mother's plan for HER future?

I hope you aren't going to be expected to move in and take care of both of them...
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There are other drugs other than Xanax that can help but her doctor needs to be aware of what is going on and what triggers the anxiety.
Maybe a visit to a Neuropsychologist that can evaluate what is going on, look and test for possible Dementia as well as help treat the anxiety.
It is possible that your Mom is also afraid of the future...she may be facing fact that she is getting older, she may develop problems in the near future and the fact that your Mom moved in with your sister to help her out she may now be afraid that she is going to be the one that needs help. This would cause me a bit of anxiety as well. If your sister has a plan for her future what she will do when your Mom is no longer able to help her out she should share that with Mom. And if she does not have a plan this might be a good opportunity to discuss this with her as well.
I am in agreement with Ahmijoy that if your Mom does not want to go to the wedding do not force her get a friend to come in and stay with her for a while.
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Poor Mom. I’m sorry to say that her issues probably go beyond anxiety. Was she always an anxious person? The behavior she’s experiencing are part of the early signs of dementia. I can tell you that I was on Xanax and after about a year, it had little effect on me. If she is afraid to leave the house, you should not force her to go. There is a condition called agoraphobia which basically means she’s afraid of crowds. You should get a close friend or another relative who is not involved in the social events to come stay with mom. I know my own mother was miserable at my daughter’s shower. She sat in the corner and spoke to no one. I was very angry back then, but now I realize she had to be very uncomfortable.

Your first priority is to call Mom’s doctor and tell him/her what’s going on. Mom needs to be evaluated. The doctor needs to know what’s going on and so do you.
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