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My Mom is the same, won't do PT, won't use a walker, say's it makes her trip, I've tried the scare tactic of "use it or lose it" but it doesn't work. I know it's hard and frustrating for her too and I wish I could make it better but I can't help but think she is putting on the "show" for me but not the doctor. I go with her for her appts. Dad needs the support and my understanding what the doctor wants to do, she sits and says nothing. It is a confusing and tiring time of life it seems for all of us. You will get through this and I wish you good health and strength.
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My husband should use a walker, I bought one, but he refuses to use it. I'm just waiting for him to fall and break something and then he'll have to go to rehab for a while or something worse. His choice.
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Same here. My mom wished and wished and expected she'd be going home to live independently, and even thought she could do it if only she could walk. To her the walker was OK because she really did not want to have another fracture.

But the real problem was not that she couldn't walk except a few steps in therapy when she tried real hard - the real problem that kept her needing care was her medical frailty, susceptibility to delirium, and poor judgement and grasp of reality.

She could never understand why they kept stopping therapy, and it was because her participation was so limited tht she could not get any stronger. If they don't or more accurately can't grasp why they need to do things that are difficult or uncomfortable to acheive desired goals, and kind of expect things to happen by magic because they passively "get" therapy and put forth only token efforts, it may just not work out.
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All you can do is try.

If they still have their reasoning skills, you can talk about consequences. You can even try little rewards for being compliant.

I told my mom's PT guy to put a dish of sugar-free hard candy out and I bet she'd walk over to it for him.

What's sad is that now mom's past the point where PT will help her anymore, and she let that happen by refusing to cooperate and being verbally/physically combative with the therapists.

Her brain is too broken now, so her mobility is one of the things we've had to let go. It's very difficult to watch somebody go downhill when it didn't have to turn out this way.
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It sounds as if you suspect your mom is being manipulative and controlling. Well, she did have a stroke. Did her doctor think her mental abilities were also effected? I know that strokes can cause a step down in abilities over time. You can actually have them and not know it.

I thought my cousin was being lazy, manipulative and spoiled after she took a fall, but later we realize it was dementia. She was having multiple strokes and didn't know it. She was not inclined to do PT, didn't want to get out, didn't want to bathe or do anything for herself. It was the early signs of her Vascular Dementia/mixed with Alzheimers.

I would get her accessed to see where she is. At least you'll know what's really going on

I would check her fridge for old food and see if her car has any damage to it. She may not be reporting to you just how confused she may be. I'd get the keys immediately, until you are assured she's fit to drive.

The part about the continual falls is also familiar. I would also get an assessment to see what she needs assistance with and start figuring out the best way to get it.

Sometimes depression appears with the symptoms your mom has too.
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87 years old.Time to take car keys from her. If you can't have a doctor. Too many newslines, older person mistakes gas pedal for brake pedal.....You don't want that.

OK Mom, if you cant rememer your PT appointments, or remember to use your walker, it's time to think about a board & care...Breaking a hip now will guarantee you a room in a nursing home, do you want that?
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When I come across difficult patients like your mom I am completely honest with them, if I were to speak with your mom I would say this. Do you like living on your own or would you like to live in a nursing home, not doing your pt and getting your friends to do things for you is only going to get you put in a bed and when people no longer move around on there own you are put in a diper to use the bathroom on yourself then develop nasty bed sores and your muscles stiffen making you stuck in weird positions and that is painfull, so the choice is do for yourself and remain independent and at home or get put into a nursing home to be neglected and end up in poor condition and pain. That is what I would say, honesty is the best policy
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Mom is inadvertantly being rewarded by being catered to when she "can't" do stuff, and you probably can't stop this slow motion train wreck unless a geriatric eval as suggested by sandwich42 indicates someone can be a guardian - even then you can't force someone to function better necessarily, only to change location to something safer. See that papers are in order and someone with concern and good sense will be in charge when the inevitable happens and she has to go into care. Sorry you are starting down this path. It is no fun. She may pass away at home, alone, but again, that is not something you can necessarily prevent from happening. When you can get there, see if you can remedy any safety hazards in the home - if she lets you, of course! and see if you can do anything you might both enjoy together and make some good memories. Talk about old times, learn about things from her point of view, things you might not get another chance to, and say all the good stuff that needs said while you can. Wish it was easier.
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I can so identify with your concerns, at rehab they struggle to get her to do her ot and walking etc. it is more on her time then there's because she wants to control when things get done etc. We got her to try walking today, she has been so fearful of falling and just does not trust herself. The walker just does not feel supportive to her, so once they put her up to the parallel bars she was able to do much more. So maybe your Mom needs something more stable to try and get her confidence back. My Mother was independent to up until October last year when she got sick, she had my sister and I running to the store non stop getting things for her until she went to the hospital then rehab. She has not been back on her own in awhile. We know now she will need more extensive care, it seems she has gone in the other direction of demanding help now instead of not wanting it. The Cost of more care is very frightening to us, then her issues, but sorry to divert from your problem. you have to find something to motivate your mother to wanting to do her therapy. Talk to who ever is working with her or her doctor to see what they could come up with to help. You need your own respite help so you do not compromise your illness. Bless you.
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mamacocoapuff, I was wondering if reverse thinking might help.... tell Mom that since she's unable to use her walker or do any physical therapy, that you will need to move her to a nursing home because she's unable to do things for herself.... wouldn't it be great if she will take notice, start using her walker and start her exercises :)
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I forgot to add that if your mom's cognitive scores are below normal, you will not be able to reason with her that if she won't do PT, she will get worse.

Once certain thinking/reasoning functions go, you can explain until you're blue in the face and it won't matter. This also means you don't get to say "I told you so", or anything else that might feel quite satisfying to say. Just be prepared for this particular point of caregiver frustration.
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Time to think ahead to mom's next level of care needs.

Find out if she can add on services in her apartment or if she has to move to get more help. Some places have a limit on what you can need to stay. If mom has move coming up in her future, you have some work to plan. You do NOT want to find this out by surprise.

Make sure the doctor does a cognitive evaluation on mom. Even if she scores normal now, you have it as a benchmark to measure change in the future. This is a test you can't tapdance your way past and it will determine if she is capable of living independently or not. If not, this is where the doctor prescribes services.

My mother is against PT 100%. She doesn't believe in it and would never do it when she was supposed to, yet complains about her bad back, frozen shoulder, stiff hips, etc. etc. etc. She's from the age where you lay on your back for weeks and weeks after any kind of procedure, and had people to wait on you. She told me that people were coming into her room to torture her, and force her feet to move, force her legs to move, and she wanted the police to come. She was going to call the governor's office to have this place shut down! Turns out it was just PT exercising her.

I feel your pain. This is very difficult to watch and very difficult to be in the middle of. There are a lot of us on this board with parents we don't like, or who were abusive, and now we are the ones in charge of their care. People who haven't been through this have a very hard time understanding.

We're here for you.
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Whew! Thanks for sharing all that. Now that you have, I've got the same comment I had before: there is not a lot an adult child can do to "make" an elderly parent do something they don't want to do.

It must be very hard to watch a loved one with apparent self-destructive behavior and not be able to intervene. The fact that you love your mother but haven't liked her much (which I understand) probably adds to your feelings of guilt. But it doesn't change the basic dynamics here. She'll do what she wants to do.

About the doctor's appointment: I suggest writing down your concerns and revising your list until you have a few succinct bullet points (each with an example or two) and getting it to the doctor before the appointment. Many patients "show time" in front of doctors and it helps to get an idea of how they are at home.

As for the apartment folks who are "enabling" her ... I think that is kind of sweet. Your mother is at a point of needing to accept outside help. If she can get some of that help from friends in the building, that seems like a good deal to me. They bring her food, take her to the hair stylist and other places. Hey, that's fine, isn't it? I might see this as "enabling" if I thought without such help she would be doing her PT and wearing her stockings and using her walker but I highly doubt that. They are doing things she might expect you to be doing if you didn't have MS and I don't think they are getting in the way of her taking care of herself. Bake them a batch of cookies and write a thank-you note! :)
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At 81 she will buy the walker and schedule the PT but not do either. She bought the support hose, does not wear them. Pays for the monitor every month and it sits on her coffee table. I guess hardest part is knowing there is nothing I can do. She is living alone in an apartment building with many other seniors who are all now starting to enable her...they bring her food, carry groceries, drive her to get her hair done. She does not want to be seen with the walker, nor wearing the monitor and the PT was "doing nothing" (after 2 weeks). She fell again, in her own apartment, into a bookcase full of her tea cup collection. Broken china, monitor on coffee table on other side of room, she laid there helpless for a brief time but only because a friend happened to stop by. She is still driving. She is on her fourth car battery because she wont/cant go start the car at least every few days yet she has a remote starter. I am only child living in same state and she will call me to tell me when I have to take her somewhere. I can not help her into car or go on extended shopping trips, I have Multiple Sclerosis. My biggest fear is the enabling is masking her physical condition...a minor stroke 4 months ago has turned into a nightmare. She woke in the morning and did not tell anyone for almost a week that she had a stroke...by then her vocal cords were becoming affected and her voice was almost gone. Tests and a couple trips to the doctor confirmed the stroke but each time I go see her she has lost more weight, more of her voice, balance, strength. I feel I could answer my own questions after writing all this...doctor appointment is in 3 weeks. I guess I need to know what and how to talk to the doctor and what should I most likely be preparing for. To complete story, she has always been a mom I love but do not like but can put on a real "show" for the doctor...or is part of the show for me? I have caught her walking just fine when she did not know I was watching. That is not the only behavior that seems like a put on. Thank you for listening and being here.
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Could you give us a little more information? Is your mother in a rehab center or at home? What kind of physical therapy is she supposed to do? Does she have some cognitive problems (like dementia)?

Generally, there is not a lot an adult child can do to "make" an elderly parent do something they don't want to do.
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How old is your mother?

Is she spending all of her time sitting up or laying down?

What reason does she give for not doing physical therapy and not using her walker?

When did she stop doing her PT and using her walker?
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