My very able and alert 91-year-old mother has always had a preoccupation with her health and I am concerned this is damaging for her. If she gets a diagnosis for something minor, she will research it online (she has full mental faculties) and decide it is something else - a rare and dangerous condition - and therefore won't take the medication she has been prescribed. Or she will decide she knows best how to take the medication and alter the dose.

She will doctor shop until she find a doctor to support this view. I am starting to realize this has been a pattern for many years but I am not sure how to deal with it. I try to go to her appointments because she frequently misrepresents what the doctor has said - when called on this, she doesn't argue and will actually agree she is making things up to support her view - which she says is right and the doctors don't know what they are talking about. She was admitted to hospital this week after persuading a doctor to prescribe something that was damaging and the hospital was furious about the situation and with the doctor. They will talk to this doctor but she will just find another one. Talking to her about this doesn't help - it is like her mind is closed off to any other view. Is this generalised anxiety and how do I deal with it? She comes across to doctors as very bright, alert and persuasive - and they seem amused that a 91 year old is researching things on the internet.

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Thank you for your responses
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Penelope1

I find some older people are easily persuaded even by commercials on television. You’re right about them not describing the situation accurately. You’re lucky that she is agreeable when you correct the facts. Sometimes they get upset about being corrected. That’s concerning if they have no advocate for them.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

It sounds as though she may be experiencing Munchausen. It's good that she is so alert but sad that this is her focus although many doctors are fully aware of this condition. Hopefully it is not putting her financially in a hole and not wasting a great deal of her time. If it is I think you should be less available.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Riverdale

How does a 91 y/o woman 'persuade' a doctor to write a prescription that is 'damaging' and causes her to require hospitalization? I mean, that makes NO sense to me at all. Sounds like this doc needs to be reported to the medical board for review, frankly.

Your mom's preoccupation with all of this doesn't sound to me like depression, but maybe OCD type of anxiety. My mother has been depressed and anxiety ridden her whole entire life, 92 years, and while she DOES question her medications quite often, she's not in a position to do anything BUT question everyone, since she lives in memory care. Medications are dispensed to her by the QMAPS at the facility.

I will be curious to read what others have to say on the subject. Sorry I can't be of any real help to you, but I do wish you the best with all of this!
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Reply to lealonnie1

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