My Mother has no interests anymore. She was always such a vibrant, social person and now does not want to do anything. Do we have to lose all interest in life as we age?

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It is not like she is depressed - just disinterested. It is difficult dealing with her increasingly smaller world. My Mother, who used to be so interesting, has become a total boor. Self-obsessed and self interested. So of course it gets very tiring to be around. Where are all the wise, elderly people? Mostly I see spoiled toddlers in eighty year old bodies. Sorry if thats sounds harsh but my Mother listens in on my phone calls, screens my phone calls, walks in on me whenever she feels like it. She has no boundaries. It reminds me of when my children were toddlers except that it is far less charming and way more irritating Mostly harmless stuff but still...... Do we have to lose all interest in life as we age?.

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thank you cmagnum - It is just my opinion and it is just my aging process and my experience of having been a care giver and now in some ways needing some one to care for me. If I sound angry I guess it is because I am. I grew up in an age when the older generation were respected for the wisdom and life experience they brought to the table. The generation before me kept the older folks in the home. It is not a secret that this kindness and gratitude is rare these days. It is well known by the socially aware that women in particular are the majority of long term patients in nursing homes. Not that they necessarily belong there but retired women made less money than men and in-home care and assisted living is too expensive. They basically end up in nursing homes because they are poor. Our society has forgotten about them. Women who age virtually become invisible to this society. I would like to see a lot more funding and support for low-income elderly women and senior citizens in general and children of these hapless victims do as much as possible before they toss them into a long care facility. I am very jaded about those facilities but I come by it honestly and I do not feel 90 percent of nursing homes are a good place for any human or animal to be placed. It is not a loving, caring place where those destitute elderly women are helped to have the highest quality of life. In the process of taking care of my mother and father I found many dedicated, caring intelligent health care professionals but too often I ran into just the opposite and had I known before hand they never would have been allowed to lay a hand on any of my loved ones. Children of elderly parents need to take the time to assure that the people caring for their parents are qualified and are in the healthcare field because they want to help and not just to have power over a vulnerable human being. I have no problem with people who have had a different experience putting it down here. But, I have a right to express my opinion equally.
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cmagnum I think maybe you are being a bit harsh with ginger. I don't think she was condemning anybody. She was just stating her opinion. I usually agree with what you say cmagnum but in this case I think you are running someone down instead of being supportive. Just my opinion though.
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My critical thinking showed me that my mother with her dementia which was so bad that she would not work with PT to learn to walk again after breaking her hip and thus unable to walk, that the best place for her was a nursing home where she did have caring health care from professionals. Sorry, but you paint with too broad a brush and I do not except your condemning, self-righteous remarks. This is a site to support each other and not to run other people down.
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I gasp and catch my breath sometimes when I realize how much control of my life I have lost. It is terrifying. I fell many times before I realized that the reason I was falling was my peripheral vision has been affected. I guess someone could have thrown me in a nursing home which is what happens when seniors start to fall...kids rush them right in!!!! but I was able to determine how to adapt when you don't have that vision. I learned I have to pick my feet up higher to step up and I have to be careful when I get really tired and am walking. I also learned that I should never have both hands full. This is just one tiny adaptation I needed to accomplish in order to get control of my body back. So who but me would have taken the time to determine why I was falling? EVERY child that is determined to take care of an elderly mother needs to take a six week class in aging. I took one when my mother and dad were aging and it just opened my mind. There are many reasons why seniors don't act the way their kids want them to. If you love them before you give them over to some unrelated, uncaring health care professional do a little critical thinking!!
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Mulata when my Mom's world became smaller because of diminished cognitive abilities she told me often that I was like her lifeline.Its kind of sad when a person's life becomes so limited. You almost can't blame them for being clingy.
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Mom can do a lot, but she's forgotten HOW to do things
she did all her life.
Sewing
Crochet
Knitting
Cooking
Painting
Playing cards or scrabble
Dominos
Chess
If I suggest we do an activity together... "I don't feel like it".
If I suggest that she needs a little sun... same thing
She only wants me to be at arms length.
I am in another room, typing this out, feeling guilty because she's watching TV alone. We spent the day out and about, ate, she napped while I watered my plants, cooked, served, cleaned up, and I am tired. I said: I'll be back in a while. She moaned quietly in disappointed tone.
Another 30 minutes for me, and I will be back to her, to give her the night time meds.
She's easy going, but oh so clingy.
M88
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I suspect boorish behavior comes about as a result of an older person losing their dignity, their status in life, their hearing, vision and physicality and being vulnerable and sometimes helpless to get back any control of their lives. You don't have to be elderly to have those dynamics affect someone in a negative way. My father, who was a powerhouse before he aged became angry and frustrated when he became dependent in his 90s. He was not a pleasant man to be around but kindness seemed to soften him a lot. Now that I am 70 I know exactly why he felt the way he did.
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You know, I re read all the posts and I don't see anyone saying that their parents are boring, I'm not even seeing any disrespect, at least not on this thread. The OP talks about boorish behaviours, as do many others. Ginger, I expect your kids don't see you as an adult toddler because you don't act like one! I don't think that anyone should have to accept bad behaviour from their parents just because they are your parents. Yes, it is sometimes dementia, but for some it can be a lack of respect for their caregivers too!
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My Mom's world became much smaller too. I never realized how much so until after she died. I became entrenched in her world but it never was a problem though cause I adored her. Now I find myself looking at the world through my eyes instead of hers. I never realized I was viewing the world from her point of view until after she died.
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it was very hard for me to take care of my mom and dad but I tried very hard to go to where they were and not expect them to come to me...in the sense that they were in a very different world than I was...They no longer had the interests they had before and their world got smaller so I tried to get smaller too. I would have never whined about them being boring. They really weren't. It was just a question of me understanding them. I got my mom talking about genealogy and family history and she could not wait to sit down and tell me what she could remember and I could not wait to write it all down. She wasn't talking politics, religion or current events but fascinating little clips of what it was like for her growing up in the 1920s. She went slowly so I did too. Patience, patience, patience!!!!!!!
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