My Mom doesn't socialize unless I'm there with her. I don't understand it? It's a beautiful day here today and I suggested that she take a walk out on the sidewalk and socialize with the neighbors (I'm at work). Nope, gonna sit at home alone, watching Billy Grahm & baseball. Then as soon as I get home from work she'll want to go out to get out of the house. Anyone have any ideas on how I can motivate her to socialize while I'm at work? I work full time with commute is 8.5 hrs, then it's 2 or 3 hrs taking her out of the house, get home 9:30pm, then 1 hr with the pets. I'm in my mid 50's and the schedule is so so full. She is also resistant to the Senior Center and the Adult Day Care. Oh, we also had paid caregivers for a while, and we were robbed 3 times during the months Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb. Siblings and extended family don't care.

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While I understand that some people aren't social, I agree with Pam that this doesn't seem to be your mom's problem. She wants to socialize but she wants you involved.

Perhaps giving adult day care another try may help. Let them know her patterns and tough out the first days when she'll complain and try to make you feel guilty. You may have better luck if you tell here that this is her only option because you can't spend your evenings taking her out. Then stick with it. If she figures out that she can't get you to comply with her demands, she may make friends at ADC.

Good luck with this. You must take care of yourself so it's important that you find some solution. Please keep us posted and watch for insight from other forum members. We've all had different experiences.
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I totally disagree with CAREGIVER99 that the cared for are more important than the caregivers. When the caregiver drops dead from exhaustion, or gets fed up enough to put you in a home, then the CAREGIVER is MORE IMPORTANT than the cared for. Because it is the CAREGIVER that provides the ways you can stay out of assisted living. I refuse to feel guilty because I dare to say enough is enough!
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I understand CAREGIVER99's comment. I also know that we are ALL important and we all play an important role in one another's lives. We want our loved ones to age gracefully, happily and with no conflict. Unfortunately, sometimes conflict does arise once the caregiver is completely exasperated from bowing down and giving everything they've got. Your love tank may be running on empty. What I mean is - once you are totally exhausted from being the sole caregiver, that love tank of yours is gonna run on E. And if you're running on E - how is it possible to make others happy?

Everyone is important. When my father was sick with cancer, my mother had to wash, bathe and change him and also change the bags that were hooked up to his kidneys. Not a pretty task for a 75 year old woman seeing her childhood boyfriend/husband now dying right before her eyes. We literally thought my mom would die before my dad because she was withering away. They tried to refuse hospice help - but eventually, came to their senses.

It is a very hard task to be a caregiver, emotionally and physically. Be GOOD to yourself while caring for others. Fill up that love tank!
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My mother-in-law is a recluse. She moved to our area after Katrina, which may have started some of this. While she was in her house she got to where she would gradually go out less and less. Most of the time when we came to check in on her, she would be in front to the TV- sleeping. We hired a housekeeper to come in weekly with the stipulation that the HK would get Lois to sit down with her for coffee and small talk taking a 30 min. break each time she came in. Lois really enjoyed this. Once she decided to go to Assisted Living, we found a beautiful place with lots of activities, wonderful rooms. Except for meals and very occasional other things, she keeps to her room. We worried about this for awhile, but finally decided that at 91 she was old enough to choose, so we leave her alone with her decision. We do drive up to check on her weekly and call each night.
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Ugh, you read my mind this morning. My mother is 76, lost her husband to cancer 2 years ago and my partner and I moved back into her large house which we renovated, so she wouldn't have to move in with anyone and still be home. Anyway, she doesn't have ONE friend. She relies on me and my three older sisters. We LOVE her, but she will not go anywhere without ME. Even when my sisters come over, she says, "Please be there because I don't know what to say to them." But she will be totally content with me taking her out shopping or out for dinner and she has LOADS to say to me. I am her only friend. I love her, she is my best friend too, but it is very hard to get her to realize that having a social life is healthy. She refuses to go to senior centers or bingo - anything. "She's not one of them." You know how that goes. She doesn't view herself as a senior (neither do I really cause she's so put together) but she has to start somewhere. I'm so overwhelmed.

And here's the thing. Like you - you work all day, but I'm the opposite. I work from home and I only work until 2pm. FREE TIME. So, she waits for me or calls me up and says, "What are you doing?" It's 9am. "Working." So if I'm home, that's not "real work" to her.

She is very lonely. I wish I could give you good advice, but the one thing I can say is this: bring people over to the house. Force people into her life. This is what I'm doing and I've been seeing her enjoy the company and laughing. Make sure you tell the people the dilemma so they are extra sensitive to the situation. So far, she has gotten along really well with my in-laws who are only 10 years younger than her. I invite them over for BBQs and outings - so she is really happy with that. But then - it all falls on me.

Very frustrating. If you can't bring her to them, bring them to her!

Good luck! I'm in the same boat!
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She's not non-social, she is just the opposite. She is an attention seeker and would do very well in Assisted Living or the Senior Center. You can either be her total home entertainment center or you get her out with people her own age. Some ALF's have a day unit. Look around.
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It would appear, provided that your description of your Mother is accurate, that she is doing exactly what she want to do. What's wrong with that?

Not everyone is the life and soul of the /party Not everyone is a social butterfly. Not everyone want to do the things that others believe are 'good for them'

It is recognised that we are all different. This is known as the psychology of individual differences. You need to accept your mother's choices whether you like or agree with them or not.

While it is permissible for you to make gentle suggestions to your mother about activities, you should not preach to her, or cajole her in a forceful way. She needs your love, your kindness, you attention, but not your determination to change her outlook.

She has chosen what she wants or does not want to do and her choices have to be respected in respectful ways.

Mothers do not live forever, and their autumnal years must not be filled with arguments, conflicts, or any kind of behaviour from others that are determined to change her from their chosen courses.

Let her age in peace, and if that mean in isolation, then let her choice be honoured.
The day will come when each of us will be in her situation. Having spent a lifetime at the beck and call of others [ask a mother!], why not choose to sit alone and watch TV or listen to music, or knit, or read, or, if that's what you want, to do nothing?

I would be happier if the lady that 'checks up' on her 91 year old mother had said 'we visit her.'

By the time I am 91, I will have done all the whizzing round in a whirl that I will ever have wanted to do, so, if you see me then, recognise that I am the way I am because I choose to be that way and for some excellent, and sane, reasons.

If there are mental problems that make elderly parents make unsound choices, then no amount of argument will change them. You have to know when you are licked!

The "Cared For" are always more important than the Care Givers."

You might have to change your perspective to see this, and to practice it, but if that's what it will take to get you on the same side as your aged parent, then so be it. Whatever happens, never become their enemy.

Relax, chill out, be kind, tolerant, and gentle.

Caregiver 99
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I had the same problem, only it was because my mom didn't like the neighbors, and would say things like 'I am going to move the house just to spite them'. She only ever liked being around her old friends or us kids, but made life hell for us; her way or the highway. She actually did move, without telling us, had a heart attack. My brother and I had to track her down, to where we summered as kids, but she bought another house up there. She has the resources to be stubborn, but my parents never used the resources to be happy. Anyway, my brother and I aren't that old, they had us later in life, so if someone is in their 50s and giving up having a life for mom, this is a cautionary tale. After we tracked down mom, my brother's family had to move, sell their house, and take care of mom, until they had enough of her being stubborn. She was told by her doctor if she didn't change her ways, the decision would be made for her. She had an in home care person, and she wouldn't abide by doctor or caretaker rules [meds, food, exercise, none of it, stubborn to the end]. Oh, she also spent a lot of money to make sure I was cut out of the will; spiteful and hateful to the end, her way or the highway, and I kept trying to get her to change, my brother had more patience, but we both walked away to save our sanity. She kept taking showers late at night, against orders from doctor, fell and broke her leg, and never recovered; died a few months ago alone, bitter, but stubborn to the end. The point is, if there is HOPE that mom can learn a lesson [ours could not], then get her to change her day, as I read so many of these old folks manipulate. If you are in your 50s, not married, no kids, no YOU want to end up that way because mom is still calling the shots? I know we didn't enjoy it.
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Dear Caregiver 99, I can totally relate to what you are going through. I too, have brothers and sisters and they do not assist in any way, except to visit maybe quarterly. It gets tiring doing everything for them, day in and day out. What I have discovered over the years is that it is okay for me to say "No". I don't need to provide any reasons, I can just say no to Mom. I have tried to get her to the senior center, etc. and she refuses to go and have learned that that is okay too. It's her life to live the way she wants and I am not a victim here; I took on all the responsibility myself (and have kicked myself many times because of burnout). In the end, when they pass away, I can say to myself that I did everything I could and have no regrets. Don't know how my other siblings will feel, but taking care of a parent is a form of love. You sound tired, so take some time and have some fun yourself.
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PS: I tried everything: Inviting her friends in. Taking her to places and friends she loved. Nothing worked. She would beg off saying, "I don't want them to see my tears." She would get up every morning and sigh, deeply, at the breakfast table, getting set to unload her litany of things she was dissatisfied with. She was mad that she got old. I finally told her I was through spending one more minute of my own life on my way to eternity putting up with her shit. She could tell me something good, such as, "Is our cat sitting in your lap? Loving you?" "Is your son cooking you your favorite breakfast?" "Is the sun shining outside?" "Did you sleep in a warm bed last night?" She would ignore me and continue on, "I'm all alone!" I finally got to the point where I would answer, "You haven't been alone for the last 17 years. You've been living with us with all of your needs met--" except, apparently, the one where I eat shit and die for her satisfaction. I got to the point where I no longer cared if she were mad, sad, lonely, blah blah blah.
I would leave the room and read a book in my bedroom or sit on the porch with a cup of coffee. She was a narcissistic old woman---cranky selfish OLD people were once cranky selfish YOUNG people. Unplug. Expect nothing but more misery. She died last year. I am glad she is dead. She stole 17 years of my life I will never get back and there wasn't one happy day or thank you in the lot.
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