About two years ago I began seeing my Mom go from a happy active person to one that now stays at home all day long except to go out and get her mail or have me drive her to one of her many doctor appointments. She has become where she obsesses negatively about everything from her regretting the big mistake she feels in selling her home (which she at the time for years was happy about) to going on about every ache and pain in her body which she's sure is something serious and so her doctor refers her to a specialist and even after being reassured that it's arthritis, age, etc. she will accept the answer and then within a matter of a couple days start back on the cycle again. It is next to impossible to attempting to reason with her and I have left her house many times just exhausted from having to try. I have tried to get her to get involved with senior activities but she doesn't because she always has an excuse....too tired, not feeling quite right, doesn't have the right clothes to wear, etc. I live about 3 miles away and it's not unusual to get at least a couple of calls a day with her upset about something such as she woke up feeling sore and weak in one of her hands and wasn't sure if she was having a stroke and should she go to the hospital, or even calling to say she heard a noise from the washer or refrigerator and thinks it may be going out, or why has someone changed all the programs around on her computer so she's having a hard time using it and wonders who authorized "them" to do this. I say this with some guilt but I many times have dreaded even looking at my phone thinking it was her calling and at times not answering her call and waiting to listen to what message she left me so I could prepare myself for what major crisis she felt she was now happening. Because of seeing her going downhill so rapidly in the past year I have spent about 3 hours every day going over there in the evening so she would have someone to talk with and so I could see how she was doing. I can't get her to get out of the house because she doesn't feel her best so we sit around and go over the same topics of her worry and concern over and over and over and over again and it's the same conversations night after night. I can try talking to her about something positive and that lasts about 5 minutes.She has fallen a couple of times in the past few months (one which sent her to the ER) and this is one reason I feel I need to go and see her since she has no other friends she keeps in contact with. The very few times I "took the night off" and went to dinner with friends I would return the next day and it was as if she was making up complaining double time because I wasn't there the night before to visit. Not sure if any of this that I've wrote has made any sense but as I'm writing this I have realized in the past few weeks that I am feeling so mentally drained and my energy is sapped from having to deal with this. I also have thought that it should be my responsibility at this point to move in with her but as selfish as this sounds I can't take this on by myself. I have other family members out of state. One I called just in the past year to express my concern and he told me that as long as she was bathing and was able to use the bathroom the rest was all a normal part of aging and they would call my Mom more often just to touch bases with her and see how she was doing. Well, other than the holiday calls they've done nothing more. Sometimes I feel like just throwing up my hands in the air and saying I give up but that's not an option. I realize I have to do what I have to do. I don't know if I'm trying to ask how to get help for the situation or just venting but I can use any suggestions at this point.
How old is your mother?
What sort of place did she move into when she sold her home and came to live c. 3 miles away from you?
Normal ageing does not involve going from being happy and active to miserable and hypochondriac and having ER visit type falls in two years. And, now that I come to type that, hypochondria and ER visit type falls in themselves would seem to be mutually exclusive.
Are you confident that your mother is being entirely open about what her doctors are telling her? Are you included in those discussions with doctors, and/or do you have POA or medical proxy status?
Overall it does sound as if your mother needs a more formal care structure than she is currently living in. Having said that, that structure does not have to involve your devoting every moment of leisure to visiting her, listening to her and holding her hand. Are you and she ready to discuss alternative living arrangements for her, such as a suitable facility?
Please do come back and say more: there are many options, and we will all have shared your feeling of living in a waking nightmare.
I think you might want to make a move now rather than after the next accident.
One of the hallmarks of my mom's Mild Cognitive Impairment was increased worry and anxiety about everything. Weather, mechanical stuff at home, neighbors, you name it, she was hysterical about it. We got her into a nice independent living facility and hooked her up with a good geriatrics doc and a geriatric psychiatrist. Having a doctor close by who was always reachable by phone was a real blessing for her, and the geri psych was able to manage her anxiety with meds.
Your mother certainly needs a higher level of care than she is currently getting. And she almost certainly needs antidepressant and/or antianxiety meds.
And you are not selfish. This situation with your mom sounds chaotic and stressful. I think most of us have felt or can understand why you feel the way you do.
I also agree that your mom continuing to live alone is a problem that isn't going to get any better. You can't be her entire life. You can't take that on. It might be time to start looking at assisted living facilities for your mom.
OR get her 24 hour care.
What state do you live in?