Follow
Share

Mum resists all suggestions of things that would help her. She fought me for 2 d*mn years over hearing aids and getting her to use a walking stick. She's no major health problems but she resists things that would assist her in staying independent.

I want to get her a walking frame, for when she has "wobbly" days. She refuses, says she's not ready for that. Next time we have a trip out, she wants put in a wheelchair. She weighs about 17 stone so there's no danger I can push that about.....

Just one example.

Any techniques to get her to help herself? I'm guessing the best one would be to be unavailable, but she's an excellent manipulator and I fall for it every single time.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Dragonbait, you made me smile. You're right that often suggestions comes from adult children's anxiety and worry. Sometimes, they are right - other times they are overstepping.

My feeling is that if rainbow22's mother doesn't have dementia, then she will make her own decisions based on what she wants to do. It won't always make sense to rainbow - but her mother deserves to make choices. I believe that rainbow is a truly concerned daughter, but she may have to say, "Mum, that's your choice but I can't take you to ---whatever---unless you agree to use some form of support so that you don't fall.”

Then leave it to her mother. Often - for any of us at any age - when we are left to choose between admitting something we don't want to admit (like hearing loss) and whether or not to do something about it - we'll make a choice to do what needs to be done if we aren't pushed too hard. Stepping back can often accomplish what nagging fails to do.

This is the hard part for people as they age as it is for their adult children. Most adult children mean well. But adults of all ages deserve the dignity of making their own decisions even when they are "wrong" from the daughter/son's point of view.

With the focus on dementia, these days, it's easy for people to assume anyone over 65 can't think for themselves. Nothing is further from the truth. Becoming stubborn about feeling pushed into making decisions is often the next step.

Dementia, of course, changes that.

Good luck, Rainbow22. Your mother would likely be better off with hearing aids and a walking frame. I hope that she will eventually see this. Meanwhile smile through gritted teeth if you must. And please check back with us.
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Ah, yes. Stubborn old people won't do as they're told. I'll be 80 on my next birthday. I have three daughters who sometimes are supportive of my decisions and sometimes have some pretty hare-brained ideas about what I should or should not be doing. Sometimes a suggestion or preoccupation seems to come from a daughter's own anxiety rather than observation and discernment. It's good to know they love me and want to keep my safe, but this is my life to live as best I can.
Helpful Answer (15)
Report

____ ed if you do and double-______ if you don't. On the one hand, giving the elderly a few tools to be self-reliant can make them feel helpless sometimes. So I wouldn't give her anything unless she asks for it or really needs it. On the other hand, some elderly are quite adept at flipping the script on you by playing helpless when it's convenient for them.

Fairly able-bodied, she shouldn't have it both ways. Don't let her pull your strings so much.
Helpful Answer (11)
Report

Rainbow, welcome to the club... so many elders are in denial they are aging and don't want to use all these great things to make their life better.

Please use my Mom's example, maybe it might get through to your Mum. My Mom didn't want anything helpful for herself, nor for my Dad. Heaven forbid if a doctor said to her "it's age related". Mom would furniture/wall walk about their house, she was so unbalanced being in her late 90's. She even refused to let my Dad bring inside the house his new rolling walker.

Mom started to fall, trips back and forth to ER. Still refusing to help herself, or Dad, she had a serious fall and is no longer walking anywhere as she is bedridden in long term care on hospice watch. What did her stubbornness gain her, nothing, just heartache for those around her.

Dad is now using the rolling walker inside the house and hasn't fallen in months. And he is allowing the paid caregivers inside the house, Mom had refused them.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

My dad is the same way. Resist I'll help with cane or Walker and I tell him he is headed for a wheelchair but he says no way! He refuses to do his physical therapy or move more than he has to in a day, so eventually I know that's where we'll be. They are very manipulative and definitely act helpless if it's something they don't want to do. Caregiving is just a miserable job and I don't wish it for anybody. I told my dad next time he falls he's going to the hospital by himself and coming home by himself. I am NOT leaving work or changing my life at all because he refuses to help himself
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

On this forum, much has been said about what it really means to "honor" an elderly declining parent. Two years ago, my stepfather passed away suddenly. With "the buffer" gone, I got a crash course in just how needy/odd/impaired/intractable my 70-something mother is. No more denial. At the same time, there was no denying this: I'm an only child (40s); I live 30 miles from mom; my job+commute commands 60-80 hrs per week; I cannot run mom's household and mine. My next eye-opener was the parade of people who insisted that I'm The Daughter, therefore I'm The Answer. (I no longer respect those people.) But out of guilt and despair, I spent the better part of every Sat or Sun at mom's. I naively thought we'd de-clutter (half the house is hoarded), get important papers together, periodically pitch the bags full of banana peels that accumulate in the fridge, etc. Nope. My common sense suggestions were met with rages or stony silence. My sole purpose was to be a yes man to mom's paranoid rituals and co-manage her odysseys of slowness. I'll never understand how paying a half-dozen bills, writing 3 greeting cards and making a sandwich can drag into a 5-hour production. But so went my 1-day weekends. All in the service of someone who, I ruefully learned, rarely asked me about my week/work/friends/dear (neglected) partner/etc. All in the service of someone who lost her ability to write 3 years ago, has alarmingly poor balance, can only walk by grabbing walls/furniture and falls several times a week -- yet refuses to see a doctor. I wasn't giving the word "honor" much thought (the bible is not my go-to), but it kept coming up on AC forum. Wow! "Honor" does not mean "annihilate yourself." Instead, I can honor my mother by prioritzing and mobilizing. And your wise words helped me do just that. I shook off the fog and told mom that my aunt (mom's sister) -- who is healthy, retired and lives in the same town -- needs to pick up the slack. I told my aunt the very same thing. They each gave me an earful about how they clash, can't work together, etc. I told them both to Get Over It. I still regularly call mom and check in. I give her a Saturday or Sunday occasionally. I bring fresh milk and pour her expired milk down the drain, despite the howls of protest. I do whatever she wants/needs me to do, at her weird fractured pace. Between aunt and me, mom has groceries, bills get paid, utilities stay on. She's as clean as she wants to be (another saga). Mom doesn't give a crap about companionship and barely converses, so I'll save the "extra mile" for when she has a crisis. And she surely will. In the meantime, wouldn't it be nice if our pathologically self-centered elders made the effort to honor their adult children? I have no idea where mom's important paerwork is. She has all damn day to put her birth certificate, marriage license, IRA, property deeds, tenants' leases, will, POA, medicaire paperwork and life insurance policy in one place. AND tell me where said paperwork is. Pffft. I have a better chance of seeing Bigfoot. (No matter that her POA is outdated/inappropriate. And I have no idea how much life ins she has. Or who the beneficiary is.) Oh, and the longer mom goes without getting a diagnosis for her dexterity/mobility deterioration, the longer she holds MY family health history hostage. Whatever the h*ll is wrong with her, I stand a good chance of inheriting it. And I deserve to know what it is.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

I am glad I made the decision to move into a residence complex. I am in the apartment tower so when I moved in I lived independently, but as age and disability affected me, I have been able to access daily support services Now I have to use a wheelchair when I go out, I am most thankful for the help available. Of course I had to make sacrifices, losing much of my cherished furniture etc. but I am grateful for the feeling of safety and security I have now, plus the blessing of companionship when I want it. We must learn to accept our own limitations and make use of equipment that is available to us. Years ago there were no such things. I am now 92 and appreciate every day.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Depends how you define "fairly able bodied" She is a Senior, she is overweight and obviously likes to have things done her way. I would not necessarily force the wheelchair or anything else on her but make full use of those provided in stores, Dr's offices and hospitals. She may get short of breath or her heart start racing if she has to walk far. There may be things she has not told you about because she is afraid of loosing her independence and possibly going to a nursing home which we all dread.
This is up to you, if you feel you can't push a W/C you don't have to. If she is capable of using a walker well she uses it or you don't take her. It really is as simple as that, you hold the power these days so use it.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

You need a villain. I am the villain in most scenarios. But in the walker/cane story the physical therapist was. The Doctor suggested the cane and MIL had a hissy. So the Dr. wrote a script for PT to see if she could get strong enough on her own. The PT came to the house(whew) and made her do laps(for lack of a better term). Mind you...this was not without it's horror stories. The physical therapist has my cell phone and didn't hesitate to call me at work when MIL had her tantrums. Eventually, she got stronger so she is definitely steadier on her feet but after the Therapist's last day, MIL told me she didn't like her and she wasn't going to do the exercises. That's when I but the wheelchair, walker and cane out in plain view. She snapped (something out of place). I told her I needed them to be ready in case of an emergency. The explanation was simple and direct, don't do your PT and you will need to use one of these. She doesn't do the exercises everyday as required by the physical therapist. Her decision was to do them every other day.
She has dementia but is functional as long as she has some control of her life. It is the small battles that she wins that gives her purpose. My charge prefers I do everything for her. I lovingly botch up her demands so she feels the need to do it herself to get it right. Maybe in your situation the lovingly botching and PT would help. Don't give up retreat, regroup and try again.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Reading an article about a close-knit community, a senior called her neighbor to bring her coffee (which the neighbor agreed to do), and when she arrived with the coffee, found her friend had fallen. Apparently, she would rather call for coffee than to say she had a fall and needed help.
There is something universal about this, I think it is called dignity.
We as caregivers could try to understand and make generous alowances for this thing called D I G N I T Y . Offer grace instead of thinking our elders are trying to get to us.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.