My mother is 88 and living on her own. It seems to me that she has aged rapidly in the past year. All she seems to want from me during this aging and deteriorating time is my accepting presence. I am witnessing her decline though and that is very distressing for me.
Although her health seems stable enough, she has now fallen a few times, bruising and scraping her arms and legs. I only learn about the falls way after they've happened. The fall before last was so bad that she injured her shoulders but wouldn't see a doctor until she had trouble sleeping. Recently her face was swollen on one side for a few days - she told me she didn't know why although recalled "bumping into a cupboard." She also seems to have some long-term congestion(months) issues so she sounds funny. These are just some of the issues that are apparent to me. In recent months she has looked bent-over and frailer and frailer.
I went with her when she saw her doctor the last time but I'm convinced she's not getting good care. I don't think the doctor "likes" her as she seems impatient with mom during the visit and doesn't spend any time on the whole picture that is mom right now. When I suggested to my mom that she try another doctor, someone who could evaluate all of her issues and help improve mom's quality of life, she refused. None of my business, she implied.
So. I talk to her via email every day and I visit her for a walk once a week. She tells me about her aches and pains occasionally, sometimes regularly. (Yikes! Swollen face? You should see your doctor.) She ignores my suggestion, just doesn't even respond.
So. I'm thinking that she doesn't want my advice, and I understand this is often true of caregiving children and their parents. But, and here's the reason I write, it's very hard for me to show up for our weekly walk and see her suffering. She seems frailer and frailer. I now have to force myself to go and be cheerful and act like everything is okay because it is all her choice, isn't it? This is the way she wants to do this.
I'm sure others have been in this place although I couldn't find anyone talking about this grieving when I scrolled through past questions. And maybe there is no good answer. This is just what I must do.
Anyway, I thought I'd ask and maybe someone has something to say that would make this somehow more bearable.
My husband says that we'll just have to wait until there is a bad fall or accident or something that lands her in the hospital. Then we'll know what to do next.