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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 11 of 23
OMG, I so relate! Love your thorough description of the (crazy-making) behavior!
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Re: Mom refuses to leave house/ SHE DID IT!

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Message 12 of 23

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and ideas!

 

Took mom to the primary care nurse practitioner and she agreed to double her anti-depressant dose. Also agreed it would be fine to take her to the gerontology specialist.  I found a doc on her insurance with good ratings online, and called today to get an appt -- they close at noon on Wed, will call tomorrow again.

 

God bless my mom, she can also be really open sometimes -- my daughter and I took her to get her hair cut and to the movies. She was very willing to do this, partly, I believe because she had 8 weeks of both PT and OT, which really increased her strength adn flexibility very visibly (she could only raise her hands level to her elbows before, now she can put her hands on her head!) and seeing those cheery people also really cheered her up.

 

I am an alternative health practitioner and did some tapping with her with EFT  (www.eftfree.net for more overall info) to release her fear and anxiety in going down the stairs.  God bless me, I forgot to tap on going UP the stairs! When she comes home and is tired (and I am so tired too!), she gets frozen on the stairs and it is really easy to strain her muscles -- she hurt her right foot and her whole right side leg and hip!!

 

It was swollen next day and she couldn't move her toes, so I took her to Urgent Care -- this time, I researched reviews of Urgent Care in the area and took her to a good one! not the stinky emergency room I took her to last time where the staff gave us about :30 seconds of care and made us wait 8 hours, even though we were visibly only one of two people there!

 

This Urgent Care was great and actually caring. The foot was not broken, thank God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So she is nursing her strained leg and hip with muscle rub and a heating pad. I am doing my best to detach and be calm, which is helping her stay calm also -- not positive, but at least calm.

 

The following day her leg gave out on her when she got out of bed and she fell on the floor -- but no specific further injuries resulted! I consider that sooo positive, and so does she. It is so easy to believe that once you break a bone (she has broken her pelvis, 3 yrs ago, and her collarbone, last year) the osteoporosis has set in and everything is completely fragile and easy to break -- that is just not true. Muscles really do count, too.

 

AND SHE DID LEAVE THE HOUSE! And she did have a really nice time -- I even got her a Closed Captions device at the movie and she was so happy she could understand it! (We went to see Paddington and she has a terrible time with accents.)

 

Also, the physical and occupational home therapists she really likes strongly recommended her to keep going and seek outpatient PT to continue to rebuild her strength (after she feels better), as that is the thing that will help her reduce falls and injuries. My mom has agreed to do that! I am also hoping to take her to a body-awareness healer that I see, to try to contact and release some of these fears or feelings that make her freeze.

 

It can be SOOOOO HARD to keep any kind of faith in positive movement when things look so gloomy, but I have seen it again and again -- it gets dark, and then there is dawn. I am very grateful for this progress.

 

Will keep you posted.

 

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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 13 of 23

Mine is bad too.  She only leaves the house to go to the grocery store and the doctor's office.  As a result, she is way out of step with how things are done and what people are like.  She will do something that ticks someone else off and then she runs home crying about the big bad world and saying she's never going to leave the house again.  She has a ton of "requirements" that must be met before she can leave the house, including (but not limited to): it can't be too hot, it can't be too cold, it can't be rainy and it can't be crowded.  She will make big plans for the holidays but then think nothing of cancelling at the last minute because she was too excited to sleep the night before and is now too tired to do anything.  Mine does the dramatic voice but also likes to hide things behind her back and then spring them on me.  She makes bracelets as a hobby and every time I go over to their house, here comes mom with a dozen or so bracelets that she's made, hidden behind her back, that she wants to show to me - one bracelet at a time.  If I can get her out of the house and she starts to have fun, then there is no stopping her and she will want to stay at a event or gathering for hours.      

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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 14 of 23

Mine is bad too.  She only leaves the house to go to the grocery store and the doctor's office.  As a result, she is way out of step with how things are done and what people are like.  A

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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 15 of 23
My Mom is the same way. I am still learning to deal with it. Bless you.
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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 16 of 23

Hi Nancy!  Gerontologists & Geriatricians. Oh how i wish there were so many more of them than there are. Oy. And geriatric psychiatrists. Way  more of those, too, please. Whomever is order new doctors, i hope they hear me...

 

To find a geriatrics care provider, try here: http://www.healthinaging.org/find-a-geriatrics-healthcare-professional/

 

Good for your mother for requesting this. Smart woman! BTW, geriatricians care for older people. Gerontologists study older people. The words get used interchangeably.

 

Good luck tomorrow (Monday, 1/5, right?) at the doc. She might feel a little bit defensive. All older people in their 90s experience some "cognitive decline" but that doesn't mean your mother's life is not worth living. So much loss involved in simply getting out of bed and moving through the day. I hope your mother can find some purpose, some joy in the midst of the decline. She is lucky to have you as a daughter, that's for sure.

 

jane

 

 

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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 17 of 23

Thank you all again for your helpful replies. You have given me some good support and food for thought.

 

We are going to the foot doctor today, and will have some kind of outing afterwards. In the summer, I drove her around to look at nice gardens and she enjoyed that. Winter is a little tougher. Maybe coffee or hot chocolate at the new Dunkin Donuts....

 

I am now realizing that I have a strength in not being willing to write my mother off because I know how vital she is.... My weakness, though, is admitting to myself that she is really 93 and she has the large mental challenges that she has -- she is very prone to just giving up and being depressed, because she is so used to being super healthy.

 

She is now on a small dose of anti-depressants, which I can see has helped a small bit. On Monday, we go to the doctor and I will give an update and request a higher dose.

 

My mom has also requested to see a gerontologist. I believe she wants to see someone who understands aging. I will ask her regular doc if she would be OK with that. The gerontologist apparently deals with depression and helps with family issues around memory loss/dementia -- though, of course, what is on everyone's mind these days is Alzheimer's, which according to my research my mom doesn't have.. I am a bit afraid to go there, though, as I don't want the doc to tell my mom that she has "dementia" -- which I understand is also the catchall term used for memory loss -- so that my mom has another reason to feel sorry for herself and give up.

 

Anyone have any ideas about gerontologists??

 

Thank you.

Nancy

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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 18 of 23

Hi Nancy. I'm really glad you vented. Of course you're not a raving control freak. You sound very generous, creative, and discliplined in your efforts to do what is best for your mother. Moving her in with you is a very loving act. 

 

Yes you do need to keep up with your respite care of yourself. No question about that. Please do. :-)

 

As i read your first post, i am relieved that she enjoys going out to the doctor, and it seems to me that you can take her natural willingness to do that escursion and tag other ones onto it, as it sounds like you have done. Get her hair done? Go visit someone else so that SHE's the visitor instead of always the visited? Is there some place she used to go to that would perk her up, like a cafe, or a museum that has a nice cafe in it, or a garden (come spring.) It rained here Christmas Eve, too: a damper for sure. But she tried and so did you. 

 

At 93, some odd behavior is bound to come up. Maybe a little dementia is happening? She probably doesn't get much exercise. If a nice day happens (like down here in washington dc it was in the upper 50s one day before christmas), take her out for a walk around the block. It might take a long 30 minutes, but it will do her and her brain some good, and yours, too. 

 

You could look into what is free in your community for elders by checking out www.eldercare.gov and typing in your zip code. At the bare minimum, you'll find an agency who's purpose it is to provide services to people over 60 (which might include you as well??)  You'll find a social worker who may be really busy but might really enjoy sitting down with you during an appointment to hear you out and then suggest activities that the city/ county does that your mom might benefit from. Events at a senior center, for example, to celebrate Valentine's Day, say. A free meal program. Day trips. Maybe the social worker has time to make a home visit and get to know your mom a little bit. In DC, there are geriatric care managers assigned to each agency that serves older adults, and they do home visits. Couldn't hurt. 

 

I'm a geriatric care manager and social worker. I'm thinking that you'd enjoy a caregivers support group once in a while. I substitute for the leader of one every few months, and the one i help with is free, meets monthly in an assisted living residence, and is full of adult children, and a couple of spouses, of older people who are struggling with something. I see the relief spread over the faces as caregivers realize they aren't alone. Or their situation isn't so bad! 

 

Intersan has wise words, and i echo the idea of maybe some counseling for yourself. Even just one session to affirm what you're doing and hear you out, might help. You don't want to put your life completely on hold, not that you are, but... there is life out there for you, too. What does this next chapter in your life involve? And what will you dream of doing when she's gone?

 

Let us know what you try that works, how you're doing, etc. We all learn from each other!  It's deep mid winter and quicker than we know it, it will be thawing and sprouting. Caregiving is for the long haul. You are providing an enormous service for your dear mother. She is one lucky woman. Let's see how it goes. 

 

BTW, whenever my mother burped, she would say "Ralph" at the same time. Gross, but hysterical!

 

Jane

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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 19 of 23

I know that you love your mother very much, and it's difficult to see her at this stage in life. She may feel that it's just too much for her to leave or that she requires too much help to get her places. However, I understand your need for respite care. I know how frustrating it was, at times, to attend to my mother when she was in the nursing home, but I can only imagine how difficult it is for you. I know that not having the ability to pay to hire someone is a problem so that you can just get a few hours away. Do you belong to a church? However, a social service agency, if you live in a city, might suggest some solutions. On the other hand, unless she's demanding, she might just be happy to stay in her room with her TV on. I noticed that many residents did this in the nursing home as they just didn't have any desire to socialize. I truly hope you find some answers. 

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Re: Mom refuses to leave the house

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Message 20 of 23

Thank you for your replies.  I felt much calmer after sharing and venting.

 

I apologized to her the next day for speaking sarcastically, and I told her I would really prefer if she comes with us on Christmas Eve but of course she doesn't have to.... She got dressed and tried to come, but it was raining and she walks so slowly she was really wet by the time she got to the car -- that was too much for her, and she tearily wanted to go back in, so my daughter and I helped her back in and she was perfectly happy staying at home.

 

We don't have money for senior day care, but I am still going to find some kind of senior activities to at least tell her about that perhaps she would enjoy.

 

I also feel I need more respite time, and am going to try to take more again -- I was taking regular breaks each day, but kind of slacked off, and wow, does that frustration build up.

 

I wrote that post when I was maximally upset, perhaps not a good idea, as you probably got the impression I'm some kind of raving control nut.... I really am not.

 

Thanks again. Looking forward to more perspectives also.

 

 

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