Parents' become the child

JuLeah - posted on 02/24/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My mother is depressed, has been all of her life. Won't admit it; has denied it for 70 years and I don't really see that changing.

She doesn't take care of herself. Won't eat. I signed her up for Meals on Wheel, she refused to answer the door. My sister takes her food, as she lives in the same town, but Mom won't really eat it.

My sister has forced her to see a doctor who was/is concerned and put her on vitamin supplements and gave her an exercise routine. That lasted about three days.

She is getting more and more forgetful. She doesn't always track conversations.

Won't move in with my sister as she has been invited to do.

We are worried and are not sure what do to. The state said they can't do anything unless she has been declared unfit to care for herself, but she has not yet reach that point in their opinion.

We'd like to intervene before it gets that bad.

Anyone else been through this?

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JuLeah - posted on 02/24/2011

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Yes, thank you. She is on the wait list for many places and has been for years. One came up a couple of years ago, but she refused to move out of her place and legally, there was nothing we could do. Some places allow us to put her name on the list (five year wait) and other ask she put herself on the list, which she refuses to do (sigh)

DSHS and adult services can't get involved until she is "in a bad way" meaning a real danger to herself or others ... I think we have reached that place, but they disagree.

I would love Mom to be in such a place, and we do have a few good ones here :)

Thanks all for the time you took to reply ...

[deleted account]

Surely she's eligable for some sort of government assistance.
Have you thought about or spoke to her about an assisted living center? It's just like an apartment building or a fancy hotel with room service. You live in your own and do as much or as little for yourself as you like. You have a kitchen in your apartment so you can make your own meals but there is also a dining room where 3 meals per day are served. There are different activities everyday like games, bingo, bible study, music, etc. Alot of them have pools and have water aerobics for arthritis and heart health. It's a WONDERFUL thing for elderly people who want to remain independent yet need some level of assistance with their daily routine. Some are private pay and some are medicaid / medicare or a combination. You should go to social services or dshs (welfare dept.) and ask to speak to someone so they can tell you exactly what you can do and what she's eligable for. They have specific programs for this to get people set up to go. Also maybe the social aspect of living there would alleviate her depression by being around people her own age and people she can relate to.
Good luck with it all. I hope you can get it worked out. Makes me sad for you all just thinking about it. ♥

JuLeah - posted on 02/24/2011

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Yes, she has medicare, which is how she was able to see the doctor. But, he can't won't do anything but the very basic for her. Medicare doesn't cover much. I think it was fine for him to set her up on a weekly plan with him, she just didn't follow through. I don't fault the doctor at all. Folks that are depressed ... don't take care of themselves, don't know they are not taking care of themselves, make matters worse by not taking care of themselves, can't muster up the energy to even care about taking care of themselves ... I flip between wanting to scream and wanting to wash my hand to the whole thing ... ya can't 'reason' with her and I can't legally force her to do anything ... feel impossible ... magic wand anyone?

JuLeah - posted on 02/24/2011

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We live in America. The programs we have here won't help if she does not want help (she doesn't) and won't take action unless she reaches a level of danger to herself or others ... meaning, she actually has to start a few fires, or fall .

Her doctor wanted her to come back in weekly for weight check, but she refused to go back and my sister/brother-in-law were not able to make her go.

The doctor won't see her if she is brought there by force and refuses his services anyway.

The doctor won't put her in the hospital, she doesn't have insurance.

Again, we live in America



I know, I know ... sounds impossible ... feels that way to us anyway. Just hoping maybe someone out there has a magic wand I could use?

Katherine - posted on 02/24/2011

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Another thing is that if she is not eating why won't her doctor hospitalize her?
That is another way to make her get the help she needs.

Louise - posted on 02/24/2011

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JuLeah where in the world do you live? In England we have an organisation called Age Concern that is charity based but also has a huge base of volunteers. This group can come out and access your mum and get the right government run groups to help you and your sister. If your mum is not feeding herself and is getting forgetful then she is a danger to herself and at the least she needs a home help to make sure she has eatten.

My parents in law are not ill but they do have some medical problems going on so I sent Age concern around and they are now getting more financial help and have had there house made safe with bath hand rails, easy grip taps and toilet flushes and so on. My Grandfather is 89 and lives on his own and he refuses all help, he did have meals on wheels but he canceled them, he is also eligable for a necklace emergency alarm but he wont wear one and many other aids. There is only so much you can do until your mum hurts herself or has a serious accident in the home the state can not intervene. All you can do is hope somebody from an outside agency can talk her into having some help.

See what is available in your area and make that call today.

Katherine - posted on 02/24/2011

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I have with my grandmother. She moved in with my Aunt: Reluctantly. Then she started leaving the stove on. She also fell down the basement stairs. My aunt had to pull all of the knobs off of the stove to keep her from burning down the house. They finally had to put her in a nursing home. I don't know how extreme it has to get......

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