Post # 1
My mom has been slowly deteriorating both physically & mentally over the last 5 years, and she’s only 58. She can hardly walk down the street a few blocks before needing a break. She has a thyroid issue that she’s taking meds for, but other than that, her doctor has either not noticed the other issues, nor cared. I have no idea what’s going on in there, other than that she clearly isn’t taking the best care of herself. She’s become so negative and paranoid that I can’t stand to be around her for more than 30 minutes. She works 18hrs a week thru AARP because she hasn’t been able to get a job in the last 4 years. That being said , she’s poor. I’m not well off myself, and with a mortgage I’m paying and my wedding coming up, I can’t afford to support her. She knows this, but still expects a lot from me and tries to guilt trip me. She is constantly telling people about her hardships and lack of funds, maybe to get attention? She also mumbles to herself a lot and refuses to clean her living space. I’ve thought about offering to clean for her, but I feel like it’d be messy again in days, not to mention she may start expecting me to ALWAYS clean it. I’m so puzzled as to what I should do. I love her, but she’s pushing me away with every time I see her. Half of the appliances in her apartment are broken and she won’t tell her landlord because she thinks he’ll kick her out or raise the rent :/ I’m worrying about this more than planning my wedding at this point, as if that wasn’t enough stress .
Post # 3
I’m going to suggest going with to one of your mothers appointments and chatting to her doctor, or make an appointment for her to see your doctor. My mother is diabetic and I have no clue what she would do without my dad. I have grown up knowing my moms health issues, she in her late forties had the bone density of on 86 year old, she’s had a quadruple heart bypass when I was 15 and has very low kidney function to the point where they are worried she will need dialysis in the future.
Being out of breathe so easilyto me suggests possible heart failure, my mom had this although she couldn’t walk from one side of the house to the other without being out of breathe, and my mom has had part of her thyroid removed as it was leaching the calcium from her bones (not sure what your moms thyroid issue is) also her ramblings and paranoia maybe be low sugar (again seen it with my mom). I’d take her to a clinic or somthing to have her blood sugar levels checked. Whatever is up she either isn’t telling you or her doctor isn’t great or she isn’t telling him of her symptons (this is really common – took my dad forcing my mom to go to the doctor for us to discover the heart failure). Most issues can be treated if the doctors are aware of them so first step I would think would be go with her and make sure the doctor knows everything, if he does and isn’t treating her properly take her to a different doctor…
Post # 4
I’d take her to a doctor and get a full check up, likely including blood tests and a brain scan. Some of the things you describe sound like she could have early dementia, but medical causes need to be excluded as they could be treatable. The possible diagnoses are numerous so I won’t confuse you by listing them. A good GP should be able to investigate her or at least refer her to an appropriate specialist. At the very least if she doesn’t have regular blood tests for her thyroid she should get it checked now because both an over active and under active thyroid can cause a multitude of problems
Post # 5
Btw if her doctor won’t investigate her, get a second opinion
Post # 6
First I am sorry you are going thru this… it is hard to see our Parents age or get sick… it makes us feel out of control and also sees us having to face BOTH their mortality as well as our own.
Honesty, She sounds depressed…
Depression either as a result of her other health issues… or the depression came first, and was a catalyst for the other health issues.
Has there been a major change in her life in the last 5 to 10 years that might have triggered this ?
Post # 7
@This Time Round: Depression is definitely a possibility too – it could explain alot of what’s going on and can affect your memory too.
Post # 8
It is a slippery slope. The thing that stands out to me is that maybe you could help her get set up with a new doctor. Things might improve after that.
Post # 9
What I would do is first see an attorney and have Power of Attorney papers drawn up (both medical and legal), naming you as the POA. You should take care of it while she can agree to let you handle her affairs and becomes even more incoherent. I’m assuming there isn’t anyone else who could take over?
Once in place, you can then get her medical issues addressed and get to the bottom of her problems. Very few things can be handled by you without this very important documentation, especially if she is incapable of dealing with her very basic day to day living.
It won’t be easy, especially if she isn’t cooperative, but she is your Mother and it sounds like she may desperately need your help. Good luck!
Post # 10
I know you may not like the idea of having to do things for her, but she is your mother. She is no longer able to do all the things she used to do, and yes she will need you to help her. I know it may feel strange, as it’s usually the parents who look after the kids, but as they get older it’s the other way around. Sure it may be sooner than you planned, but sometimes it happens that way. Don’t be so hard on her, and be there for her when she needs you.
Post # 11
@Minae: I’m sorry you’re going through this. You’ve already received some great advice so I won’t repeat it. Just wanted to say that I wish you and your mom the best!
Post # 12
@Jacqui90: ++1…. From someone who recently lost her Mom, PLEASE cherish any and all time you have with her because she may not be on earth quite as long as you’d like.
Post # 13
I am in the same boat as you. My mother is 64 but completely deteriorating from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. She lives with so much pain and has to limit herself on her pain meds and they make her an emotional mess when they wear off. She bawls her eyes out all the time from this depression. I don’t know what to do for her other than rub her neck where it hurts and listen to her when she is feeling down.
Just be her confidante first, and it will help immensely. I am not rich either, but I try to make sure she has things like milk, coffee, a sweet treat here and there and I will give her a few extra dollars every month so she can feel a little comfortable financially. It is so hard seeing parents grow old, but the fact that you are concerned makes you a good daughter. Cherish this time you have with her!
Post # 14
@Minae: have you gone to the doctor with her? I would consider doing that so you can also talk to him about some of the things you’re seeing, such as the negativity/potential depression. Would she be open to antidepressants?
Also, while you may not be able to support her, how about hiring a cleaning person to come in once a month, even once every six weeks to do a deep clean, and that way you or your mom can just maintain/surface clean in the meantime?
Post # 15
@Minae: So sorry you’re going through this.
Your mother sounds a lot like my aunt. My aunt also has thyroid issues, was convinced it was cancer even though it clearly wasn’t, and has a history of mental illness.
All I can say is practice some tough love. Tell her she needs to take better care of herself. Don’t let her make excuses.
Maybe go walking with her a few times a week or even on the weekends? I know you said she gets winded easily, but if she walks everday, she will surely build up stamina. Walking does wonders for the mind and body.
Post # 16
Thanks for all the advice everyone:) I think losing her job 5 years ago was the starting point of the depression. Also, my scumbag brother lives with her(on the couch, he’s 28 years old… Ugh). He never helps her with anything and is very rude to her, but she won’t throw him out because she’d feel bad. I think that is part of the reason she could be depressed. I’d like to convince her to get on disability, since it’s hard for her to do much due to her frail state. It’s a hard thing to talk about since she’s not that old. I’m worried she’ll flip out. But, I will definitely be taking her to a doctor in the coming new year. I also think she hasn’t been telling them everything that’s going on with her. She goes to a free/reduced fee clinic since she’s poor, so that could be why her doctor isn’t the most attentive. Mostly I wanted everyone’s opinion because I feel like she has early dementia but I have no experience with that stuff so I wanted some advice. Thank you guys!