June 10, 2018 at 9:38 pm #193698
I’m really worried about my mum and wonder if any of you have experienced something similar or what you did in a similar situation.
My mum is in her mid 50s, she’s worked on and off most of her life – she worked before I was born but gave up work and didn’t return to work until I was 19, working part time. Work came to an end 4 or so years ago and she’s never found another job since. Partly through choice, but also circumstances too. She’s a heavy smoker and this is something that I’ve got on to her about for a number of years – partly as she’s damaging her health but she also has no idea how to behave when she is smoking (i.e. she doesn’t think to ask people around her if its okay to smoke, she will just light a cigarette and people around her have to just put up or shut up).
One of the problems and causes of her smoking so much is that she has a friend who comes to visit anything up to 2 or 3 times a day and the pair of them chain smoke and pass the time of day. This friend can be sat for up to 3 hours at a time – now this lady is lonely and I’ve recognised that. My mum often complains to me about the length of time this lady spends at her house. I have told her that because she’s so lonely, she’s going to have a hard job getting her to stop coming in past so much as she’s encouraged it for so long and also as my mum has made herself so available over the years that this lady thinks its okay to come over. The only thing she can do is change her routine to try and prevent her coming in as much. I have suggested this but it didn’t get her very far.
She has a few hobbies but she doesn’t seem to pursue them as part of a group. I often ask her if she wants to do things but I don’t get very far, she dismisses things really easily. I told her something highly personal lately and I asked her not to repeat it… I have later learned that it was divulged to someone else – I was pretty angry about it as I hadn’t wanted it to be broadcast. Part of this, I feel is down to her being lonely and being stuck in the house all day so her mouth runs away with her when she is in company. My dad works full time, they do do things on a weekend – like going shopping. My dad has his own hobbies that he pursues in an evening which she does complain about. I’ve told her that these hobbies make him happy… and it could be worse, he could be down in the pub every night.
I feel she’s stuck in the house too much and this is impacting on her life considerably. Getting a part time job at the moment will be hard for her as she’s looking after one of grandparents. I often go and visit on a weekend but feel that I go and just sit and watch TV, despite asking if she wants to do anything, I just don’t get very far at all.
Has anyone had any experience of this and what did you do? I just feel that if she lets this routine continue, she’s going to end up becoming a prisoner in her own home and really letting her health suffer as a result.June 11, 2018 at 12:36 am #193704
you should try getting her out of the house doing anything, running, exercise volunteer to help poor people. if she enjoyed being a couch potato and withering her life away not much anyone can do to change her lifestyle.June 11, 2018 at 7:17 am #193729
It is difficult. I have the same problem with my mother, but she is somewhat of an invalid, and a lot older. The only time I find that she really seems to enjoy things is when I take her out. Maybe that is a way to coax her into the world outside.June 11, 2018 at 3:05 pm #193737
Oh goodness yes! I take care of an elderly mom, aunt and a friend of the family. I do a lot of their cooking so I go to visit a couple of times a week. However I have learned how to get to their best interest. With my mom I need to invite her to help me with a project. Having a little farm that I do and I’m slowly updating/dressing up my home I’ll figure out projects that she can come help me with. Gardening, painting, etc. Things I know she likes to do. For my aunt I know her favorite thing is to go visit community gardens and old factories (sounds strange I know). So for my aunt I will plan an outing once or twice a month to get her out seeing something new. And for the elderly friend of the family I know for a fact that he loves fishing, hunting and just about anything outdoors. So for him I’ll put together a picnic basket and we’ll go fishing and I’ll join him for a couple of hunts just the two of us but plan things so everything is taken care of.
The key is to know what your person likes to do and then plan an event to invite them too. With anyone of my elderly folk if I just asked what would they like to do, not a single one would be able to put together a plan but when I plan something they are always on board.
Good luck!June 12, 2018 at 1:40 pm #193826
I can understand where your mum is coming from: for a while I spent time at home. I think it was mild depression. I did find people encouraging me to do things helped. Losing all hope and faith and passion for life is heartbreaking. Your mum may be feeling those things.
I agree with AverageJane’s post. Including your mum is activities [possibly domestic might be best to start with] and just make her feel included and valuable. Once she realizes people around her care, she might find her passion for life again. She must be feeling very lonely: maybe even confused about where her life is heading.
Just be there for her: as you already are.
1 member liked this post:June 12, 2018 at 3:46 pm #193837
Oh dear, I’m really terribly sorry about your situation with your mother!
I feel I agree with others, first question has to be does she really want to be helped?
My own mother is living in abject squalor, her apartment is absolutely filthy, even so much professional cleaners won’t take the job. She’s been slovenly all her life, and now she’s in her 60s and can’t even make a pretense of effort (she blames it on age and health, but she literally has been like this as long as I’ve known her). I don’t feel there’s anything I can do to help her or to get her out, there’s nowhere she wants to go. I can really empathize with your situation. She doesn’t smoke, but she wastes so much money on fast food and lottery tickets. I feel sad, I don’t know what I can do to help her at all any more.