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Re: elderly drivers

We now order my MIL's Depends from Walmart.   Get a 2 month supply at a time.   She uses enough  that we really need to buy the larger package and too often the local store wasn't carrying them.   So that meant shopping for depends at least every 2 weeks.   So worried we'd forget to go.    So a huge box shows up every 2 months at my back door. And Walmart had the best price and free shipping.   Plus,  I don't have to stand in line to pay for them.   I know I shouldn't be self consious  but.....  I really don't think I'm old enough to need depends. 

 

My MIL had some OCD.   Like the yard.   If there were any clumps of grass from mowing late.  She'd be out there trying to rake and then later picking up by hand.  It was so sad to see her bending over in the yard  picking up grass by the handful and then putting in a plastic shopping bag.     Really had to move to take any yard issues before she could see them.    Seed heads on the rhubarb,   leaves at the back door,  dirty windows,   grass blown on the sidewalk.   There she'd be.   

 

Everyday I try and remember to thank my FIL  for making the decision to move to assisted living.   Life would be so hard for her if we had had, to move her after his death.   Not to mention how really bad it would be for us.  

During the past 2 months we/she has been to the lawyer's to sign to give away the farmstead acres and sell some  13 acres of timber that had no value to us.   Tom says after they left yesterday... she asked if she still owned any property.    She really didn't understand what was sold  nor does she understand  just how much acreage she still owns.   So sad.  

Good Luck with your mom issues  Linda,    Get that help.    And keep suggesting the AL.  

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: elderly drivers

OCD is something that I tend to joke about, but it really made my life hard, trying to satisfy a mother whose disorder means the first thing she notices is what is to her the most glaring flaw. Once you fix that one, instead of being satisfied, a new worst aggravation pops up, and so on.

It took a very good psychologist to explain this to me. As hard as they drivevthose around them, obsessive- compulsive people can drive themselves the hardest. It is a neverending drive that robs a person of life's pleasures.
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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

Re: elderly drivers

Another difficult day with mom.  Not going to burden everyone with details.  I'll just say I'm getting real tired of getting blamed for everything that goes wrong in her life.  We're going away for the weekend next week and I HAVE to get everything in place for her.  She won't be happy when I tell her but we always go at this time & I need a break. 

 

Had DGD#2 here for overnight & it never fails that mom calls with a big problem and needs me and upsets me.  Tonight it's a bill.  More for me to straighten out.  Joy joy.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: elderly drivers

She will find some reason every day to drag you over there, to relieve her anxiety. It seems to me that the frequency of her calls has accelerated over time. That means she needs a " fix" of your response and attention more often as things move along.

It is almost like those stages where a child falls apart when his Mommy leaves his sight, don't you think?

I just picture her sitting alone at home, focusing on some minor problem, with it getting bigger and bigger in her mind every minute, until she calls you and starts the pressure on you to come over. Once you solve that one, and walk out the door, her cycle starts all over again with something else.

I think you have recognized a lot of the elements of her situation that help you understand her. The compulsive clothes shopping is very likely both her social outlet, and her perfectionism pulling her to the mall. Taking things back takes up as much time as buying them in the first place, so either she is really bad at picking them in the first place, or she has found a way to double her social contacts for free.

According to the counselor I talked with about my mother's issues, it is not something they can really control. It is a chemical imbalance in their brain. You really cannot blame her for an illness, but finding a way to manage it,so it doesn't end up killing you, is crucial.
wt510151
Senior Contributor

Re: elderly drivers

I'm with Kay on this one. You have to find some way to cope with her tendencies. Maybe boundaries, starting with the break you're planning? Just don't bring the cell phone or at the very least, use caller id.

 

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turkey feather
Senior Contributor

Re: elderly drivers

Maybe you can set hours in the evening that you don't want any calls? There has to be ways to reprogram her at least a little.

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Re: elderly drivers

Maybe she is simply old, demanding, lonely and a bit spoiled by everyone dropping everything to cater to her every need??

All bad behavior is not necessarily mental illness. We, as a society, are very quick to label people. OCD? Anxiety?

Used to be we just called 'em "crotchety" !!
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Re: elderly drivers

Absolutely right. I guess i never thought of it in that way. My mother used to have some issue every day, after my father died. Seems like that has subsided with her move to a senior apartment. My mil can really focus on one thing, that's getting to be a bigger problem. My  deceased aunt had asthma. she would start to panic about not being able to breathe easily and call the ambulance. By the time they and me got there , she'd be fine (knowing there was help on the way) and sitting with her coat and purse ready to go. After this happened several times, i told her to just call me. I run to town and sit and talk with her and the symtoms would subside. Will this be me in 30 years????

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: elderly drivers

While I afree as to the labellng thing, when a behavior affects functioning - yours or someone else's -to too great a degree, it seems more than just normal aging to me. Manipulating those you love on a dsily basis, even when intellectually, you ckearly realize it is bad for them, is a real problem.

Crotchetiness is more in my mind a decision not to hold back, to be less inhibited...maybe to be blunt and perhaps more honest than you may have been when younger. Some of us just fall out of the womb that way....
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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: elderly drivers

My experience with one elderly little lady who tended in this direction, was that if you set a boundary like that, she was driven even more to call on the " helper", just to make sure they would still come. i am really hopeful for Linda that they get away, and get to stay that way until they are ready to come home.
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