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Confidence in a 65 year old woman

(10 Posts)
passmethebucket Fri 05-Aug-11 17:12:33

Apologies if I'm posting in the wrong place, but I just didn't know where to put this.

I'm actually writing about my mother. She's 65, perfectly fit and healthy, but over recent years seems to have lost confidence in certain areas of life. For example, she won't drive anywhere she doesn't know on her own, even though she has a Sat Nav. She will, instead, ring either me or one of my sisters, and organise for one of us to come with her (but she doesn't actually say that she's afraid to go on her own - she'll come up with some other reason).

Last night though, is what's worrying me. We needed to book a B & B for a family weekend away. I'd done the research and come up with a couple of options, and she chose one. Then she rang me yesterday morning, while I was out at a friend's house because she 'wanted me to hold her hand' while she booked it (this time she couldn't come up with any excuses!). So later that day, when I was home, she came round, and I actually made the phone call to book it myself, with her there.

How can I help her? I'm worried about what will happen if my father dies before she does - how on earth will she ever cope? He does all the bill paying, and all the paperwork for everything - she hasn't got a clue (and to be fair, perhaps that's how she's wanted it to be) but this lack of confidence to even make a phone call is worrying me.

Can anyone give me some ideas?

Thank you.

scotchmist Fri 05-Aug-11 18:02:51

There could be many things causing your mother to your behave like this passmethebucket it could be general anxiety which would explain not wanting to drive anywhere she doesnt know or not wanting to make phone calls on her own, have you spoken to your father about this ? is he worried about her, has he noticed any other different behaviours ?

madmouse Fri 05-Aug-11 19:16:06

someone needs to have a good honest chat with her about how she's feeling (you, your dad, your sister). Has she had a near miss or bad experience in the car on her own? Is her hearing failing? Is she feeling low? Has she become 'de-skilled' because your dad does everything, you don't 'need' her anymore and really no one does (from her perspective!)? Has she become very forgetful?

There can be any number or practical or psychological reasons behind it.

Chocattack Fri 05-Aug-11 21:56:09

Is her behaviour a recent phenomema? Or has she mostly always been this way, perhaps because your father has always done things? Does she drive much in the car generally?

passmethebucket Sat 06-Aug-11 08:43:00

Her hearing is not as good as it used to be, but it's not really bad - she misses you if you mumble, or sometimes she doesn't catch what small children say because they don't always pronounce everything perfectly.

The driving thing has been going on for a few years even before this slight hearing loss started.

My father is not a very approachable man, and although he's noticed the hearing loss, if I mentioned the confidence thing, he'd come out with something like 'well she needs to buck her ideas up' and he'd dismiss it.

Thanks for all your replies - any further ideas on what I can do?

madmouse Sat 06-Aug-11 09:40:15

So - rather than ask for more opinions from strangers have you actually asked your Mum what is going on then?

passmethebucket Sat 06-Aug-11 18:56:27

No, madmouse, I haven't, because I'm worried her confidence is so fragile that if she realises someone has noticed, it will shatter it even further. I'm posting here because I've spoken to my sisters, and to friends, and none of them have had much of an idea how to help.

I thought it was possible that someone on here might have had some experience of this, and maybe be able to help.

Your first post was helpful. Your second one was aggressive. I will try what you suggest and attempt to talk to her about it without damaging things even further.

madmouse Sat 06-Aug-11 19:02:04

I would dispute that my post was aggressive. I'm just bemused by your conduct. Only your mother knows what is going on and until you ask her how she's feeling no one else will know what's up!

madmouse Sat 06-Aug-11 19:09:39

Also have you considered that your mum may feel very relieved that you have noticed and that she can tell you what is going on smile

scotchmist Sat 06-Aug-11 19:34:40

I agree with madmouse that your mum is the only person that knows whats going on, especially if your father is not very approachable, and that if her confidence is so low then it might be a relief for her that someone has noticed as too many people suffer in silence, she could be depressed or there could be another explaination, perhaps she doesnt want to admit to feeling low or anxious if your fathers attitude is 'well she needs to buck her ideas up' as in my experience of MH problems that is about the worst thing you can say and only makes you feel worse, if she is depressed she needs someone who will listen and understand.

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