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Elderly parents

Mum getting on - lots of "more minor" illnesses?

4 replies

QTPie · 20/09/2012 22:25

Not sure what to post really.

Mum is 74, lives alone (Dad died 8 years ago).

Two years ago got diagnosed with Lung cancer. Had part of lung removed by surgery, still clear (and puffing away). Since then no major health issues.

But lots of "minor" (although sound incredibly painful and get in the way of her enjoying life) health issues - all started long before the cancer and long before dad died. IBS (with horrible episodes probably about every month maybe), Fibromialgia (sp?), really bad urinery tract infections (once involving an ambulance and stay in A&E). She has had them all checked out (tests to rule out bowel cancer etc, several times) and treated as best as possible (yet her IBS just really doesn't respond to much, neither does her fibromialgia).

I used to try to "help": read up on things, try to make suggestions etc. But now realise that - one way or another - there is nothing that I can do.

We don't get on hugely well for one reason and another and she lives 50 minutes drive from me (she "moved closer" about a year after Dad died - used to live 1hr drive East of me, not lives 50 minutes drive West of me Hmm ) and I probably see her once a month (I have a 2.5 year old so travelling to her is not always possible, and quite often her visits to us or ours to her are cancelled because she is stuck on the loo etc). At 50 minutes away I cannot just "pop in" (with a 2.5 year old): I need to plan my day around travelling and his nap etc.

She doesn't have a lot of friends where she is now. A few, but she doesn't like to "impose". I have encouraged her very strongly, to increase her friend circle, since her cancer: my son was under a year old at the time (still breastfeeding) and I am an only child - it was an incredibly stressful time and there was just nobody else there to help. We are currently trying for another baby.

Sorry, rambling a bit. Reading the other posts here has helped me to realise how relatively easy I have it (at the moment!), but makes me terrified about the future (I guess I have to try not to think about that....)

Does anyone else have a parent out there with similar health and loneliness issues (I assume that loneliness is very common in the elderly, especially those who are widowed and have maybe moved area too)? What do you do? Am I completely mad for worrying about things that I do not have a lot of control over (either her health or how she chooses to live her life)?


OP posts:
Japple · 21/09/2012 11:02

Well,dear...It's like Harrison Ford once said,"It's not the Age-It's the Mileage".
We All have abused our bodies.With Time,each system "Wears out" and Slowly
Shuts Down.Such is happening to your poor Mother.When my Grandmother
was starting to Fail,she advertised for a "Companion" and it added Years to
her Life.Those two shopped,cooked,knitted,baked and ate out together.They
also Fussed and argued with each other about all sorts of little things.They had
a Ball.Maybe a Live-In companion might help her.Jill.

CMOTDibbler · 21/09/2012 11:13

I think you do have to let go of some things - if your mum doesn't want to go out and socialise, you can't make her. If she won't stop smoking, then thats her affair.
Try not to worry about the future - you really can't tell what will happen, and you have to just ride it out as it happens.

twentyten · 21/09/2012 17:13

Agree with Dibbler and Japple- love the companion idea.You cannot solve her lonliness-and don't get consumed with have your own life.You can offer help and suggestions-but her life her chouces.Tough-I struggle with this-but you can't fix it.Perhaps look at age uk's local stuff or local churches-I'm learning the importance of getting support in place-a fab claner etc....but you must look after yourself.

ComfortCareCalls · 24/10/2012 14:58

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