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Old 06-19-2019, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,534 posts, read 43,962,244 times
Reputation: 15132

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No, she isn't going to change. Deterioration will continue. I worked with three morbidly obese women. One had all manner of ailments complicated by all the medication she was on, died at age 48. Another, a diabetic dealing with a parent who had dementia, same thing - died in her early 50's. A third was let go from her job, and died a few weeks later in her chair at age 60. The 60 year old had several joint replacements - hip and knee, I think. Didn't change her eating habits ever - junk food and bakery. Said "good" food was too expensive. Truth be told, she was addicted to the garbage food and too lazy to cook.

For myself, personally, I notice immediately if I am not eating enough fresh food. I never eat junk food. The body doesn't recognize and can't properly process refined grains, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, hormones, and, instead, turns the food into fat instead of calories - further screwing up the metabolism and entrenching the obesity. On top of which, so many "empty" calories means one is always "hungry."

But it takes work to eat right. Shopping, storage, preparation and thought given to each meal so that it is balanced. Your mom would see a big payoff if she made the effort. She might even feel well enough eventually to get out of that chair. But old habits are hard to break.

Good luck to you, SC.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 06-19-2019 at 08:01 PM..
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,832 posts, read 14,341,548 times
Reputation: 30663
I can only echo what others have posted here. I think you need to talk with your father first, so he understands how compromised they would be if his wife were to retire early. I do agree that you and he are enablers.

I doubt your mother will change very much. She has ingrained habits that would be hard and painful for her to change. But I do wonder if a mental health workup would be a good idea. With your father’s support, both of you might be able to insist she she see a doc in a larger city, for her mental health and for her autoimmune issue.

But both your parents need to change, and I suspect having that happen is a remote possibility.

You can try to convince them to pursue health solutions for your mom, and to postpone her retirement. But please accept that the only person you can change is you. Figure out how you can separate yourself from enabling this behavior for your own mental health.

This might include counseling or therapy.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:21 PM
 
1,941 posts, read 2,708,224 times
Reputation: 3366
Before I stop posting, because I've pretty much said everything i can think of (not a great of help, I know) -- of course OP IS responsible somewhat for her parents. She just needs some professional counseling to figure out exactly what she is going to do and not going to do, for her own health. We currently live in a society where it is becoming the norm to believe/think that "life is all about ME". It isn't. It never was, and it never will be.

OP, I can't tell you how much I'd admire you for all that you have done already. You've got a very very good heart.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:44 PM
 
6,210 posts, read 4,715,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
.... We currently live in a society where it is becoming the norm to believe/think that "life is all about ME". It isn't. It never was, and it never will be.

.....
My life is about me and those I relate to.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:04 PM
Status: "I am Blessed." (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Spurs country. "Go, Spurs, Go!"
3,398 posts, read 3,960,584 times
Reputation: 8756
Fran, OP is male.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:52 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,540 posts, read 3,650,165 times
Reputation: 12299
Your dad's health will likely go bad if he has to carry the full burden and essentially be a caregiver for no real reason. He needs to take care of his health. It doesn't sound like there is an alcohol or drug issue so that is a plus. Five cats and a hoarder mentality and her avoiding taking responsibility is a prescription for disaster even without her obesity and health issues. My dad was my mom's caretaker due to alzheimer's and refused our help until he had a stroke and things really went bad. Your life is in a crazy spiral and won't get better unless you can cause a change or put some distance between you. Sounds like there should be involvement from outsiders -- doctor, nutritionist, pastor. Can you or your parents pay for a house cleaner twice a month? She might make some effort if someone is coming in to clean around her because she won't. It will be baby steps until she gets used to it.

Now is the time to get a health exam if they have some health coverage now that they won't have later once they retire.

These people might have experience you can tap into... https://thehelpinghome.com/tennessee...ance-programs/
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,534 posts, read 43,962,244 times
Reputation: 15132
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Your dad's health will likely go bad if he has to carry the full burden and essentially be a caregiver for no real reason. He needs to take care of his health.
This true. My uncle was caretaker for my aunt for about 10 years - ran himself ragged, died two years before she did. He was always very active, she was obese most of her life and never so much as walked around the block. Spent a lot of time in bed. He did all the housework - all of it, although she would cook most of their meals from scratch until she reached her early 80's, doing the prep work sitting down. Osteoporosis was a big issue for her - she lost at least four-five inches in height. They did eat reasonably well, not junk food, which is probably why both lasted as long as they did and never got cancer. Both lived to 90 - her last three years in a nursing home. When she moved to a nursing home 20 miles away, that last year of his life he drove there every single day and would spend all day with her. When his system finally began to shut down, doc said he was worn out. He died within a week or two of taking to his bed. There was no acute or chronic ailment as cause of death. In the end, both died of 'old age' - but the sicker of the two outlived the healthier.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 06-19-2019 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
Reputation: 35192
I haven't read all of the pages of this thread. But, my first thought was that your mom is almost as old as I am. I have a lot of pain issues and when I am home, I'm in my chair on ice. And I don't work a job. If I also had to work, I'd be a complete wreck and in pain when I got home.

My second thought was that your parents are grown-ups. They were adults taking care of their own lives when you were born. Leave them alone to do what they want to do with their lives.

Nobody is "making" you do anything now that you are an adult. It's up to you to set boundaries. But, not having boundaries doesn't equal giving you the right to control someone else. And that's what it seems like you're trying to do.

There's a really cool concept regarding boundaries that I recently heard of. It's called the hoola hoop. Basically, you imagine yourself inside a hoola hoop and the same for other people around you. Everybody has a hoola hoop around them. You can only control what's inside your hoola hoop - your behavior, your decisions. Anything outside of your hoola hoop is something you can't control. And everybody (at least adults) has the right to keep you out of their hoola hoop.

So, I suggest you quit trying to climb into your parents' hoola hoops. And when they try to convince you that you are responsible for what's inside their hoola hoops, just tell them nope. If they don't want to do their own laundry, there are laundromats who will do it, and some services will even pick up and deliver. I don't wash my clothes very often. Unless they are sweaty and stinky, I hang it back up for another day. I hand wash things that don't have obvious stains on them. But, your parents' dirty laundry is definitely not your problem.

For some things, it's actually beneficial to be lower income in retirement, like cheaper health care, access to food banks, access to in home support services, meals on wheels, etc. And if they don't care about expensive travel, then it sounds like they have enough. Their needs and wants sound really simple. You don't need a ton of money if you're happy at home. I live on $716 Social Security retirement and food stamps and I got a Section 8 voucher. I rarely go out to eat and I'm a home body. I have Medicaid with no share of cost. I go to the food bank, I walk my dog, I go to free libraries and parks. Being poor in America on a fixed income that will show up every month, if your needs are simple, is not the end of the world.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:23 PM
 
6,303 posts, read 5,042,575 times
Reputation: 12799
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I haven't read all of the pages of this thread. But, my first thought was that your mom is almost as old as I am. I have a lot of pain issues and when I am home, I'm in my chair on ice. And I don't work a job. If I also had to work, I'd be a complete wreck and in pain when I got home.

My second thought was that your parents are grown-ups. They were adults taking care of their own lives when you were born. Leave them alone to do what they want to do with their lives.

Nobody is "making" you do anything now that you are an adult. It's up to you to set boundaries. But, not having boundaries doesn't equal giving you the right to control someone else. And that's what it seems like you're trying to do.

There's a really cool concept regarding boundaries that I recently heard of. It's called the hoola hoop. Basically, you imagine yourself inside a hoola hoop and the same for other people around you. Everybody has a hoola hoop around them. You can only control what's inside your hoola hoop - your behavior, your decisions. Anything outside of your hoola hoop is something you can't control. And everybody (at least adults) has the right to keep you out of their hoola hoop.

So, I suggest you quit trying to climb into your parents' hoola hoops. And when they try to convince you that you are responsible for what's inside their hoola hoops, just tell them nope. If they don't want to do their own laundry, there are laundromats who will do it, and some services will even pick up and deliver. I don't wash my clothes very often. Unless they are sweaty and stinky, I hang it back up for another day. I hand wash things that don't have obvious stains on them. But, your parents' dirty laundry is definitely not your problem.

For some things, it's actually beneficial to be lower income in retirement, like cheaper health care, access to food banks, access to in home support services, meals on wheels, etc. And if they don't care about expensive travel, then it sounds like they have enough. Their needs and wants sound really simple. You don't need a ton of money if you're happy at home. I live on $716 Social Security retirement and food stamps and I got a Section 8 voucher. I rarely go out to eat and I'm a home body. I have Medicaid with no share of cost. I go to the food bank, I walk my dog, I go to free libraries and parks. Being poor in America on a fixed income that will show up every month, if your needs are simple, is not the end of the world.
Good advice! You are right. They probably just want to be left alone to do what they want. I know i want that.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
Reputation: 35192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
Good advice! You are right. They probably just want to be left alone to do what they want. I know i want that.
Me, too. My daughter doesn't speak to me right now, and I miss the good times, but she got to a point where she thought I was an idiot again - like they do when they're teenagers, then they think you're brilliant, and now it's morphed back into her thinking I'm an idiot. I actually have a fear of her taking over my life and trying to have me committed or something. As much as I miss the good times, I'm much happier without her looking at me through her critical filter now. Sad but true. I'd rather be left alone than be criticized by someone who conveniently has forgotten that I was a functioning adult before she was even born.

OP, not to disparage you - I don't know your whole story. But, just so you can see how other seniors feel about kids who might treat them like they can't manage their own lives. Maybe your parents demand your help, but if they don't, I really suggest you leave them alone. You won't be required to take care of them when they get to the point they can't manage themselves. For people who can't afford to pay for fancy assisted living, the government will still take care of them. So, people really shouldn't stress out over that. The government won't throw people out to the curb when they can't care for themselves anymore and they don't have the funds to pay for it. They'll be fine.
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