Mom won't cooperate when it's time for a doctor's appointment
Answered by David Troxel
I have been a live-in full time caregiver for my Mom for over three years. Unfortunately, she suffers from severe COPD, A-Fib, and CHD as well as Alzheimer’s, therefore she has a lot of doctor appointments. It has become more and more difficult to get her to these appointments due to her progressing AD behaviors—for example, refusing to take a bath, or feigning some kind of physical issue. I cannot convince her otherwise without her getting very agitated and hateful towards me. I have had to re-schedule her last four appointments! I would greatly appreciate your advice on this matter.
You have been doing a great job for your mother for many years, even as her physical condition deteriorates. Despite your loving care, it seems like your relationship is suffering—you are spending so much time telling her what she needs to do and in her own way she is pushing back.
I would encourage you to consider an important question. What would happen to your mother if you got sick or had a car accident or some other catastrophe? Who would provide the care? What setting would your mom live in? Doing this, even painful, exercise will help you realize that you cannot do it all alone and that you need a backup plan.
I encourage you to take the immediate step of hiring some in-home help to do some chores, support your mom’s personal care, or take her to appointments. Believe it or not, she may be nicer and more cooperative with visiting staff—and they will have been trained on how to work with someone with memory loss and confusion.
This may also be the time to look at residential care communities in your area and also to see if your mom may be eligible for hospice services. Hospice can provide a supportive safety net for you and your mom—if not now, later.