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Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
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My mother has always shown signs of self absorption. At 83

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My mother has always shown signs of self absorption. At 83 and now widowed, and ill; she is under care at home. We are having trouble with keeping caregivers as she demands constant attention and expects the caregivers to jump and work constantly. She can be verbally mean and seems to not have any empathy for anyone. Is it too late in life to seek a geriatric psychiatrist? I think she has narcissitic personality disorder. We need advice, or we will run out of options. If put in a nursing home, i am afraid she will be horribly neglected because of her attitude and demeanor.


It is absolutely NOT too late for your mother to consult with a geriatric psychologist and/or psychiatrist. You may have trouble finding one, however, as, in many states, there is a shortage of mental health professionals who specialize in treating the elderly. One way to go about finding someone would be to ask the agency that provides her current care if they can recommend someone. Another way would be to look on the American Psychological Association's website- and see if they can locate someone near you.


You are probably right that your suggestion that she get some professional help might be met with reluctance. Usually however, a good geriatric psychologist can form a good connection and break down this resistance very quickly once they meet. What you might try is framing the meeting as a way to help her get the care she needs as you know she is unhappy with the current care provided. This way you are acknowledging her current dissatisfaction which, hopefully, will make her less defensive and upset about finding someone new.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I will try the approach of her seeking help in dealing with her caregivers to better communicate her needs as a way to get her help. By the way she is not dissatisfied with her current provider really...she just treats every caregiver as her servant, and at times without feelings for them whatsoever. This has occurred with all of her caregivers and i suspect it will continue.

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