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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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She is, widowed. My 20 year old daughter lives with her

Resolved Question:

She is 69, widowed. My 20 year old daughter lives with her while attending college. My mom is on blood pressure meds for high bp. but wont eat a low salt diet and refuses to check her bp. Mom is very nervous and thinks everyone wants to rob her or steal the mail. She also witnessesed my dad die in their bedroom from pancreatic cancer, and he had no pain control from hospice because she would not let the nurses in to give him morphine and medical care at the end of his life. She can't even sleep in their room now due to flashbacks of his horrible death. Her moods are so up and down. She has been quirky and moody all of her life, but this getting worse by the week.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your situation.

Before I can provide an answer, I need to clarify your question.

Is your question about what might be going on with your mother or are you concerned about getting her help or maybe both?

Thank you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
getting a diagnosis and what to do from here.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

It sounds like your mother might be suffering from PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from witnessing your father's death. The moodiness and flashbacks are symptoms of PTSD. But she may also be showing signs of dementia. Her concerns about people robbing her and her refusal to follow her diet are signs of dementia.

If your mother is willing to go to see her doctor, you may want to call ahead to her physician to explain what is going on with your mother. Some people, especially older adults, are more willing to listen to their doctors than their family and friends. Let the doctor know that you are interested in having your mother evaluated by a therapist to see if she is suffering from any mental health issues.

You may also want to contact your local Area Agency on Aging. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get services for your mother ranging from an in home evaluation from a nurse (especially useful if she will not see her doctor or anyone else for help) to meals and a companion. Try contacting your local county or city government for information. Or call your local United Way for information.

Also, don't forget to care for yourself. You are helping an elderly parent which can be overwhelming and cause you to experience caregiver stress. Here is a resource to help you:

Be sure to take breaks and get as much help as you can in helping your mother manage her symptoms and needs. It will help you cope better and be able to be there for your mother.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you