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Forum Name: Diabetes

Question: Mother-in-law refuses to help herself


 w116alj - Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:32 pm

I live with my mother-in-law, who has many health problems including diabetes, meniere's disease, and sleep disorders, in which she will stay awake and panicked for about 2 or three days and then sleep for one or two. She has a horrible diet of mainly pastries, bad balance (she falls often..sometimes down stairs and whatnot), and often skips medication. We have told her about the health problems she is creating for herself, but she seems unmotivated to change her bad habits and feels as if we are just lecturing her. We are fearful to move away because we feel responisible for her well-being - without us injuries could go without medical attention for a long time. She has only us. I'm very confused about what to do. She has already had blood clots and she fears she is having a "silent stroke," yet does nothing to help herself. Do you have any advice for this situation? Thanks so much for your time and effort. Take care.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:50 am

User avatar Hi w116alj,
The sad thing is that it is very difficult to help someone whom is unwilling to help themselves. Here are a few things that I can suggest. There should be a Diabetes program at your local hospital or in your community that has very helpful information regarding this condition. Contact the information center at your local hospital and inquire about available programs, generally offered for free or at a low cost. Meniere's disease and sleep disorders are both treated with medications but if she is not taking them correctly they don't have much affect as you already well know. Have you considered a mental health consult with a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist? Have you also considered the possibilty that her not taking care of herself is a manipulation attempt to keep you from moving away especially if this has been an ongoing discussion and her behavior has worsened in that period of time? I would suggest obtaining some outside support, Diabetes education, and mental health services to help you help her.
Sincerely,
Theresa Jones, RN

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