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concerns about mum's future

L

lambchop

Member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Messages
9
Hi, hope you can give some help.

I have looked after my mother who has had schizophrenia from an early age. She is 73 and is also blind and diabetic.

She has unsuccessfully been on various meds for the schizophrenia and is quite sensitive to the side effects without feeling any of the benefits.

My current concern is to do with her blindness which is long-standing (20 years) and which, in large part, is due to cataracts.

I have always thought it would be beneficial for her to have at one eye operated on but she has always refused. She is terrified of anything medical. As such, no-one will do anything without her consent, even though it would be in her best interests.

She cannot see anything but is happy enough as she is although she needs 24 hour care as a result. I don't want to traumatise her or push the matter but I worry a lot about her future. She will need more care as time goes by and I'm scared about how she'll be treated in hospital in the future when I know she'll need treatment for something or other. Nursing care isn't great for people with all their faculties, let alone for those who don't.

On the one other hand, what if something went wrong with the operation?

Has anyone had any similar experiences?

Thanks.
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
1,805
Location
Up North
I looked after my Mum for a couple of years before she died, she had very poor vision as well due to glaucoma and cataracts and it got to the point where she found it difficult to get round the house unaided. She did have surgery on one eye about 3 years before she died which did help her sight a bit, but she also suffered from quite bad arthritis and suffered a great deal though having to lie flat on the operating theatre table, it took her months to get over the trauma that it caused to her back.

This might sound a bit awful but I do think you need to take into account how long you think your Mum has left and if it is worth the pain and suffering? or is best left well alone seeing your mum is happy enough at the moment?

If you’re Mum is quite physically fit apart from her eyes and could be around for many more years, you have to weigh up if the short term damage that the experience of going into hospital and the surgery will cause will be out weighted by the long term benefits that it could bring.

My mum was old for her age and had 2 serious illnesses in the last 4 years of her life, which were both "touch and go" if she would make it, after the second she became quite childlike and needed looking after a lot more, so when she was offered surgery on her other eye about 18 months before she died, it wasn`t a hard choice to decide it wouldn’t be in her best interest as she was just glad to be still here and quite happy and content sat at home listening to the radio and eating sweets at that stage.

Its tough when you reach the point when you have to start thinking about making decisions for a parent, it is something that isn't talked about that often I have found, has your mum got a social worker? My Mum had quite a good one who sorted out extra care and respite for when I needed a break.
 
L

lambchop

Member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Messages
9
hi

Hi Shaun,

Thank you very much for your reply - it's my third attempt to reply cos my pc keeps crashing so my reply is going to be shorter as a result. I'm glad you replied cos it hasn't been easy to find people with similar experiences.

I'm leaning towards the decison not to force mum into anything although I would dearly love her to see but no-one can guarantee that she would come through the operation risk free. I think that it's actually too late - it might have worked if she'd had it done 20 years ago but consent was always a problem from the beginning.

You're right about the problems being the parent for your parents and making the right decisons and, in the end, you can only do your best, like you did for your mum. I'm sorry she suffered with various complications and illnesses and I hope she didn't suffer when she died.

As for extra care, I get some help already but, for the 24 hour care that mum would need, she would need to be put into a home and I'm not going to do that. However, I might have to look at respite care - did your mum ever go into respite care?

Thanks again.

Nilam
 
G

ginger

Active member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Messages
27
Location
burrleigh heads gold coast Australia
Hi Lambchop,I am a Area Health Officer for Qeensland Health,I work with the mentally ill disabled and elderly ,I dont know how your system works over there , but surley you must have respite centres over there to give you a break every now and then, you are propbably the only one who can make that decission, I have 80 yr olds have this done and come out of it alright , but it is to do with there personallity,you know your mother better than anybody, how she would feel about it what her health issues are, and could she mentally cope , yes she certainly would benefit from this,and have a new leas e on life but as you said you carnt force them to do something they dont want to, im sure you will make the right decission because you are asking question , your mother is lucky to have you not many people do.Good luck all the best ginger
 
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