Parents friends are dying off -- mother is depressed

livvysmomAugust 26, 2007

I am not a caregiver to my parents but I thought people here may understand my situation.

My mother is 76 and my father will be 80. They live in the North but spend the cold months in Florida. Since they've been home for the summer, my father has been working putting in a bathroom in their basement. He is in pretty good physical and mental shape and very talented that he can still hang drywall, tile and paint at his age.

Well, he has been pretty much in the basement all summer and my mother does nothing but complain how bored she is. It is getting tiresome to hear. She is constantly complaining how my father doesn't take her anywhere. My dad is content working in the basement, running errands and visiting his best friend for a cup of coffee.

My mom has lost many of the "female" half of their "couple" friends in the last few years. Her good friend in Florida recently had to leave to go live with her son because she was getting dementia. This lady was my mom's walking partner so I know when she gets back to FL she will miss her.

The thing that bugs me is she will do nothing alone. She is perfectly capable of driving but makes my dad drive her everywhere (grocery store, church, beauty shop). She likes to walk for exercise but won't walk alone. She won't even go to the mall alone.

Tonight she asked me if I wanted to go on an over-night trip to a casino 5 hours away on a bus with her. I have no desire to do this and have two young kids at home.

I feel horrible after talking to her about her boredom but then I think she needs to help herself a little to. Tonight I blurted out "you have a terrible attitude" and my father agreed with me.

Once my kids go back to school I will be able to entertain her more but I still worry about how she is feeling.

I am starting to think that after 56 years of marriage she is thinking her and my dad have nothing in common, she has no hobbies, her friends are dying...

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That happens to a lot of women, when their kids leave home. I can see both sides of it. She was always involved with the kids. Your Dad needs to spend the rest of his life doing what brings him pleasure. It's a sad ending if he can't. People are funny. When my husband retired he wanted to take me everywhere, even to the beauty shop. He would have sat patiently in the car and waiting on me. I told him, if you keep taking me everywhere, I may lose my driving skills or confidence so I need to drive myself sometimes. He agreed, but he didn't like it to much. I learned to wait until he was in the garage working on something then say I'm going to the mall. He accepted that because he was involved in something and didn't want to clean up and leave it.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 6:22PM
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jonesy -- you hit the nail on the head. When my father retired he decided they no longer needed two cars. So, he pretty much became her chauffeur because he didn't want to be without the car for any length of time.

Over the last few years, my mom's confidence in her driving has really gone down (without reason really). She always finds an excuse to have my dad drive her places. It upsets me because if something happens to him, her world is going to shrink considerably. I tell her that and she says "I can do it if I had to." Whatever.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 9:17PM
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