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My 73 yr old mom has AIDS
Aug 27, 2006

My 73 yr old mom was was told by once of her doctor's 2 yrs ago that she was HIV positive. How she got it no one knows.

She has a very great Infectious Diease doctor. Problem is mom refuses to take her meds. She was taken her meds the first yr but now she takes none. She refuses to see any doctors. She's not in denial just stubborn.

Question? What do I do with my 73 yr old mom. I make her go to the doctors but her physicans can't make her say yes to taking her meds. They say it her choice. Problem is my mom's getting weaker and weaker, Both her legs are swelling & she very tired & she stays cold all the time. Its 100 degress outside and she's in the house refusing to turn on the air condtioner and is wrapped in blankets. She barely eats and drinks some but not enough. Her Infectious Disease doctor told me due to my mom congrstive heart issues ..the AIDS issues is not that high on the rader screen. She said my mom's other health issue may take her out quicker than the Aids will.

I'm friends with all 5 of her specialists, cardio, infectious diease, nuero and her primary care physican. They all say she can live a quailty life if she takes her meds and she sticks to the medical plan they have for my mom. My mom still says no meds. My mom basically chooses which pills she will take & if the color is right she may take one. She's not incompetant or crazy just stubborn. She refuses to come stay at my home. She wants to live on her own. Which is not good. Her house is unliveable bit she refuses to allow me to clean her house or to clean her body.

I love my mom & I have to beg, plead, push and nearly tie her up just to get her to see a doctor. She will eventully go after I have had to cancel many appointments due to her being a brat. My grandmother ... which mom's mother who's 93 yrs old healthy and vibrant, told me my mom has been hard-headed all her life. She's told me mom how important it is to taker her meds and my mom still says no. I work full time & I have 2 kids in college and 2 in high school. This is very stressful trying to take care of my family and my mom. My mom does not like the fact that I take her to the doctor & most of the times she does not talk to me on the drive there or back. Which is fine at least she knows I care. Bottom line I don't know what to do. I told my mom if she gets worse it will make things harder for me. My mom has no money, no property, no insurance, no stocks..nothing. I take care of her out my pocket. She stills says I'm wrong to pay for meds she refuses to take. My mom is not depressed my grandmother & my aunt says my mom is just the way she is since birth. Mean, stubborn and will turn on you when she cant have things her way. They told me to leave my mom alone & just check on her when I feel up to it. But thats hard to do because shes my mom regardless of her actions mean or not. Dont get me wrong my grandmother and aunt are sweet loving women but they know my mom actions are her choice. My aunt is in a wheel chair so my 93 yr old mother takes care of her & they both live out of town from me and my mom. HELP!! I'm at my wits end. The medicine to help my mom is ready and available with no cost to my mom. I have taken care of all that. Yet she refuses to take them. When I explain to her that there ar other people who can't afford what she has been given..great doctors who care, great meds and more importantly a chance to live a productive life. My mom rolls her eyes and turns her nose up and says she never ask me to do anything for her and to leave her alone.

Help!!! I want to get guardianship over my mom but she will make my life harder by refusing to help me help her. Its and expensive price to do all of the above for my mom but it worth every dollar to give her meds that she throws away in the trash.

Help!!!!!!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

"Mean, stubborn, and will turn on you when she can't have things her way . . . ." Hmmm . . . sounds more like "Mommie Dearest" than Mom.

I would strongly suggest you have your mother see a psychiatrist, preferably one that deals with geriatrics. Like you, I don't believe your mother is crazy; however, she certainly has significant psychiatric problems. That she refuses to take meds; is mean, stubborn and ungrateful and is not keeping up with routine hygiene are all signs she needs a psychiatric evaluation. It appears she lost her desire or will to live. Perhaps being diagnosed with HIV disease at age 71 was too much for her to cope with. As for no one knowing how she got it, well, chances are she does know, but she's not interested in anyone else knowing. In reality, how she got it isn't important; however, treating her HIV disease (and other medical problems) is. Once she's been evaluated by a psychiatrist, discuss with that physician if you should proceed with your plan for guardianship and how to go about accomplishing this if the psychiatrist aggress it's in her best interest.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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