DEAR ABBY: My 83-year-old mother has decided she wants to die. She says she's miserable, but I think she's causing her own misery. She has medications to address her physical ailments -- none of which are critical. My siblings live in other states. Mom feels it's a "burden" for them to travel to see her, and she refuses to travel.
Mom is in assisted living and is now refusing to bathe, trying not to eat, and doesn't want to talk to anyone or have visitors. She's obviously depressed, but refuses counseling. If she continues being uncooperative, I'm afraid she'll have to go to a nursing home where they might let her starve herself to death.
One sister says I should force Mom to do fun things, but I don't know what she wants. We used to go out to eat, but she no longer wants to do that. I have tried to honor Mom's wishes, but I'm at a loss about what to do for her. Do you have any suggestions? -- ALMOST AT WITS' END
DEAR ALMOST: I have one. You and your siblings should have your mother evaluated by a geriatrician IMMEDIATELY. It's apparent that she is depressed, but the question is whether she also has something physically wrong with her that is affecting her mental state. Then let the doctor be your guide.