Problems With My Best Friend's Mom

My best friend's mom is in her 80s and for whatever reason won't tell her husband or her daughter what is wrong. Her answer is always, "I don't know" when you ask her specific questions about pain, breathing, etc. What can be done to get her to start telling people what is wrong instead of giving the two-year child's pat answer of "I don't know"?

Dee in Iowa, 51

The fact is, your best friend’s mom truly might not know what is wrong. The problem may be simple or complex.   She may not be able to understand her own body at this stage of her life, or she may not be able to articulate her feelings or the sensations she is experiencing.  A doctor who is trained to deal with the elderly may have the patience as well as the knowledge to ask the right questions so that you can get to the right answers.

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