Antidepressants can be a BLESSING in the elderly with dementia.

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We put my 92 year old father on a low dose of Zoloft (25 mg.) about a week ago, to see if it would help his incredibly mean verbal abuse that seemingly comes out the blue and is always directed at my husband. So far, it seems to be working! He has had anxiety issues for YEARS that never were addressed; OCD issues that were never addressed either so we also have to deal with that.

But I cannot recommend enough that you speak with your elder's internist and ask about prescribing a low dose of antidepressant. The elderly seem to tolerate and metabolize these well and if it makes them a bit more happy and less crabby, combative and verbally abusive....what could be wrong? DO IT!


Thanks for this! My 83 yr.old father isn't combative necessarily just incredibly stubborn when it come to the care he needs now. He never liked doctors and now he sees one once a week sometimes. I'm going to ask about it with his internist. :)
Absolutely! It makes them feel better and certainly helps the caregivers. God bless you for taking care of your father.
No offense victoriak68, but how it was worded is not the point here. kthin3 is trying to offer a suggestion to help other caregivers and I appreciate that. You should to instead of commenting on the "presentation".
Oh, excuse me for being offended. High handed suggestions are to be embraced here. mommag. I should just bow and be oh so grateful and ignore you snotty Is that it? kthln3 suggests drugs as a means of dealings with our loved ones regardless of whether they need it or believe in it, not to help them but to make our job easier. That's how she comes across. Excuse me for having the balls to point it out. I've been caring for my mom, who has dementia, for nearly 10 years. She's thrown crap at me and once threatened me with a knife. I've not looked into drugging her. She's happy, I've learned to deal with the difficult and I get results WITHOUT drugs.
I read the same message as you did victoriak68. No where does kthin3 say they gave the father drugs whether he needed it or not. Your comment victoriak68 says more about the person you are than kthin3. kthin3 goes on further to say the father had issues that weren't previously addressed; so now he has meds he obviously needed before. Thank you for sharing kthin3.
victoriak68, Kthin3 is not directing anything at you or trying to offend you. Kthin3 is sharing what is working in her particular situation with her particular father. I want to believe we who participate in this site are loving concerned family members, friends and caregivers not looking to get reprimanded but exchange advice and support. Thanks for sharing Kthin3, my mother often speaks of wanting to try antideppressants, but hasn't made the leap yet. We're working through the mental blocks and the stigma she thinks they have.
The days of "One Flew Over the Coocoos Nest" are gone where people with mental health issues where people were overmedicated and turned into zombies. I think many people still associate anti-depressants and other meds for mental health issues with giving up and just drugging people. Personally, anti-depressants and actually low dose anti-psychotic meds turned my mother's life around. She resisted for years, but long story short, she became much happier and content after taking them.

Everyone has a different opinion on these meds and every person reacts differently to them. I vote in favor of any kind of medication that can calm a person down; especially when they are elderly and the brain chemistry is changing. Blessings to all.
We recently had to place my mom into an assisted living facilty for Alzheimers. The first month was rough as unfortunately the demons that bothered her at home followed her to ALF. She was unhappy, combative, afraid and sometimes downright mean. The nurses suggested and we spoke with mom's doctor and a small dosage of anti-anxiety meds were started. A dose in the morning and a dose at night. The change is remarkable, she is calmer and in a much better positive mood. She's eating well and acclimating to her surroundings. We still have some sleep issues to work through but on the whole things are much better.
Mommag I have alot of respect for you and many of the others but I have to agree with victoria68. The FDA and AMA says that our children and senior citizens are being abused and turned into zombies to make the job of caregiving & teaching easier. There is OCD and ADD and then there are kids who march to the beat of a different drummer. Many of the founding fathers of this country and heros like Audie Murphy would probably have been drugged had they been born in our time. While a 92 year old isn't going to be the next defender of the Alamo why do we turn more and more to drugs to reach our young an old? This nation is over- medicated and pre-occupied with health and beauty and we want to sweep away the natural Special gifted with drugs to make them behave as one. Anti-depressants are abused and have terrible side effects in the young and old. We should never drug someone just to make our jobs easier. It is wrong. As wrong as shock treatments were and are. As wrong as lobotomizing was just a few years ago. As wrong as restraints. I mentioned Melatonin at least 3 times on this forum and not once did anyone give me feed back. Melatonin is produced in our liver. Babies are born with a great deal of it and is why they sleep so much. As we get older we slowly lose the ability to produce it naturally. To counter this 30 minutes in the sunlight every day can and usually does have a calming effect on seniors. Natural herbs and foods also play a role. Yes, there are some who have to be put on anti-depressants but 9 out of 10 are non-responsive and the doctor wil prescribe a different kind or combinations of drugs until they turn our loved ones into dependent zombies. Thank you but I'd rather see my child climb a tree than sit in a corner staring into space. Generally there is a reason why someone is depressed. Food, noticing they are at the end of their lives and boredom are generally the reasons seniors are depressed-not to mention being treated like children. Not being included in family discussion or even their own treatment. I took my dad to a Nursing home and the first thing they did was drug him. They wanted him to sit and be like everyone else. He isn't and wasn't. He was a mans man-a war hero-a humanitarian and in less than two weeks he had black eye and two torn rotator cuffs(spelling). I was fortunate to have enough money to get him to a doctor wqho was against anti-depressants and it was money he earned. Money I could have kept for my family but he was my family as much as my children so I explored every option and with diet, a regimen of sunlight and love he came out of his depression. Just because someone is 92 doesn't mean they cannot keep their identity-what is left of it may amaze you as it did his doctors. Had I left him in that horrible funeral parlor home the last couple of years of his life for him at least would have been a living hell. Thank you Victori68-I have great admiration for mommag but the senile can be reached with love and patience-drugs take that away from all of us in most cases. gailbrowder is right kthin3 was just telling us what worked for her situation. No one is right or wrong-we are all just searching and offering our experiences. Hugs to all, Ruth
Although my husband is only 70 and so far we have not had any big problems, his Neurologist, as part of his daily meds, put him on a low dose antidepressant. I would hate to think how he would be WITHOUT this medication, he's not a zombie, he's him, so far, although he has balance and memory problems. So far I can handle it. People shouldn't be so tough on caregivers in these situations. You need to do what is also best for you, as well as the patient.

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