Follow
Share

My 77 year old mother is so sad and depressed. Although my father died 21 years ago, she has recently become obsessed with his absence. She says things like I will never in my life be happy again, I am just waiting for your father to come and get me.... and then in the next breath she is convinced that he had an affair and that my siblings are communicating with his mistress. The dicusssion changes with the flip of a switch. She is currently on Zoloft for depression. She had been on Cymbalta before that, but I see her as being so sad and confused. She had recently put photos of my father all over the house. She talks to the pictures and relates EVERYTHING to him and his life. Is there anything I can do to be helpful? She does have an appointment scheduled to see a neuropsyschologist in two months. (quickest i could get it)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
It's very sad when someone with dementia loses a spouse or other family member. My dad died about 6 wks ago. Mom's (92) dementia has gotten worse since then, as you would expect. She can't remember that she was there with him when he died, that she went to the viewing, funeral, wake and burial. She thinks my brothers and I had all of those events without her presence. She calls me to see if Dad is living with me & is he ok and did I feed him breakfast. She asks me if he's living "upstairs" in another apt. (She lives in a Memory Care Unit.) She thinks he's living at the facility where they used to live, & that someone saw him there and they're going to bring him back to her. It makes me weep. Sometimes I go along with her delusion, but sometimes I have to tell her all over again that he's gone. She has not shed one tear that I've seen, but she was never a crier, and is pretty flat emotionally with her dementia, except when she's being nasty or stubborn. She cannot grieve, if she can't remember that he's dead. Sometimes now she says things about her mother, who's been dead for nearly 60 yrs. "Let's go get Mom". "Don't we have to pick up Mom?", etc. She was on antidepressants before my dad died, because they can help clear dementia somewhat in some people.
But in Memory Care, the staff loves on her and I feel she is safe and watched over. I can visit her whenever and I bring her to my house sometimes for sleepovers, cook for her, etc. Just doing the best I can for the last phase of her life. So sad that she has so few friends or relatives left. And by the time everyone is in their 80's and 90's, they usually can't drive or travel to visit each other anymore if they live far away. My parents haven't been able to write people and get it together to even call friends, and have lost touch with so many old friends. I tried to call their old friends after my dad died, and most of the phone numbers in their address book had been disconnected. The more isolated and alone you get, the worse the dementia. And vice versa. It's hard to get out of that cycle.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Candy, Just want to share with you my experience with my mother and Alzheimer's.
In 2010 we moved our parents closer to us because Dad couldn't care for the household and mother at the same time. He was overwhelmed because she had taken care of all the bills and cooking etc. She could not do this anymore. She was diagnosed in 2009, but insisted it was just dementia. After getting them settled into senior living apt. Mom kept busy with decorating, but soon ran out of things to do, so her focus then was Dad. He had been doing the cooking and she was angry because he wasn't allowing her to help. It didn't matter the subject, she was angry at everything. To our dismay she accused him of having an affair with my sister. She was brutal and my father was in agony. There was no talking to her, as she would forget what was said within a short time and it would start over again. Her M.D. put her on a very minimal amount of antidepressant. It is my understanding that seniors cannot be given too much of this medication as it can be harmful. Well as time went on and she hadn't had a change in her behavior, it was found that the antiedpressant had the opposite affect on her and she became more agitated and enraged. She started running off. She even hitchhiked to my brothers 15 mile away.( She is 80 yrs old mind you.) She called my Dad to come get her, thank God she didn't try to drive one of my brothers vehicles as she had mentioned later. Well anyway, after taking her off the antidepressant, we took her to a psychiatrist, whom put her on one the alzheimer's medications that has made a world of difference. The neurologist, that she saw initially, simply diagnosed Alzheimer's. The second neurologist, explained the disease, as to the shrinking of the brain and the fluid retention around the skull, as well as how a head injury would be a high risk. Anyway Mom lives in an alzheimer's unit as of 2/2012. It has taken only four months for her to settle in and is comfortable with the routines there. Key words distraction and routine are the useful tools used with people with dementia. As to the neurologist, great start, but seeking psychological help, someone that is experienced with seniors is a must. Best wishes to you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My Father who is 92 and still living has dementia. He started showing signs about 70 yrs old.He is in a nursing home and remembers very little, not even his wife of 70 years. Before we placed him, he focused on a specific issure or person for about 3 weeks at a time. First his Mother, he remembered then she passed away, then the street name where they used to live, then his Father, then his Sister who was closest in age to him, then his work, then his high school years and so on. Mom and the kids visit about every 2 weeks and it takes a while for him to remember who we are. We give him kindness and love and soft talk and he starts to recognize us. He had several sporadic episodes of crying, and it made me so sad to see him cry. I haven't seen him cry lately though but I believe he may feel some grief.

Sometime anti-depressants can do the opposite of what they are supposed to.
I know because I have been taking them for about 45 years. For people with issues like your Mom's, it it sometimes best to just agree with them, and that can be very hard but it works pretty well. If she starts asking the same questions over and over, just keep giving her the same answer. Sounds like she is close to dementia, but the evaluation by the Doctor should help.A Geriatric doctor would also be a big help in diagnosing and treating. I pray that all goes well for you and your Mom. Remember that Caregivers need time to themselves to avoid burnout.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My MIL did the same thing regarding the loss of her Mother 46 years prior. It got to the point where I went to the cemetery and as morbid as it sounded I took a picture of her headstone and placed it in a picture frame to refer to so we didn't have to constantly go to the cemetary. She didn't recall her passing away, thought we hid it from her, wanted to make sure we dressed her nice, her hair was done. You name it. The next minute she'd be saying Ma went to the show I hope she has a good time. A few times we'd catch her walking out the door to meet Mom at the bus stop that she went here or there. Yet she could name her high school teachers. The mind is a mysterious thing. I believe taking her to the Doctor is a step in the right direction.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom in law has dementia and it has gotten a lot worse since she fell and broke her hip last year. She calls and thinks I am her daughter, barbara, who passed away in 2000. I explain that I am her daughter in law, that Barb passed away many years ago. Then she ask if her husband is living with us...I have to explain he passed in 2003. She then cries, saying she just does not remember. he gets confused a lot and when I am with her and she calls me Barbara, I just leave it alone, for she gets agitated very easily. She does have a daughte that lives blocks from her, but she never visits, and my mom in law forgets she had her most of the time. Ocassionally she will say,I had another daughter, right? Dementia is so sad. She feels shehas lost everyone she ever cared about and that we have taken over her life. We do pay her bills, take her to every dr appt (and I go back with her), we take her out to eat every week, shopping etc.....She is now 81 yrs old and says she never thought she wouldlive this long. She grieves for her daughter Barbara a ot, for she was the joy ofher life.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My Mom does the same, she's joyful one moment then the next she's starring into space shaking her head with a very sad look. I ask what is she thinking and she speaks of her losses, eye sight, memory, agility etc. then the cycle repeats. I feel so helpless, I wish I could make it all better but we're only human beings. My best to you all .
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What kind of word test determines if a patient has dementia?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you so much for your support and responses, ejbunicorn and psorre. It helps to know that I am not alone in this. I will keep you posted after I see the doctor. Thank goodness for this website and it's support. It has saved me many many times. Good Luck to you both as well.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My Dad has been gone about eight years, and Mom goes from she cannot live without him, crying, etc., to he is going out on her, that's why he's never home for dinner any more and so on. We go from Dad was the best husband and father in the world and she misses him, to he's still the best but alive. Then, thirty minutes later he's going out on her, staying out all night, drinking (which he did not do), and everything else bad she can think of. It's exhausting as well as being difficult hearing her tak about my father the way she does. She is depressed as well as dementia, and she does nothing she should be doing to help herself. Good luck to you. It is so very difficult, and I try so very hard to remember she loved my Daddy and they had a wonderful marriage. She is on an anti-depressant which is helping, but obviously not a cure. I wish you the best and getting her to the doctor is the best thing you can do for her and for yourself.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mom does still grieve for my father after 15 years but what you are saying about your mom sounds to me like she has dementia along with depression, her doctor can do a simple word test to tell if that is what it is, my mom also has dementia and depression, many prayers and hugs
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.