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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!

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Jamo63 - your guilt was programmed in by your mother long ago. It's not real. What is real is frustration, resentment, anger, feeling helpless, hopeless, and trapped.

Do what must be done so you can live a happy and peaceful life. Nothing you can do will bring peace or happiness to your mother, so you simply look out for her safety. She needs to be in a place where her needs can be met: physical, social, medical, psychological. You can't be all those things to her. She may very well respond quite differently to other people - especially people in scrubs who look like a medical person or authority.

Your strong individuality is a gift and blessing that will get you through this. You deserve a happy life and that is NOTHING to be guilty from.

If you can't make the needed changes for your mom, leave it in the hands of the county social workers. Like Jeanne said, GO IN PEACE. You have done what was possible.
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jamo62, go in peace. Go soon. Spend the time necessary to find an appropriate care center for your dear mother. Visit her often. Advocate for her. Get on with your own life.
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In response to Social 1 and Victoriak68, my mom is 91 and begs for drugs. She had been a teetotaler, nonsmoker and non-drug abuser all her life. Then came the depression after my father died. She was given every test and drug known to medicine to find out what all her psychosomatic symptoms were indicating, then 3 years later, doctors decided it was all depression. So after a year trying numerous antidepressants with NO success, she was given "shock treatments" (ECT) and miraculously recovered in 10 weeks. After 4 years of debilitating illness, misery and cost to my mother, the cost to the family included two divorces (mine and my sister's), and estrangement among all the sisters. Two of us cared for our unconsolable Mom with love and good food in our homes for two years each. I agree with paula394 that we MUST care for ourselves as well as the elderly parent. We should not be made to sacrifice our own families to keep our parents happy. If I had known my life would have taken such a downturn in the last 14 years since we sold our house to care for my mother at hers, believe me, I would have acted a different way. I never remarried in 12 years. Now that I am finally engaged, my mother has succumbed to depression again and has turned my life upside down. What good timing. I did not choose to have children, and I am glad I won't be subjecting any to this kind of overwhelming responsibility and sadness. I have physical limitations that prevent me from picking up my mother from the toilet seat numerous times daily. Yes, it IS depressing growing old and bored! I see and feel it every day all day long as I watch her refusing to engage in even a television show or 2 paragraphs of a magazine or book. She refuses to take calls from her friends and relatives because she "feels awful". She wants a pill! Why can't they just give me a pill, she asks. She WANTS electroconvulsive treatments again, but no doctor we've found will give her any at 91 years of age. I want to get on with my life. I am 52 years old and I deserve to get married again. I don't want to spend the next possibly 10 more years of life encouraging and convincing my mom to take an interest in living, then start the process myself after she is gone. My hat's off to the energetic Pollyannas who have healthy spines and can survive years of their depressed and disabled parents' mood swings without destroying themselves in the process, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere, as people live longer and longer. I'm not seeing that much quality of life after 85. My friends and even a sister have asked me why I continue to take care of my mom and not just take her to a SNF. Now I want out, to live my youth before it is gone, but I am plagued by guilt all waking hours as I try to plan MY life, where I want to live, how I want to spend my time and how to take care of my own medical concerns. There has to be a limit to what is expected of caregiving family members, usually ONE of several capable but non-participatory siblings. We should be encouraged to GO IN PEACE. I would so love to feel peace again. JAM62
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I will add this. I told both my children to please put me on an antidepressant when I am old (if unable to make sensible decisions myself) and I am as unhappy and restless and my quality of life is like my mother's. I don't want to spend the end years of my life with feelings of dread, sadness and hopelessness like she has. Also, my mom has dragged me and my sister emotionally down with her. I don't want to do that to my children.
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My mom is in independent living and her dementia is bad enough that she can't take medication herself, nor can we go daily to give it to her. I WISH with all my heart that we could put her on antidepressants. She has been depressed for years and desperately needs them but refuses to move to assisted living where they could administer meds. She won't even let an aide come in her apartment. She would be so much happier, less anxiety attacks, less paranoia if only we could give her zoloft or anything!
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I just saw my mother after over 6 months of not seeing her, as her behavior was intolerable for me (triggered PTSD from childhood abuse) and she refused to take any medication. She is in psychiatric hospital now and they are trying to get her to agree to taking antipsychotic meds, and have resorted to injection once when she was very agitated. She is continually delusional and paranoid. as well as having a life long personality disorder. It is very obvious to me that she is also depressed. She needs an antipsychotic which works to lessen the impact of the paranoia on her - she is less agitated and perseveres less when on the drug - and she needs an antidepressant as she sees no point in life and talks of suicide. Her brain is damaged from vascular dementia. The only treatment is drugs which would make her life more tolerable. She is physically healthy, though 102 and could easily live several more years. I want them to treat her so that her remaining years are as good as they can be. She is "imprisoned" by her condition. There s no other treatment. Antidepressants would be a blessing for her.
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I am the person who started this conversation back in the summer of 2012. It was a nightmarish time: mom had to be placed in a NH & was combative & verbally very angry there; dad's who world fell apart with mom gone; after 2 months on his own it became apparent my husband, daughter and I (who lived only a mile away) would have to give up our place and move in with him.

It did not go smoothly and dad was extremely agitated, combative, verbally cruel and did all sorts of scary things, like locking the 3 of us out one school nite (daughter in HS) and refusing to let us in.

We have been able to wean him gently off the 50 mg of Zoloft that he was taking as he began to calm down and adjust much easier as time went on. We have been here 2-1/2 years. I suffer from depression and let me tell anyone who says we are an "overmedicated" society simply is clueless. Having anxiety and continual gnawing worry over one's aging parents, one's teenage daughter (who had a difficult time adjusting but bless her, she rallied & is doing well in college), a husband out of work, myself working in a minimum-wage job along with moving out of the home we had lived in for 17 years...I literally wanted to die; everything seemed bleak and hopeless with no workable solution. There was no opportunity for anyone to sit in the sun and be loved and if someone had come at me with a knife I would probably be dead or wounded badly.

Everyone's situation is different. I am just so glad to see that after all this time many people support my opinion just as many understand that depression is a legitimate disease and the proper medication and talk therapy helps keep it in remission. Thank you to everyone here who has reaffirmed what I said back in 2012. It has been an adventure as it continues to be.
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LOL, vegaslady, maybe that was Freudian! :D
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I think Jeanne meant threads!
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Shelley2977, welcome to the forum! As you see, this thread is a couple of years old' some of the participants are no longer active here. I hope you will hang around and participate in newer, active threats, and/or start some topics of your own. We welcome all views, and sometimes debate them among ourselves. The overall atmosphere here is helpfulness and sharing and, mostly, respect.

As one who has the condition of depression, I'd be happy to have someone sit me in the sun and love me ... right after they've helped me to appropriate medical treatment. I also have diabetes. You can't love that away, either.
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I just saw this too. What a bunch of crazy ideas about antidepressants. For crying out loud, use medication when needed. We couldn't do without them. Where do people get the information they pass along as facts to others? I'm so glad these people aren't in my life...and you can guess the ones I mean.
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Wow, I just came to this site looking for suggestions about antidepressants for my elderly mother who is verbally abusive ,angry and depressed. I guess I am a bad daughter if I want her medicated so I can continue to take care of her. The other option is assisted living. Social1, I sure wish that I could just sit her in the sun and "love" her back to her old self but that won't happen. Depression is a disease. Victoria68, your mother with dementia has pulled a knife on you, thrown crap at you for the last 10 years. Perhaps medication might really help your Mom be happy. Thanks for all of the good information here.
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I agree. My mom was on Seroquel and it almost killed her when I asked the doctor to take her off of it. He did not tell the nurse to gradually decrease it and she ended up in the hospital. The doctor on staff said she would probably pass away in a few days. She got major fluids for five days and she recovered and went back to the ALF. She was given Remeron to increase her appetite and it worked. She was with hospice and they eventually canceled the contract because she was improving. It took a long time for the Remeron to work but she is calmer unless someone tries to make her do something she does not want to do. The Remeron is an anti-depressant too. She is severe stage Alzheimer's. I just wish doctors would not be so aggressive with the dosage to start. It does not make sense to do that especially when you do not know how they will react. When I first starting getting involved with my parents' meds, I noticed my dad was taking an anti-depressant. I asked him why. He said his doctor asked him if he was depressed and he said he was because he was taking so many meds. She wrote a script for an anti-depressant. Go figure.
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Geri, I am so sorry to read this . Please be your own advocate on the pills. I would think of course he is not active on those medications, geepers! Both (separately) seraquel and aricept made my Mom a mad woman!!! The xanax (actually klonopin), constipated her, exhausted her, and made her unsteady on her feet. She is on an antidepressants which are a life saver but has been before the dementia started. Moms neurologist, the head neuro of the hospital recommeneds depakote (I get the sprinkles) to calm the brain and says seroquel is black-labled for dementia, it highly increases their chances of strokes and heart attacks. Depakote is used also for people with seizures (not my mom) to calm their brain down. At first she slept a lot, but that stopped. I have tried to wean her down but she becomes impossible to live with again, so we go right back up on the dosage. Now thats its been 4 years I am weaning her off a bit, and so far she is ok but in late stage dementia now also. Its amazing how 1 less pill a week and she says a few words again. Check with your doctor if this interests you at all, and again, I am sorry to hear. Your husband doesnt mean what he says, he cannot reason any more, and its a long road. I am still on here with my Mother which has taken over our lives but, well, shes my Mom, and love is powerful isnt it.
Hugs to you!
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My husband has been diagnosed with dementia for two months now. He is on aricept plus seroquel and xanex. He is very depressed about this diagnosis, anger has calmed down but his depression has not completely. He is 74 and was very active but now does nothing. He blames me for his mood swings, this is difficult on both of us. Without the med's he was very difficult to live with and we have been married 48 years. I believe most people with this illness needs anti-depressants to cope with their life changes.
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I agree! I have chosen drowning but the case of wine on a raft sounds better!
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My lordie, I've been on antidepressants since caregiving issues and bereavement issues sent me loopy. If it is needed, if it prevents anger and violence, it might be something a person just needs. Crikey. Not all seniors are medicated, not all are abused. Do what you have to do, in the best interests of your loved one. I've told my daughter, three signs of dementia and pop me on the raft, with a case of wine, and send me off! I've seen what dementia did to my dad and he would never have wanted to be that way if it was preventable. He was undermedicated and I fought for months to convince them he was in pain with his brain tumour. Typical symptom no one told me about. His arthritis gave him grief for years.
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My husband, 78, has been on 5mg Valium twice daily for 23 years for extreme anxiety. Haven't had a doctor in over 7 years willig to tryto wean him off. He was diagnosed with vasular dementia 18 mos ago and his geriatric psychiatrust suggedted going down to one daily in the morning since it afects cognitive skills and give him the second one in the afternoon as needed. AS NEEDED! It's been so erratic he's become more depressed and become argumentative in the early evenings. We recently went back to the second one around 4pm and he's just about back to his old self with the memory loss of course. No zombie anmuch more pleasant.
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Hi Reverse, well it's hard to say yet. My mom said she got up to use the bathroom and saw my Dad watching t.v. at 2:00. The doctor said it's going to take a little time for it to work so we'll see. Thanks for asking. :)
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Alisa, how did your Dad make out? The melatonin gave my Mom night mares, hope is okay and sleeping.
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I agree Noles. Better to enjoy this life than live in pain. Sometimes you have to weigh the pros and cons and just go with what works.
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When one must decide their quality of life, I would rather choose sleeping well at night to be able to face the pain the next day versus tossing and turning and moaning in pain. My husband sleeps so well now and I am grateful for that.
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My husband's doctor (and the literature on the subject) cautions against him using Tynelol PM or Benedryl. He has Lewy Body Dementia. My doctor has recomended both of those products for me. When it comes to medication, one size does not fit all!

Sharing our drug experiences here can be very useful background information. But any drugs given to the elderly, including over the county drugs, should be discussed with their doctors!
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I know Noles, I was just passing along info for those caring for elders with dementia :)
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My husband does not have dementia. He has spinal stenosis.
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My dad's doctor said to be cautious with using Tylenol PM with dementia. It could make hallucinations worse. He said to give my dad 6mg. of melatonin about two hours before bedtime. That was a few days ago and I still am waiting to hear how it worked. He said it might take a week or two to really see results but also the first night my mom fell asleep before she gave it to him and the next night a similar situation so still waiting.
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I asked my husband's doctor if he could take Tylenol PM every night and he said he could because Tylenol does not contain aspirin. He definitely needs it for all of his pain at night.
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I think the key to the entire to give or not to give antidepressants to the elderly is that careful monitoring is required. I myself have been on antidepressants for many years and they have made a world of difference in my life. That being said, I am also monitored by my doctor. No one wants to see their loved one so doped up they can not function, but in my mom's case antidepressants/anti anxiety meds have helped her control the fear and anxiety that was making her miserable.
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Dotti, many many years ago when my Mom went on her antidepressant she said the same thing. She wished so much she had it years ago as her anxiety was so high she even had to hold onto my dad in open areas, etc, sad.
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So nice to read this post as a testament to the life-changing benefits of antidepressents. So many people suffer unnecessarily without the benefits of meds they so desperately require. Also, the many medications that can help the elderly who are ranting and screeming which is suffering on a different level; both for the elderly person and the caregivers. I can't understand why anyone would allow an elderly person to suffer the indignities caused by brain changes as they age. Why not control it and help give them gain some contentment.with the help of medication.
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