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!

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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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