Our mother is driving the family crazy.


Our mother is almost 90 and is in assisted living for about a month. She is like the female Oscar the grouch. Everything seems to be negative. If asked what can we do to help her, she has no clue. She’s shot every idea that anyone has suggested out of the sky. She has no interest in crafts, hobbies, TV, etc... She’s seeing a psychiatrist and a mental counselor, but it seems like it’s not enough to be effective. She’s been on Prozac for a few weeks. My younger sister is doing everything possible, but it’s not enough. We are at our wits end and open to any helpful suggestions.

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What led to your mother's being moved to Assisted Living? I wonder if the reason for it might be related to your mother's mood and attitude now.

We've tried every idea we can think of without any success. She doesn't seem to show interest in anything. We don't know where to turn. I live 1500 miles away, but am trying to help. My sister is the main caregiver. She vents her frustrations to me. I'm at the point of letting the professionals guide us, but there is a lot of time between sessions.

Is this something new for your Mom or has she suffered from depressions for years? At times, some individuals play the negativity card to get attention. And we often play into their hands. In addition, by its very definition, depression prevents people from participating in life. It seems that she is working with professionals, sometimes it takes time to sort through the issues. In the meantime, perhaps you and your sibs can brainstorm ideas that (in the past) have excited your Mom. It might be the most simple of things. An outing to get her hair cut/styled. One woman I know took her mom out every Thursday for Starbucks coffee. My sister and I used to take my Mom to an old fashioned ice cream parlor. My experience is that someone with depression won't be able to express interest in ANYTHING. But, they may find some enjoyment in thins you (kind of) force on them.