How to cope with my mother's depression?

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My mother will transition to a long term care facility (nursing home) next weekend. I have been preparing her for this transition for the past few weeks. In a nutshell, she is outliving her money. She has been residing in an ALF for the past year at $6,200 per month, plus Medigap insurance premiums; life insurance premiums; medication costs; hygiene supplies, and incidentals. We have limited resources available now, and the ALF recommended we find a LTC facility before she actually runs out of money, so we will have more options and have her settled in before we have to apply for Medical Assistance. So she moves into the new facility on May 16. She has multiple disabilities from a brain aneurysm that ruptured 24 years ago, and she is wheelchair bound and overweight. She lived with me for a few years until it became more difficult for me to caregiver, and she transitioned to an ALF. However, she fell and broke her hip, which essentially caused more disabilities and lack of mobility. She needs 24/7 assistance now. Anyway, to make a long story short, I am feeling very sad and guilty that I have to make this difficult but necessary decision to move her to a long term care facility. We have no other option due to the fact that she is running out of savings, and now, her limited income (social security and my father's pension) will go toward paying for her nursing home, and Medical Assistance will pay the remaining fees and all other expenses. My father is deceased, and my mother and he divorced in 2010. How does one cope with the sadness and guilt for placing a parent in a nursing home? My mother is not happy with this decision. She protests that she does not want to have a roommate (there is no other option); and that she will not have her own bathroom in her room. She has dementia but is cognizant enough to understand what is happening. Her mood is generally labile (she has what is called "pseudo-bulbar affect from the stroke), so she can be negative and depressed; crying one day, and happy go lucky the next. It is very difficult to see her unhappy. Today I visited her for Mother's Day, and she was not happy. She is grieving the loss of my brother who died from pancreatic cancer in January; and another brother died a few years ago after complications from a spinal cord injury. She is grieving these losses, in addition to the lack of control over her life at this stage. She told my sister in law and me today that she does not have anything to live for, and she does not care about anything anymore. She is being treated for depression and anxiety with medications, and a psychiatrist visits her monthly. I am her POA, but I am at my wit's end trying to make decisions that will help her cope with these losses and her own aging process. Any suggestions from others who are in a similar situation? Thanks!

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There is nothing that pains me more than my mother being unhappy/depressed/anxious. I'm constantly saying to NH staff "I"m not the person who will EVER acuse you of over medicating my mom; make her happy/calm/comotose! Just not unhappy/agitated/delusional, etc.

You can't fix what is wrong with her brain. and you certainly can't fix the losses she's experienced...to lose a child; just not bearable for many folks.

I think if I were in your shoes, I'd seek out a good psychologist or psychiatrist to work with, both for meds and for therapy. This is not an easy situation to deal with and I think that professional help is indicated.
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The hardest part of all of this is that there is no solution to her depression. Life kicks us all in the teeth. Sometimes all you can do is hug her and not require her to cope any better than she already is. I would guess inside she is already stretched to her limit. Bless you both.
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"I am feeling very sad and guilty that I have to make this difficult but necessary decision to move her to a long term care facility."

Sad I understand. This is indeed a very sad situation.

But guilty? Why? Did you spend her money on yourself and now she can't afford to stay were she is? Did you do something to cause that brain aneurysm? Did you have anything whatsoever to do with your brother's cancer? Of course not!! You are just doing the best you can to cope with what exists and to act in your mother's best interests.

I am glad Mom is being treated and being seen by a psychiatrist. That it isn't sufficient is unfortunate (and, of course, not your fault). I think you could use a few sessions of therapy yourself, to rid yourself of the unearned guilt you are feeling. That won't solve everything but may enable you to cope a little more comfortably.
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Yes, if I may chime in again...

As it was put to me, we could either send her back and forth to a doctor who would tinker with her meds, in which case I, alone, would have to "diagnose" how she was doing (I didn't have the skills!!!!), or send her to the senior behavioral clinic where it would all be done under professional eyes in about ten days. Naturally, I opted for the clinic.

I was afraid to take her there myself--afraid of the clamour--so I let the AL manage the whole thing. I visited her once while she was there--with my knees knocking.

As I said, the result was a miracle! and with the insurance the whole ordeal only cost $1,000. Amazing.

Even if such a clinic is not available, a geriatric psychiatrist should see her. Or at the very least, make sure the Psyc. KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE TELLING US. Remember that demented people mask what is going on. He/she cannot know how it really is unless you report it. SPEAK TO THAT PERSON.
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Have you seen Inside Out? The moment when Joy realizes the value of sadness?

A depressed person feels so ALONE. Don't try to talk her out of her depression. Get on board with her sadness. She has plenty of reason to feel that way.

Hold her hand. Listen to what she says. Agree that her life looks dark. Tell her you miss your brother too. Agree that you are worried that her roommate may be a problem. Tell her you will always be there to fix what can be fixed. Sometimes, I will even catastrophize about how terrible things are. That can get a laugh. And maybe after a while of shared sorrow, then and only then, try to remind her of some of the good things that remain.

Let her be sad and let her know you love her, happy or sad. Staying in sadness with someone who loves you will help to lift you. Some people say that God doesn't solve our problems, but that he is beside us through them.
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Yes, Kristab, we are an army of caregivers in the world. There are so man y of us and , in many cases, the care is truly heroic ( I don't consider myself one of those...).

Let me say it in black and white: I don't know where I would be without this site. I rely on it every day!
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You wrote:

She is being treated for depression and anxiety with medications, and a psychiatrist visits her monthly.

Are you sure she is getting the right meds and enough of them?

Once a month isn't much.

Have you TOLD the psychiatrist what you are telling us? He/She can up the meds.

For my mom that made all the difference. She had the right meds but too little to be of any value. when the amount went up, she became content and pleasant--not dopey. I am forever in the debt of the doctor who did that. a geriatric specialist.
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Hugs to you. It's distressing to get such negative feedback when you are doing the right thing -- and have been for years. And the stakes are higher when a parent dumps on a(n) (adult) child. If this started when you were an actual child, all the worse. JeanneGibbs' advice is spot-on. You are probably wondering when the heck you'll find time to devote one hour a week to your mental health. Just do it. There needs to be some "you" left as this journey progresses. And after it ends.

And it's not wrong to wish that mom would slip away. Watching a parent deteriorate is devastating. And it can last for years. Or decades.

Yes....there's only one way this can end. Don't beat yourself up because your brain does work properly.

In the meantime, take active measures to bolster your sanity. It won't "just happen." Lots of evidence of that on this thread. And in my own life.

Take care of yourself. Lots of good support on this forum. Keep reading and keep sharing.
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From what you have told us, you are doing everything that is within your power to help your mother. But, speaking from my own experience, sometimes no matter what you do, it is never, never enough for some mothers or people in general. Speaking from experience, it is very hard to realize that it is not your fault, but just part of their personality brought about by their physical illness and brain illness (not a technical term, but I use it because it gives me perspective on what is happening).
Salisbury's suggestion is spot on. Is your mother getting the best meds for condition and are levels prescribed adequate. Sometimes it is hard to tell a physician that her prescription is not working. But only you can be your mother's advocate.
The cost of care is an unbeliveably costly burden for most families. I can tell you feel guilty that you cannot do more. But you are not alone.
You are responsible for your own behavior and not your mother's, although I know that can be hard to really believe for yourself.
If you could find a therapist or a group for adult children in your situation, you are likely to find comfort in talking to others. Perhaps you need to check-in with your family doctor to see if they could prescribe a med to help in the short-term.
You must take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. If you don't exercise regularly, try going for a short walk a few times a week and gradually increase it. If you like crafts, try to find one you like. I have returned to knitting after 30 years. I find it takes my mind off my problems.
In closing, I bet many of us on this board have been in your place. You can only do so much and you cannot fix your mother at this stage. Best to you.
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i think its lovely when an elder can remain at home too but it clearly isnt always possible .
razzleberry probably never had to deal with lost income because he or she could still perform their job as a cartel lookout while elder caregiving at home .
that statement still isnt as thoughtless as telling someone they should writhe in guilt over something thats beyond their capabilities or even medically unwise ..
i look at NH as long term hospitalization for many worst case patients .
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