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My dad never liked being alone and his last marriage was his happiest. But she passed away in 2010 and he has been alone ever since. He had suffered a pretty hard stroke 1year prior to her passing and it has really effected him emotionally, he cries at the drop of a leaf, everything is gloomy in his eyes. We live on the Cape Cod and it's a summer place, so fall and winter are very desolate, many houses are empty because they are summer homes, businesses are closed, he see it as very empty (half empty glass guy). He has no drive to do anything I try to get him to read a book, see a movie, go to the senior center and he won't. He will just curl up on the couch and sleep. I take him to the doctors regularly and we talked about antidepressants but he thinks it will make him a vegitable and that he is doing fine. I don't want him to be a vegetable, I just have a hard time seeing him feel so empty and crying when he doesn't know what to do. I try to get him to play card, chess anything to keep his mind off the emptiness, but that's hard to maintain ! Anyone else deal with this and have some ideas ? He is hard of hearing but refuses to get aids, so I kind of understand not liking the movies. Can not get him to understand that not hearing makes him more disconnected from the world, adds to the depression.

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It seems to me that you are doing nearly everything possible, but I know it's heartbreaking for you to see him like this. Pstegman presented a terrific option.

Another option is your state website. If you type your state's name and the words aging or aging services into your web browser, you should see a list of local options. Look for a version of the National Family Caregivers Support Program. This program is federal and can offer a lot of help. It's a little different in each state, but still you should find support.

Good luck and please keep checking in on this forum. It's a terrific community of caring people with a lot of wisdom.
Carol
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You don't say how old and or in what physical condition your father is, but if he is physically able to take care of a pet that might be the answer. Cats are easy to care for. I've seen two instances where adding a cat to the household cheered up the individual immensely. They no longer feel alone and they have something they need to think about other than themselves.
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It sounds like you are doing everything you humanly can to alleviate your dad's depression. He's luck to have you in his corner cheering him on.

When you take your dad to the Dr. can you ask the Dr. to explain to your dad how antidepressants work? We all know that antidepressants don't turn people into vegetables. From what you wrote, the life he's leading now is what he fears regarding antidepressants. That is, if the Dr. thinks your dad would benefit from them they can only help.

You've given your dad some great suggestions on how to get out of the house and become more active. Laying around the house depressed and crying only perpetuates the depression. It's very depressing to lay around the house crying. Unless he takes a leap of faith and makes a decision to start feeling better there is little that you can do to change his situation. We can't make someone do something they don't want to do.

It must be heartbreaking to see your dad like this. If it were my dad I wouldn't be above a little begging to get him out of the house. When I cared for my dad and he wouldn't do something that I knew would be good for him I played the "Do it for me" and "I'm trying so hard to help you, can you meet me halfway?" cards. A little guilt never hurt anyone.
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Last summer I felt unproductive and started writing a short story (I am 80) I never believed in antidepressants until about 12 years ago. I worked part time as a data entry clerk until I fell at age 79. Even though I cry a lot..my two favorite lines are; "don't let the tears fool ya." and " I yam who I yam.
The short story may never be finished and that is not a big issue for me. I needed stimulation and here I am....Namaste..oliveoyl
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Go to escci.org which is Elderly Services of Cape Cod and the Islands. Look up some adult activities near you. Socialization with peers is important.
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I would urge that you check further into antidepressants. It took 3 suicide attempts for my husband to accept the fact that he needs to STAY ON HIS MEDS. The downside is that finding the right meds is often a trial-and-error process, and patients all too often cease taking the meds once they find they are feeling better. With my husband, I've found that compliance is the key and the last 16 years on the right antidepressants he's been a far better adjusted person than he was previously. And, by the way, the drugs DO NOT turn people into vegetables! Mental health professionals have a much better understanding of the problem than they used to, and with proper evaluation, diagnosis, and monitoring, should be able to give your father -- and you -- some much-needed relief.
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I agree with psteqman. When my mother met her new beau at the age of 78 at an adult center, it lifted her spirits she was in love again and life was wonderful. She passed four years later, but it was about the happiest time of her life.
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I will pray for you and your Dad. One thing I know is that God makes all the difference. I'm not talking about going to church and being "religious." I'm talking about knowing God. Do you or your father have this kind of relationship with God? I also know that as Jesus said, "In this world, you will have troubles. But take heart, I have overcome the world." When we are in Jesus, resting on His salvation and ability to give us rest even in the midst of our greatest storms, we CAN endure the storms. In this life, the storms of pain and grief will always be. That's why Jesus when He was here emphasized HIS Kingdom. That is where our hope truly is. In the meantime, here on this fallen earth of grief, where folks, like your precious father, suffer, we still have One who can give us joy despite our suffering. Do you know Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, not the so-called New Age varieties? Does your Dad know Him? I hope and pray so. If not, feel free to email me, so that I can help you find Him. Love and blessings, my friend.
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"renting a male companion"

Can I get that phone number?
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The latest research shows a connection between hard of hearing, depression and dementia. They are all related to one another and the sooner he gets hearing aids and an antidepressant the happier he will be. Get him a book on the brain and how the chemicals being out of balance are really causing the depression and loneliness, crying, etc. Older generations think all they have to do is "pick themselves up" and they can get out of the depression. Sleeping a lot is a major red flag. So is lack of sunshine and he needs Vitamin D. Hearing all of this from you might not do any good, so let a professional do it. :)
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