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He does not return phone calls, cancels plans to visit his children and grandchildren, and lost all interest in what once brought him joy. His father passed away within the past 6 months, for whom he was the caregiver. My father has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, he is overweight, does not exercise, does not watch his diet and consumes too much alcohol. His depression increased once he retired 5 years ago. His wife has tried desperately to get him active, help him exercise and eat right. She has tried to get him involved in anything that may be of interest to him, yet he finds nothing interesting anymore. He has lost his passion for life. The man that was once my father is no longer there. He man who I thought would be the grandfather to my children is not there, either. I am at a loss as to how to reach him when he will not answer the phone and cancels all plans we make (we live an hour from each other.) His wife is becoming frustrated and seems ready to give up waiting for him to live life again. Any suggestions from anyone out there?

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i know exactly what you mean, my mother is 79 now. Her and her sister were very, very close, they did everything together but when her sister died she went down hill real fast. She's had nothing but health problems every since. I can't get her to do anything. I know she's depressed but can't seen to get her out of it. But then i can't seem to get out of depression myself at times. So if you ever figure out an answer please let me know.
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Sorry you are having a hard time. Not quite sure what to say except maybe see a counselor or a psychiatrist. Good luck and take care of yourself.
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We all grieve in different ways, perhaps your Dad may want to get away from it all right now. Has he spoke of traveling, fishing, driving cross country or anything of that nature? Maybe now is the time.

Ask him what does he need you all to do for him at this time and if it's ok to call him ?# days of the week, let him know that you are not going to abandon him but you will respect his desires then do so.

Your Dad is obviously a loving and caring man, how hard it must be to see him withdraw from life but I would be a knat iritating the Charles Dickens out of him to get his health on track, for he has loved ones who deeply care for him as well.

Best wishes to you all, sorry for your loss.
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TINK:

When my father died (I was his caregiver too), all I wanted was for people to back off and let me grieve at my own pace. Took a leave of absence from teaching, hit the road in my Chevy truck, and "isolated" in the mountains of Upstate NY. No phone, no priest, no psychiatrist trying to relate my "withdrawal from humanity" to something my mother did -- and then offer me pills to mask it all up.

A piece of his life is now gone. All of a sudden he's having to reshuffle the deck of his existence and face his pain in order to begin healing from within.

For now, I'd call once a week and leave supportive voice-mails only. "I know you're hurting Dad, but let me know if there's anything I can do. ... I love you and miss you. ... Call me when you're ready." Follow up with 1 or 2 colorful cards signed by everyone, including the kids. Crayons, hearts, you name it. He needs some color in his life, now more than ever.

If he doesn't respond within 30 days, ask the neighbors if they've seen him around. If so, knock on his door. If he doesn't open, tell him you're going to knock it down.
He might call it an intrusion. I call it an intervention.
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Since he won't get out on his own, see if a hospice grief counselor, or your pastor, will visit him at home. With all his health problems, no wonder he isn't motivated -- which make them YOUR problems, too, because you care about his well-being. Short of getting him to visit his doctor & taking an anti-depressant, there isn't a whole lot you can do to 'make it all better'. You and his wife might visit a counselor or clergy to get a clearer perspective on your dad, too, and deal with your frustrations and feelings of helplessness.
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It sounds like this is a medical problem. Have you talked with dad;s physician? There are prescription medicines available that will help. I urge you to take advantage of the wonders that are out there. Remember that dad is not happy either.
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It seems like when I get bummed out or depressed, the first thing I gravitate to do is to withdraw. Just the opposite of what I should be doing, but I do it anyhow. In my case it's not a full on depression like your dad, but it's still the act of withdrawing nonetheless. It's like us humans need to crawl under the covers and shut out the world when we get like that. Maybe your dad needs to be seen by a doctor. Maybe your dad needs to check into a temporary solution like anti-depressants. Maybe he just needs to stop thinking about himself and what he DOESN'T have, and instead focus on what he DOES have. I don't know. Is this just a major pity party or something actually physical that's throwing off his brain right now? I'd start with the doctor I guess. Does he have a friend that will talk to him? Maybe someone's who's been there will have better luck getting thru. Sorry.
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