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My father is in memory care and his basic needs are being taken care of. They help him dress, bathe, get meals, dispense his medication. Between these, they do not initiate activity and he is incapable of initiating activity. He has a short attention span. Reading has become more difficult. He doesn't appear to be interested in music. Doesn't want to play games or do crafts. Can't always figure out how to use the phone. Has the TV on all the time but can't figure out how to change the channels. Unsure of balance, so he sits a lot, sleeps a lot. I visit daily and there is a PCA that comes in for evenings to keep him company during sundown so he doesn't go to bed at 5 pm. We are the only visitors. What can I do to improve his quality of life? We do run through PT exercises with him but he often doesn't want to and we don't push. He is 92 and depressed. It is difficult to take him out of the building by myself, especially in the winter. We live in a northern climate and he doesn't like the cold/short days.

My mom is the same way and outings are becoming more problematic with confusion. Unless she has a doctor appointment, I just take her down to the lobby and we share a coffee and cookies
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Reply to MACinCT
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I'm really dreading the day we have to go there. My dad is 92 and really should be in a different living situation but refuses to move. He has care that comes in 6 days a week for 1/2 days and I do Saturday. He still wants to be in the house and luckily he can sometimes get someone over to help him with the house needs (like the guy who came over yesterday and cleaned his gutters). I won't get involved in that stuff because he really has no business being in the house anymore. Some days I feel like he's hanging on by a shoestring. He was very frail yesterday. He doesn't like to watch TV, doesn't read, and only likes it when the caregivers or myself take him out in the car for drives because 'he doesn't like being in the house.' I think he's conflicted. Wants to be in the house but then doesn't because it depresses him. Then I start into my whole lecture how I think he would thrive in assisted living (he DOES like to be around other people). I have suggested we increase his caregiving time also but he doesn't want to because of the additional cost.
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Reply to Babs75
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I would suggest to show him love. Being there whenever you can, cuddling, kissing him, and being around would help him emotionally, and surely will bring him joy even if he doesn't remember. Sending love and Encouragement thoughts to you and your family
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Reply to loverdaughter
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Has he had a psychological assessment recently, and had he been depressed in his younger, active life?
My LO takes very small doses of two antidepressants, I think maybe Celexa and Buspar but that might be incorrect, but my point is, it makes a difference.
Was he a very active hobbyist in his younger life? An active reader, a follower of politics, a hobby cook? A gardener? Could he listen to books on tape or audio novels?
I seem to think you’re suggesting that he’s depressed because he’s inactive, is that so? My mother, who passed away at the age of 95 after 5 1/2 years in residential care, never had a hobby, couldn’t follow politics or sports on TV, didn’t like most kinds of music and lived her last many years solely for her family.
Ultimately, she made the NH “her family”, kibbitzed with them, ate their lunches, enjoyed their company, etc. It took her awhile, but she loved them and they came to love her. And that interaction became important to her.
Has he been in the residence long enough to have set some roots? Some residents adjust much more quickly than others, I notice.
Is he able to verbalize his feelings about depression, not being more active, or anything?
Is there any sort of activity program available on-site? My 92 yo LO sleeps a lot of the time and says she likes to do that. She rarely if ever indulges in any of the activities available. It’s very difficult to encourage someone who doesn’t want to do anything to become more active. SHE thinks her “quality of life” is OK. She worked all her life in a hard, intense, nerve wracking job, so maybe she’s saying what she really means.
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Reply to AnnReid
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You'll run yourself ragged trying to keep him occupied. He has Dementia and can no longer remember how to do things. He may be aware of this and is depressed. There r meds but won't bring back the memories. You r probably doing as much as you can at this point.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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