She has battled depression for years, and has been treated for it. However,medicines have not always worked. Now, she has mobility issues...can hardly walk, due to several medical conditions. She lies in the bed most of the time - won't even go get her hair fixed. She says she has no where to go and won't be here much longer. Some days, she seems better, but on the days she is really down, I can't reason with her. She tells me to take care of my family (I have 6 year old triplets and am a teacher), and says my dad can do it. She is very critical of him - constant complaining about him - same conversations over and over. He is not perfect, but he is doing what he can. I call her every day, and I see her once or twice a week. She asks me to do things, and I try to, but when I can't do something, she gets mad. She tells me she's not mad, but she goes into the "I won't be here much longer" mode. I am also battling depression, so somedays are pretty bad. What approach should I take with her?

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We can't help those who do not want help... if she has been depressed most of her life, then that is how she sees the world... honey, you didn't break her, and you can't fix her... be there for her in ways that leave you with no regrets... sounds like you have your hands full with your children, job and your own life....
I know it is sad to watch and you want things to be better for her... but the only depression you have any control over is your own.... it only means you love her to want it to be nicer for her... love her anyway.... get yourself some help, some one to talk to, possibly meds to help you over the hump, and just do what you can... and it's ok if she gets upset... she was upset before you were born... she knows how to deal with her own you learn to not follow in her footsteps and get your own depression under control... prayers and angels sent to you to help you and for you to know you are loved and appreciated....
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helloddavis, I have been going through this for years. Many people on the group have parents who complain a good bit. I've not been able to find a way to get my mother to stop, so I just have to figure out how to react to it. Sometimes I kid with my mother. When she says that she won't be here much longer, I tell her she has been saying that for 10 years now and she's still here. :) Much of the complaining, I believe, comes from knowing things are not well for her and thinking that somewhere somehow someone ought to be able to fix it. My mother also complains about my father, who is very ill. At the same time, she does not tolerate anyone else complaining about him.

If you can, just pull yourself out of the whirlpool that she is drawing you into. Misery may love company, but the company doesn't have to love it back. One thing that has helped me with my mother is to distance myself emotionally from the negativity, so that I listen but don't take it seriously. Sometimes I do things like going around the house singing songs like "I've got the joy, joy, joy... etc." like a message that I'm not being brought down. Maybe it lifts her mood. I know it lifts mine. Silly songs are also my favorite, even if I make them up on the spur of the moment.

I hope you can find the things that work for you. It sounds like you don't need anything else to add to your depression. I hope that yours also improves.
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Are you battling your depression with drug or talk therapy or both? I would suggest this is an excellent topic to work through with a therapist very experienced with dementia.

Is your mother right that she won't be here much longer? That is, does she have any conditions that are likely to lead to her death in the next several months? Is hospice a reasonable option?
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