Elderly mother has recent major depressive disorder w/ psychosis. I need advice.
My mother, 73, was recently hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital for approximately two months. Prior to this she was living by herself in her home, though we were concerned about her depression and that she was so isolated. There were two separate psych hospital stays of about 20-30 days each with a chaotic week in between with two ER visits. She was diagnosed MDD or major depressive disorder, classified as severe with psychotic features. One time they said Psychotic Depression or Dementia Depression or something like that. She’s been “better” for only a week or so now, and discharged once she began taking her medications, eating and drinking water again, after a court ordered her to. She’d been refusing all of these things for most of the rest of her stay, lost 30+ pounds in 2 months, and was very difficult to handle. She’d been planning self-harm before being hospitalized also, and actually laid out her plans specifically to me of what she would do. So, it’s a fragile situation. Obviously we’re concerned with her being on her own, and possibly falling into another deep depression or worse. We think she needs to be in possibly independent living or something she can afford, where she’ll be safe and closer to us. However, she keeps saying she wants the chance to prove she can be on her own. She’s been suffering with depression and anxiety for over 30 years. The new wrinkle is this worsening of her depression and possibly some age-related dementia and the delusions and suicidal tendencies. Also, she’s always had an OCD- type A personality and is obstinate and wanting to go back to living alone at her home, though we’re really concerned about it. We, her only close relatives, live in another city about 2 hours drive away and have school-aged children, other medical issues, and jobs, etc., so can’t be there to help her full time. I’ve gone down there 3 times over the past two months, and it’s weighing heavily on me trying to deal with this stress. What are the options to help us and her make the transition to her life after this hospitalization and diagnosis? Can she live alone safely with this diagnosis- whatever it is exactly? Since she’s on a small fixed income, what are the options for living arrangements? We’re thinking of independent living, but she’s balking at that idea. I’m not even sure she’d stay if we got her in somewhere, as she changes her mind frequently. She can’t live with us permanently, as it’s stressing our family and honestly, my marriage. She’s driving me a bit crazy with her obstinance, anxiety, delusional behavior and OCD tendencies. Also, she’s not the same! It’s almost as though she’s a shell of the person she once was. It’s very hard to deal with and so sad for me. Keeps asking me the same things, and gets fixated on one thing and can’t let it go. This is all new to me and my whole family. I apologize if this is scattered and rambling. Please, I need advice and help on how to proceed.