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My grandmother (80) has been depressed for a couple years. I am her in house care giver and after 3 years of grieving, and discussions we have decided she needs something she can find passion in. She has tremors which complicates things a bit. She used to enjoy knitting, crocheting, walking, and reading which she still does but it only assists her in disconnecting herself from life. Im wondering if anyone out there has some ideas i can try with her to help her find something to be passionate about again. Thank you in advance fpr any ideas

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Just P'M'ed the link but can't doublecheck the posted message, which suggests the link might have been blocked. So search on "Meetups, Boylston, Mass."

Reading is one of my anti-depressive techniques. I've ready most of Margaret Truman's mysteries at least 3 times. I've read John Grisham, Sheldon Siegel and some other legal mystery writers, but their novels are long and might be too much to holder your GM's interest. Siegel is a good writer, but his focus is heavily on courtroom tactics, which I find interesting since I've worked in law most of my life.

Another thought: do you get Hallmark Channel - Jessica Fletcher's Murder, She Wrote is a long running, short but likeable mystery movie series. There's an element of relaxation as well as many episodes are set in Cabot Cove, Maine. Even though the episodes haven't been updated with digital quality, I still find it relaxing to see the coastside scenes. And there's nothing gory like some of the intense mysteries with intense violence.

There's another delightful yet intriguing series of books which normally wouldn't be considered mysteries, but in many ways are: Griffin and Sabine, by Nick Bantock. There are if I remember 6 short books, a combination of artwork, psychological mystery, and intrigue. The books are in letter form, rather than chapter form. Events take place through these letters, which are on elaborately decorated, very symbolic pages and designs. At one time there was a G & S online forum.


Reading is one of my anti-depressive techniques. I've ready most of Margart Truman's mysteries at least 3 times. I've read John Grisham, Sheldon Siegel and some other legal mystery writers, but their novels are long and might be too much to holder your GM's interest. Siegel is a good writer, but his focus is heavily on courtroom tactics, which I find interesting since I've worked in law most of my life.

Another thought: do you get Hallmark Channel - Jessica Fletcher's Murder, She Wrote is a long running, short but likeable mystery movie series. There's an element of relaxation as well as many episodes are set in Cabot Cove, Maine. Even though the episodes haven't been updated with digital quality, I still find it relaxing to see the coastside scenes. And there's nothing gory like some of the intense mysteries with intense violence.
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Alillo, thanks for the update. There might even be book clubs for specific mystery authors in your area.

Although it would be kind of cumbersome, I know that there are author specific online book clubs. Perhaps you could find one for her favorite authors, print out comments on current discussions, discuss them with her, then post a response on her behalf. If you can ask questions or stimulate discussion on a specific issue, it might give her the opportunity to look forward to answers.

At one time I researched online for local book clubs beyond those that met at librairies. I was unprepared for the wealth of clubs that I found. Did just a google search for meets up near Boyston, MASS and got a lot of hits. (I'll PM it to you so the link isn't compromised by the filters).

If you can find one that has a coffee or dessert chat afterwards, it's a great way to mingle with others. The Michigan Jane Austen Society of North America group was one of which I was a member for a few years. The post discussion chats were friendly, relaxing, but the food was very high in sugar. Careful monitoring was necessary b/c sugar spikes were common. The food was delicious, but there really was nothing healthy about it. However, it was a good change to get to know others more closely.

But the enthusiasm it generated really was exciting. I always looked forward to that once a month meeting during non-summer months. It was like a reunion with friends I never knew I had.

There's a book club sponsored by the Assn. of University Women, with a section that discusses foreign affairs. Unfortunately, the degree requirement is very restrictive, but if your GM has a degree, that might something to consider, even if it's not mystery oriented. The level of conversation was as stimulating as a college course; the women were friendly, and it was a very inspirational program.
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The book club sounds like a pretty solid idea such a basic one. Im going to do some searches on local bookclubs. I have been working woth her for 3 years now. I have attempted to get her a routine because that was completely lost. I find it very difficult to help her start any kind of daily routine. Hense why i was searching for something she can try to get excited about. Ive told her anything she decides to try ill do it with het so she wont have to be nervous or anything. Thank you all so much for the feedback. This site is great when i cant seem to see a solution it gi es me different ways to look at the situtation. Im so grateful!
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Sunnygirl makes an excellent point. A hobby, an interest to get enthusiastic about, something to look forward to in the day -- all these are great and helpful. But they can't overcome clinical depression. A person with depression can't simply snap herself out of it by doing interesting things.

So I am so glad you are taking Gram to the doctor and this will get discussed again. There are many, many antidepressants and it is often trial-and-error to find the right one. But it is out there!

The suggested activities, etc, are good to try while a medication is working. They can help a lot, but probably not do the trick alone.
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The activities are great, but if she is clinically depressed, I'm wondering how she is going to get the ability to become more involved and motivated. It may be expecting too much from her, though, I've read that some things may help. I would hope that her doctor could adjust her meds and that might lift her mood and allow her to receive more pleasure from her interests.

I know you said she was going to see her doctor again about her depression. I might also ask about checking her levels of Vitamin B and thyroid, as well as sugar. Just to make sure something like that is effecting her.

And I've read that a schedule is good, exercise, if possible,good diet and plenty of sleep. Does she have a trouble SLEEPING? If that is the case, she might just be very tired during the day. I'd check into that as well.
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I'd build on the reading. Find a group that meets regularly, preferably one that reads a lot of mysteries. The one I belong to meets in a used book store. We select our reading list and it is mostly mysteries with a non-fiction once in a while, and sometimes best-sellers. Most of our members are middle age or older although we have had younger members. Hearing other people's opinions gives you a fresh way to look at books.

Many libraries have book clubs. Senior Centers often do.

And it does sound like her med needs adjusting.
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I agree with Pam, get her out once a week at least to socialize with people of her own generation. Card parties? Bingo? Just hanging out for lunch or tea at the senior's centre?
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Thank you for the suggestion AD. i hadnt thought of that, ill ask her about that today.
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Sunny i have mentioned this to her doctors she is on an antidepressent but not much has changed so i plan on mentioning it again on her next visit.
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Find out if she had hobbies as a child or teenager, see if you can modify them for her age.
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I would discuss her symptoms with her doctor. Does she take meds for depression? Maybe, they need adjusting. You might provide all of her symptoms to her doctor and ask for a mental evaluation. My cousin was isolating herself too and had lost interest, but medication really helped her.
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Angel ive gone through the list for things she once enjoyed with her and they dont interest het thr same. She used to donate knit baby hats to the nicu locally but her shakes are so bad she cant do that anymore. She has switched from blankets to hats on a loom but even that she ends up knocking of her stitches. Thank you all so much for the ideas. I think our first try is going to be volunteering at a local animal shelter.
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Garden to answer your questions she is mobile but doesnt want to drive anymore. When she worked she was a 911 dispatcher. mysteries is her reading genre of choice. The main issue i seem to be having trying to find her a hobbie is that she has been severely depressed for the past 3 years and has lost intrest in pretty much everything (except for her tablet which she reads and plays games on) i like that she still reads but when shes in her room reading herself to sleep for the majority of the day for multiple days then i feel its just assiting in her isolation.
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Maybe you could try an expansion on one of the things she already does well.

For example, she enjoys knitting and crocheting. Instead of knitting everyone in the house green flowered sweaters over and over (which I totally agree can be very disconnecting and mind numbing) I urge you to look to the nearest hospital with a NICU. These hospitals usually accept knitted or crocheted blankets and sometimes little hats, for the babies that appear early or are sick. These soft items can be a huge comfort to a suffering little baby, especially when the family is probably stressed out and suffering watching their little bundle of joy. People in their lives often have not made the blankets for the babies yet, as they have come very early or unexpectedly.

Your gram could inquire as to what is needed at the NICU, get the relevant patterns (the blankets for preemies are TEENY TINY so normal baby blanket patters are usually too big). Preemie blankets are so small that they are quick and easy projects to do, and she could do a bunch before delivering them.

When she delivers them to the hospital the staff will make a huge fuss over her and it will make her feel needed and accomplished...which may be what's really missing from her life right now.

I hope this helps.

Angel
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I'm not sure I understand how that activities that are usually relaxing are disconnecting your grandmother from life. Could you explain?

I could see that reading novels might have that effect. But what about nonfiction? Would she enjoy some of the Chicken Soup books? What were her reading interests years ago?

Can she walk, w/ or without a walker? If so, you could start with short walks around your neighborhood. Or go to a small city/community park where she could also walk short walks.

If she's wheelchair bound, you could take her to museums or libraries. Libraries also use volunteer help. She'd have a chance to interact with people as well.

Even if she doesn't do needlework, do you think she'd enjoy some of the groups that meet at libraries or book stores (Borders used to have these), or would it be a reminder of what she can no longer do?

I think in order to make better suggestions, it would help to know more about her interests. Is she interested in foreign affairs, politics, ecological movements, animal care?? Did she work and if so what did she do?

There are also activities at senior centers. And depending on her stamina and mobility, activities which help others can be very inspirational. Packing food for distribution at senior centers or food pantries can be done sitting down. Again, if she's mobile, you could volunteer to deliver for Meals on Wheels and take her with you on nice days. She could meet and greet the shut-ins.

Charities and churches often need volunteer help, sometimes in preparing for various events. Hospitals can use volunteers as well.

A lot depends on her mobility. Is she taking meds for the tremors?
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If you can, get her into activities with people her own age. It really helps.
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