Details: My mom's always had depression, and for the most part, she's been able to fight it back with all of her strength. "If life kicks you down, it's time to start kicking back" was her favorite saying after a good cry. But now, she just can't get out of the funk, understandably.
She has moderate stage dementia. She was doing just fine, and her symptoms weren't nearly as severe, up until about a month ago. It was a sudden decline. She's having difficulty with pretty basic things, like calling up her bank to get her balance (she doesn't do any of her bills - I've been handling that for the past four years, but she does like to know her balance and withdrawal whatever left over money is to buy snacks from her local store). She's scared of trying anything because she doesn't know what to do. I couldn't imagine how frightening that would be, to suddenly forget how to do what you consider basic things that you used to do all the time.
What's made things worse recently is that the doctor started her on medication to help with the dementia, but the side effects are awful for the first few weeks. She's nauseous, can barely get out of bed, just wants to sleep all day. When I call her, and I call her easily three times a day, all I hear from her now is how sick she is and how she just wants to die. It's not her trying to get attention or to guilt me. I know that. She genuinely wants to die, and she feels lonely and all by herself in this. "I go to sleep every night and hope I don't wake up". It's so, so hard to hear that, and I cry every single time she says it. I feel so damn guilty, but I'm moving back in asap. In the meantime, she gets tons of calls from me, hour long conversations over the phone, and I spend my weekends with her. I'm just trying to get my ducks in row before moving in to take care of her. I need to find a part time job to quit my full time job because I have debt, and I need to work on getting my license, because I've never had access to a car to learn until now in my 20s (and as luck would have it, I've learned I have a fear of driving, so it's been a slow process, but I got my permit!!). My brother is there to offer help, but he can't do it often because he works 12 hour days with a wife and three kids under the age of 5. He does take her to all her doctor appointments, which is most important.
In the meantime though, we're in a stressful situation. She has antidepressants, but we took her off of them at her doctor's okay because as soon as these pills "kicked in", even though she was noticeably less depressed, my mom had this decline in her memory and abilities. So we were suspecting maybe they had something to do with it. We're starting her on it again. I don't know how to make her feel better. Even if I could take her out of the house, she feels so sick, she doesn't want to leave. How can I help her? How can I make her happy and help her through this? She has no hobbies other than her pets...I can't be there all the time right now, not with this job and running around trying to arrange POA and get her signed with Medi-Cal, and so on...I'm just so last right now...