Hello. I am a 37 year old single mother. Signs of dementia but makes excuses to seek professional help. Always an excuse. I'm the only family member who lives in the bloomington area. I feel I have tried to help her as much as I can, but not sure what else I can do to improve her quality of life. She is so sad and I feel like I'm watching my mother slip away.

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I know you love your mother and want her to get help. Try to find out why she is afraid to get help. Is she afraid you will put her away in a nursing home or other facility. There are so many factors related to depression. Can you ask a social worker to visit your mom? A church pastor or counselor? A trusted friend? Try and get to the root of what your mom might need. Is her diet? Her meds? More social activities? There is so much to consider when treating severe depression. I hope your mom will agree to help soon.
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Depression is a terrible disease, as you can see. Fortunately it is treatable. The first attempt at treatment might not work, but there are several approaches to try. One of them is bound to help!

The problem is, the depressed person would have to cooperate with the treatment plan. The first step is to see a doctor or a mental health professional. I don't know what your mother's excuses are, but I do know that it is hard to take initiative when you are depressed. Perhaps you can take that initiative by calling her doctor's office and asking if they treat depression or if they would suggest someone else. If Mom doesn't have a PCP, try to find a Geriatric specialist with an opening for new Medicare patients. Then tell Mom the good news about what you found out, and ask her which day of week usually work best for appointments. Make an appointment and if possible take her.

Sometimes a medical problem can result in depression. For example a thyroid problem can cause lack of energy or mood swings. How long has it been since Mom has had a full checkup?

Dementia can certainly cause depression. While dementia is not curable, many of the symptoms can be treated. Depression is one of those. Keep a little journal of what makes you think she might have dementia. Get that list to the doctor before the appointment.

Please let us know how this works out for your mother. We learn from each other, and we care!
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