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But I find myself feeling blue and dragging right along with her. She is having trouble walking, needs frequent help and doesn’t like the loss of independence, feels bad most of the time and says things like “I don’t know why God still has me here.” Ok friends, any suggestions?

Is it possible that your happiness is tied to her's? That's over identifying with your loved one's emotions and is best that you detach. She or both of you may need an anti-depressant from the doctor. Is it possible for you to get some caregivers who can give you some breaks?
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MaryBee Jun 19, 2019
Thanks, CM. I have a few hours to myself coming up on Friday - I can hardly wait! And yes I believe I am over-identifying and tying my happiness to hers but I don’t know how to change that..,
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My answer when asked the question is “Because I need someone to visit and I love to come here and see you”.
My prickly LO knows I mean it, so after I say it I move right along to gossipy chitchat.
I will thank you for posting because I’ve worked on LO’s finances all day and it’s really nice to have the chance to chat with you instead of writing checks.

Hoping both of you find tomorrow a little sunnier!!!!
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MaryBee Jun 19, 2019
Thanks Ann. We all need a break! I will try the gossipy chitchat/ that might work!
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You know, there’s just something helpful about having a forum like this where you can get things off your chest. “Thanks for listening” you guys💕
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Eloise1943 Jun 21, 2019
This is so true. I have had several meltdowns today but actually feeling better. Got a few things worked out at least in my mind. Am now ready to try an adult day care center. I have to get a break and he needs socializing. I try to take him places but his mind won’t let him get involved. He needs to be with people that will understand and enjoy him. This is a big step for me and will be big for him I’m thankful for this site
Eloise
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Hugs!

Have you tried good clean comedy? Pillow talk with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Catherine Hepburn come to mind when I think of comedy. You can also go to YouTube and watch silly videos about most subjects, animals, babies, oh babies belly laughing, it's hard not to find joy in that.

Maybe start a project documenting her memories of family, get her to tell stories while you video record. Gotta look good for all the future generations that will be enjoying your story, need a little sun on those cheeks, don't want to scare the young'uns.

These will help change the atmosphere and help all of you. Depression can permeate a house.
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MaryBee Jun 21, 2019
Laughing is good. Babies, animals, funny movies. Yes, thank you!
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One of my aunt’s favorite stories was about my uncle, who insisted on a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. He was a doomsayer as well. But, when he wound up in the hospital, very ill and they clarified with him that he was a DNR, $h*+ got real, as they say, and he panicked and he rescinded the order. He decided he’d had enough of his own drama and wanted them to do everything they could to save him.
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MaryBee Jun 19, 2019
Had to laugh at that story! When I tell my daughter that grandma doesn’t think she’ll last til the end of the year, daughter says, she’s been saying that for years. Serious note tho’. I had a discussion with a counselor about my motherinlaw ‘s fear of dying and she likened it to standing at the edge of a cliff and knowing you're gonna fall. As one who doesn’t care for heights, I have not forgotten that analogy.
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Personally I don’t agree with platitudes. People want to be heard and validated. When she says she doesn’t know why she's still here, just empathize and say something like you know it’s hard. Did I understand you to say she’s afraid to die? Or was that about someone else? If so then can you invite her pastor over so she can share her feelings? Is she having anyone visit her?
Also is she on hospice? If so then they have volunteers who can visit with her. I have other thoughts but will wait on your response.
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MaryBee Jun 21, 2019
Here’s the thing, which is an irony: she says she’s ready to die, don’t cry for me, I’ll be in a better place, etc. but if she has an episode that makes her think she really is going to die, she gets anxious and afraid. It was to that that the counselor referred when she told me it must feel like standing on the edge of a cliff. The reality hits and the fear seeps in. She does have a minister from her church who visits regularly. I asked her if she wants to see a counselor but she did not. She is also a homebody and not amenable to going to a senior center or any such thing. I even asked if she wanted to go to a Parkinsons support group, where everyone there deals with the same diagnosis, but she declined. We are at home together most days just her and me. My husband gets home from work about 1 1/2 hr. Before she goes to bed.
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When my DH first started showing signs of depression, I knew it was time for Zoloft for him and it really really helped. I also started preparing him for the day that people that passed before him would be coming for him and not to be afraid. He was on Zoloft for better than a year and I was thankful to have recognized the need.

For myself, I turned to Ashwagandha - although the doctor wanted to put me on Zoloft too, I refused, I needed to be 100% alert at all times to tend to my DH. The Ashwagandha allowed me to stay calm and to return to sleep when he awakened me hourly to void.

You can google Ashwagandha to learn more about it. It is not a drug, it is a root, an ayurvedic.
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Honestly friend Mary Bee, I wouldn't dwell on the troubles of your LO 2much, (cuz it's not possible to solve all their problems)... & it's a lot of pressure to feel like you should. We can be kind & faithful caregivers without letting it consume our minds & world. My mom was 91, & simply complained constantly, which I had to accept. But I let go of feeling responsible for her every whim. Mom was extremely needy & lived an entitled life with my dad until he died. At first I did feel lots of responsibility to fix all her issues, but that was really unrealistic & tiring. God bless.
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MaryBee Jun 22, 2019
Thank you so much!
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It is so hard. You are using your energy being a caregiver. This makes you more vulnerable to “catching” someone else’s emotional state. Not to mention the natural sadness that comes from seeing a loved one deteriorate. A couple of things I would encourage for self care: 1) See if you can bring in some respite caregivers. The Area Agency on Aging may be able to help with this, or a local support group which you might be able to find online or at a local medical center. 2) Consider using some of that respite time to see a counselor/therapist to help you with managing what you are going through. Use the rest of the respite time to do something that has always brought you joy. It is so critical for caretakers to remember to take care of themselves.
My parents both also experience depression and question why this is happening. I sympathize with them and say, “I know it’s hard. I’m so sorry this is happening. But one thing I want you to know is that we all love you, and we will always make sure you are safe and cared for. You don’t have to do this alone.” Note that I do not promise I will always be with them 24/7. Sometimes too I’ll tell them how strong they are and how much I admire the strength they show every day. Lastly, when they begin to speak about death or wish for death, I have told them both that if they hear God calling, it is OK to let go, that they do not have to fight to stay here. I let them know I will understand, and though I will miss them, I’ll be ok.
‘Of course, with the dementia, we have these discussions somewhat often. The depression happens often, and they do not remember the things I have said. (They are both on medication for the depression, and really should not be given more for a number of reasons.) One other technique I have read seems to work with agitated seniors is offering/giving ice cream. The cold sensation can be distracting and the sweet creamy taste can be uplifting. The facility where my folks are always keep ice cream cups handy for this purpose.
I hope some of this helps in some small way. You are a very special person to be doing this caretaking, You will remain in my thoughts for strength and comfort.
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MaryBee Jun 21, 2019
MelissaPa, thank you for your very helpful suggestions. You have been very helpful. I’m happy to say I have someone coming today to give me a few hours off. (Yay-Happy dance!). The other day my MiL talked about going to get her hair done. We’ve canceled many previous appointments when she didn’t feel up to going. I said, that’s good,while she’s cutting your hair, I’ll run next door to the post office. And MiL got worried. “What if something happens (like I fall) while you’re not there? You’re my soldier. You don’t know how much I depend on you!” That felt like a little too much responsibility. I will use your suggestions to get some counseling and do something nice on respite days. Excellent advice, thanks.
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Sometimes the caregiver becomes as one with the receiver of the care. Because of the closeness, you are both suffering. I have learned that most old people are negative and that negativity can spread like wild fire. My brother and I just placed his father and his wife in AL, he is 90, has every health issue known to man and is deaf, she has dementia. They are in a beautiful home, but, all they do is bitch, whine and complain. I finally told them to keep their negativity to themselves, I am sick of listening to it as they are very fortunate to have the funds to live in this 5 star home, few do. They have improved, even my brother mentioned it to me that they have gotten more positive.
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