My Mother (93) is very depressed, what do you do when it seems her medical help give up because of her depression? - AgingCare.com

My Mother (93) is very depressed, what do you do when it seems her medical help give up because of her depression?

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She is on two different antidepressants, almost to the max dose of each. She constantly says she can't she has a very negative attitude, so when PT is here she just won't try, so they give up. They say they can't make any progress because of her attitude. Medically she should be much better than she is, but she has convinced herself that she's very sick and can not Do anything. I have told her if she can't walk she can't live with me and will need a nursing home, so she'll just walk to the bathroom, but complain about the strengthening exercises PT wants her to do. Her doctor has talked to me about shock therapy, but that seems too extreme. My life is consumed by her "I can't" attitude, and I'm losing support from everyone.

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My dad, too, is severely depressed, and suffers from dementia. My mom died a little over a year ago. We also lost my oldest brother (accidental drug overdose) three years ago, and my younger brother (severe alcoholic) 15 months ago. It's been extremely difficult over the past three years. My mom used to do everything for my dad, and now he acts more like a 5 year old - this is all due to the dementia. I have the utmost sympathy for him, and love and respect for him, but seeing him suffer daily and knowing I'm faced with another impending death (him), is so difficult! I am still grieving the losses of my brothers and my mom, so I can't imagine how my dad feels. He can't even express his feelings of grief!

Unfortunately, six years ago, my dad suffered a stroke which has left him literally speechless. He seems to understand what I'm telling him most of the time; however, he has extreme difficulty answering or talking, and gets easily frustrated when he can't form a sentence or find the right word. Communication with him has become beyond difficult. We have tried speech therapy several times since his stroke, but it never lasts because insurance only permits so many visits, and his dementia is getting worse so he doesn't remember a lot of what he's taught. I'm at a loss and it's getting harder and harder every day.

My dad does take two anti-depressants, but I'm not really sure they're working, and how would one know unless he is taken off, but can you imagine what that would do to him without being to complain about the ugly side effects from getting off those drugs?!

I do have to admit that the care he receives at the assisted living center where he lives does keep him from sleeping 12 hours a day - they check on him once an hour, give him his meds, and try to encourage him to attend daily activities. He does eat his meals with the same people every day, but sometimes, that too, is difficult because there are some people at his table that are impatient and mean, no doubt suffering from the same issues.

It's hard to not want to give up, but knowing more often than not, he's still alive and thinking like he always did, helps me hang on.

I have gone through two medical providers for my dad, since my mom died, and although it's difficult, I will go elsewhere if I think his providers have given up on him. I would suggest finding a new provider that will listen. At least then, you know you've tried.

P.S. I have 4 living siblings, and I am the POA for my dad. Two sisters who live out of town, give zero help and never visit. A brother that lives in town helps walk my dad's little poodle (another issue), and an older sister that lives in town helps with walking the dog as well. Other than that, I get no other help. I guess I should count my blessings?!
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I think shock therapy sounds drastic and i personally would not do it. The sad part of your situation is that your losing support from everyone. I have the support of the doctors, nurses, pt, waiver program and agency who has workers come in. Right now, because of her attitude, workers are refusing to come to house. When i say basic needs, i am referring to the fact she wont take medicine because she wont get up to get water. Our doctors have been suggesting a nursing home for years, she just wants to be waited on hand and foot. Due to her attitude, the waiver case manager told me to take her to a nursing home and drop her off for respite and they would get a competency evaluation and admit her.
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Maybe her medications need adjusting. Sometimes some meds stop helping or need changing or it could be that she has something else going on. I would have her checked medically to see if she has mental decline or some kind of infection. She may not be mentally able to focus and participate with physical therapy. I'd find the cause, before I blamed her.

Regardless, it sounds like it may be a good idea to find somewhere for her to stay that may be more understanding of her age and her condition. I don't think I would have high expectations of a 93 year old person walking, if they are not inclined to do so. I would imagine that it's exhausting to be 93 years old. I can understand it.

I once had health care professionals who came into the home to help my cousin with PT and they thought she was not motivated and that she was lazy. As it turns out, she was not either. She had dementia, only we didn't know it. That's why she wanted to stay in bed. I would check to see if your boyfriend's mother might have that or some other condition that is effecting her. But, regardless, she should be some where that she can good care, whether she is walking, depressed or not.

I don't think that threatening her with going to a rest home is helpful. It will only scare her and make her afraid all the time that she may have to leave. Plus, it infers there is something bad about rest homes. I would praise them as a good place for her to get care, because she may end up there.

I would try to use a different standard for this 93 year old woman than I would say someone in their 30's.
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My boyfriends mother is the same way she cant exercise but as soon as she thinks no one can hear her shes getting into things..mostly food. The nurse says she will never change so quit enabling her which i have done but he gives into tears sometimes which makes the situation worse. I tell her if she cant meet her basic needs she needs to go to a home. Dont let her consume your life, itll only hurt you
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