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1. she has a lot of help but complains about not being independent cause she doesn't see well due to serious eye condition
2. upset about husband's health deterioration and 24-hour care
3. feels like world is on her shoulders (I handle all the financial household respons)
4. used to wealthy life, parties and travel/it has all stopped

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Depression does rob you of the energy to see beyond any real obstacle to acheive a goal, and tends to make fake ones pop up too. It may be more can't than won't. Consider doing the first steps of organizing the outing or the sewing class if you can spare the time and energy instead of waiting for depression to go away. Sometimes it does, even without meds, other times not and people just go on being sad and shy and not enjoying life until they die, or worse, cranky, nasty, and irritable until they drive everyone away, which only increases the depression.
If you ever watched the movie "Ordinary People" there is a perfect description of depression in there - it is a big dark hole that keeps getting bigger and deeper until finally you ARE the hole. You don't feel worthy of help or happiness and it takes a small mircale to start turning things around. Nothing is enjoyable. Effort seems futile even if you coudl find the energy to make an effort. Organizing and planning are out of the question. Sometimes a little medication is that small miracle, sometimes it is physical activity, a renewed purpose in life, a puppy or a kitten, or some sunshine and vitamin D.

Original poster's mom has has a LOT of losses, and it is harder but not impossible to find low vision/blind rehab and technology to help older adults so that should be a consideration as well. See if Lion's World has anything and there is a home study program. I can't find it right of the bat, but there may be more via www.afb.org/directory/profile/vision-rehabilitation-services/12

Services for Seniors
VRS provides clients with a comprehensive Low Vision Evaluation that is conducted by a Low Vision Specialist, an optometrist who is trained in the field of low vision. After a thorough review of the client's medical and vision histories, the Low Vision Specialist conducts an evaluation of the functionality of the client's vision. Devices such as magnifiers, bioptic spectacles, high powered reading glasses, telescopic lenses, glare control tinted glasses and technology equipment may be recommended. The optometrist then determines the need for other services in addition to training the client on the use of the device(s). Rehabilitation training, Orientation and Mobility, and Access Technology and computer training may be included. Certified instructors work with the clients based on an individualized plan.
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My mil is 70. No major health issues, and still drives. She has no stressors or responsibilities what so ever but still chooses to sit in her room all day looking sad and depressed. I have went to her on numerous occasions just to find out what she likes to do so she can have something to do. She did tell me she always liked to sew and wanted to teach others to do so. I supported and encouraged her on this. Days turned to weeks to months and now a year later, I asked her, what was holding up her from her sewing activity and she had no real answer. I am really at my wits end with this woman. I honestly feel like she is just lazy, wants pity and is straight up miserable. I have spoke to my husband about it and his response is, she has to want to do it. That's just it, she needs to want to do it and do it. I am really starting to resent her. Any suggestions??
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Oh my goodness - please only seek help for your mother from clinicians/healthcare people who will support her with therapies and particularly medications that are "evidence based" in medical and scientific terms. A huge number of hospitalisations (beyond belief) are caused by medication events and often due to over the counter/alternative therapies that either stuff with their medications or dont do the job. I speak from experience. Your mother is depressed - she needs to see a professional and clinically trained person who deals with depression in older people - yes grief BUT in older people the grief can be complicated. For older people there is never just one thing but a number of medical issues - dont muck around. Get good clinical advice.
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jillpamela2539, so glad to hear the posts here have been helpful. Bringing goodness into someone's life can only help increase your joy. Much encouragement & support to you!
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Thank you Jill for your acknowledgement. More feedback is always helpful to the body is responders.
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Also if you google "seasonal affective disorder lamp Medicare" you will get information on a SAD lamp that Medicare approves for depression. Certain light waves, especially and overcast areas or with short winters, can greatly improve mood.
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Try taking her out in the sun for 20-30 minutes every day, when the sun is not too intense. Folks of all kinds enjoy being out in the sun, as it really lifts one's spirits. In addition, she will get Vitamin D which several of the other post's recommended. Also, plants in the house can really pep things up, as there is something appealing about seeing a lot of plants, especially the dark green ones.
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Got wonderful advice from all. Thank you so much. Love, jill
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Great ideas:

Vitamin D - (should use D3, l take 8000 I.U. daily)

Omega-3s - (better from Krill Oil instead Fish Oil, works the same, usually no fishy taste, burpless and SOURCE is Sustainably Harvested)

Coconut Oil - (1 tsp 3 x per day)

Check out SAMe, very powerful natural aid for depression, among many other health concerns.

I get most of my nutritional supplements online from Swanson Vitamins.
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I have been reading fantastic things about coconut oil as well. We just started using it. Very easy to get into him as it can be used in cooking and tastes good. His doctor started him on a food supplement/vitamin two months ago that has been a MAJOR help Cerefolin NAC, which also helps with early dementia symptoms. It is by prescription only and is pricy at the drugstore, but you can get it direct from the manufacturer (with script) at 1/3 the cost ...about $40 a month delivered. So far I have been very impressed with this and am trying to get my father to take it as well as FIL.
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I'm experiencing this with my 93 yr old dad, whose world fell apart when his wife, my mom, had to got into a nursing home. I think the advice here is good. He is on 25 mg. of Zoloft, takes 2 big fish oil tablets and a multivitamin every day; some days it's difficult to get him to take them but they help enormously.

People's opinions vary widely on the use of antidepressants. Some have had bad experiences with them, etc. I myself have been on antidepressants for 19 years; they get switched from time to time as they tend to "plateau" on me and stop helping. But without them I sink into major depression and that is horrid. Keep an open mind about them. The elderly generally respond VERY WELL to them; it's children, adolescents & 20-30 yr olds that have the highest rate of bad experiences.

Fish oil helps too! There was a clinical trial on U.S. vets of Afghanistan/Iraq, etc., and it found that taking fish oil helped lighten the depression and PTSD of over 70% of them. I have found that when we run out of it and I don't take it for a week I start declining in my mood. Getting it back in my system brings about a noticeable change.

Of course, none of these things work instantly; they take a bit of time...but my dad, after taking his 25 mg of Zoloft, changed markedly after a week.

Many good wishes to you, happiness & success
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Complete check up with labs testing thyroid function etc first and then either antidepressants or vitamin therapy. While good the medications can have serious side effects on elders. I think a support group or therapy group (free in our county) as suggested would do wonders. It is something social and she would see others in far worse shape than herself. Some excellent suggestions above. Does she have a pet? That might be a real pick me up too.
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Wow. You received some excellent advice. The only thing I would add is to get her involved in some kind of day programming for seniors, maybe when she feels better. Does she have a 24/7 caregiver? Finding the right one could be a big help -- someone upbeat.
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Their are a lot of alternatives to medication which can have serious side effects and cause your mom to become dependent on them. Simple addition of vitamin D helped my mother in law a lot with her depression. Dr. Oz lists several herbal supplements on his website that have the same effectiveness as the drugs but without the side affects. I would look into these. Getting her into a support group or to join an activity that she enjoys. As any caregiver she needs an outlet. What kind of music does she like? Playing upbeat music she enjoys can also help.
I used to play a game I made up with my mom after Dad passed away. It was called the Gratitude Game. Every day we would each say 5 things we were grateful for that day. In the beginning it was hard for mom because she felt she had lost so much but as we played it she began to see all the blessings she really had.
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It sounds like your mother has suffered a lot of loss (loss of eye sight, loss of an active life style, loss of a healthy husband). While she is getting much needed help from you she is probably depressed because these types of losses are not reversible. She may be able to get her positive attitude back with medical treatment and a growing acceptance that what everyone faces in the aging process. Aging isn't easy for anyone. Perhaps a recognition that many elderly are so much worse of than her might help.
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If mom is truly, clinically depressed she cannot move to do what you refer to as constructive....the DSM IV reads markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others). Clinically depressed people lack volition. A medical condition (serious eye problem) certainly can lead to depression, and does environment (deterioration of husband). Validate her struggles and help her get to a physician for medication; therapy in conjunction with meds is best. If not therapy a support group of some kind. Perhaps she has been this way alot of her life which might be the cause of your post and being tired of it or something entirely different. Assume she is indeed depressed and go from there. Attempt to get her the help she needs and that will be hard given her medical condition and husbands health. She can't change either of those but there may be things that can help.
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