Mom has dementia, is depressed and doesn’t want to live. Any advice? -

Mom has dementia, is depressed and doesn’t want to live. Any advice?


So my mom has dementia and seems to be really depressed. She is on meds for her memory but they don’t seem to be doing much. Last week we finally got her into a Memory Care facility. That’s great because she falls a lot and I was not able to watched her 24/7. Every now and then I would get a call from my mom upset about her mind, upset she is not getting better, and saying she wished she were dead. My question is, is this normal? She was officially diagnosed in November but it’s been coming for years. I just don’t know what to do or how to handle this. Any advice would help.



Wouldn't you be depressed in her position? I am 80 and still able to live independently and travel, play bridge, etc. When I can no longer do that and become a burden to my children, I am quite sure I will be depressed! I have quit taking "life extenders" like statins and blood pressure drugs because I don't want my life extended beyond what Nature and Nature's God intended. I carry one copy of ApoE4 gene for Alzheimer's which puts me at higher risk for that as well. Old age is not for sissies!
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Reply to Arleeda

My mom has said the same thing for a few years, A lot of it centers around she recognizes that something is not right she doesn't feel like herself and the confusion is overwhelming. she would attend social Day Care 6 days a week that filled most of her day but when she got home she felt alone and like she never did anything and would forget that she spent the whole day with other people. They put my mom on an antidepressant but I think that she is better served by social interaction then by taking an antidepressant alone.
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Reply to maggiecat18

In addition to med to help memory, my mom is also on anti-depressant drug. She used to feel down and say she wanted to die, but not anymore. Can you check with her doctor about anti-depressant med? It might help.
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Reply to polarbear

Yes, unfortunately it's normal. They get tired of Dr appointments, illness and struggles of living. Some say it's easier to die than to live. My mom had dementia and was aware of her memory loss and other changes which were hard to accept. Meds weren't good for her, so it's not always the fix. It's hard to put the joy back but that's the goal and small victories. Best to you both
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Reply to wannek

Discuss this with the physician that prescribed her medication. Also, people who are seniors with your mother's specific problems sometimes benefit more if they see a physician who specializes in geriatric care . I hope this helps and the very best to you and your mother.
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Reply to rose122

What you describe is actually pretty normal. I know that my late father used to say that he felt like a "useless old man," because the once robust, independent person was no longer able to do anything for himself. Old age is a very depressing time of life, no doubt about it. All we can try to do is help them find joy in each day.
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Reply to dragonflower

This is common among the elderly and it is sad to see your Mom this way. My husband is losing his memory and thinks back about his younger days when he had all his faculties and sometimes cries about those days lost. The only thing you can do is pray. Not for her memory to return, because it won't, but for peace for her and yourself.
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Reply to tperri123

My mom is 97, COPD, CHF (none of her heart valves are working properly, 2 are moderate, 2 are severe), daily struggles to breathe, dizziness that will never go away. She sit in her chair and watches the goings on out the window day after day after day. She says, “This isn’t life, this is existing,” and she is 100% correct. She also says that the medical community makes us live too long, and I think in many respects she is right about that, too. They can keep her alive, but they cannot improve her quality of life. She tells me all the time that she goes to bed each night and prays that she will not wake up again, but then she does wake up and is disappointed; she needs to drag herself through another day. She tells me all the time, “I hope you don’t live this long,” which I hate hearing, but at the same time it makes me work harder at staying physically and mentally healthy.
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Reply to Quint41

Did you speak with the staff at the memory care facility? I would think that she's still adjusting to the new facility. Perhaps the staff could pair her up with a friend, help increase her activity level and/or provide her with a therapist. I know my mother's depression is greatly reduced when she feels needed. Be sure to love on her and let her know how much she's appreciated.
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Reply to Sandy321

I have found that the desire to die rather than slowly slip away into nothingness is pretty normal? I'm not sure about the compassion in some of the ways we extend life... When a point is reached that complete physical dependence is required and a patient can no longer communicate with others or care for themselves, especially when they are suffering, some of it seems... cruel? I wish that there was a way to have a contract in place to define in detail at what point of deterioration a person would like to be allowed to die. Something like a do not resuscitate order, but for the mind. Even without having dementia myself, I can understand where she's coming from. I have no desire to outlive my mind. I have expressed this to my adult children who have agreed to honor my wishes. I've cared for several people who have taken the long journey to death that Dementia/Alzheimer's brings. I know exactly what it entails. I don't want that for myself. I can't blame anyone else who feels the same. On the other hand I've seen the beauty in caring for a loved one too, so, I don't blame anyone who chooses that either. For me it's all about the choice.
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Reply to faeriefiles

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