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My mom moved in with me in January 2018 after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis and financial challenges. She does literally nothing all day other than obsessively look at her phone, walk her dog and buy things she doesn’t need (and drink wine and smoke). Refuses to participate in senior daytime programs. Is constantly depressed and crying and telling me I am mean to her (not true!!). Will antidepressants help? Should I encourage her to move to an independent living facility? She doesn’t have a lot of money. I just want her to be less miserable! It is hard to be home around her and feel like I am constantly failing her!

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Yes of course you should encourage her to move to an IL facility. AL might provide enough 'supervision' to do something about the alcohol and cigarettes. And of course you should stop feeling that you are 'constantly failing her'. You have given this arrangement a good try, and it isn't working well for you or for her, her physical and mental health. Now you need to get your home and your life back. Then you can go back to being a daughter.

If AL runs down her money, you should start looking for Medicaid in good time.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Mom is not really “taking care of herself”. She’s abusing her body with alcohol and nicotine. She’s alienating herself from face to face social contact. This isn’t caring for oneself. This is shutting down

Antidepressants will not help if Mom is drinking alcohol and addicted to nicotine. Combining antidepressants with alcohol can be dangerous. They are not magic pills that will suddenly make the sun come out for Mom.

In an ideal world, you would have to curtail the drinking, smoking and spending. If she is cash-strapped, she has no business spending money on things she doesn’t need. Her money should go toward helping you care for her.

I was my mother’s only child. She loved me like life itself. But when she began to suffer from dementia, she targeted me. It’s just an unfortunate symptom of the disease. It doesn’t mean that everyone thinks you are mean to her. She may still be cognizant of what’s happening to her and she is not real happy with the way her life has turned out. You are the most likely target.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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