Where to find help with elderly parent who is depressed and becoming unhygienic? - AgingCare.com

Where to find help with elderly parent who is depressed and becoming unhygienic?

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My mother has recently stopped living alone, and my sibling and I are trying to share the responsibility of looking after her. Unfortunately, it is not working too well! We are each noticing that she is depressed, withdrawn and has little idea of hygiene. She has to be coaxed to eat at almost every meal, and much time and energy is spent in talking to her about what we need her to do (eat, change clothes, do a little walk in the house or neighbourhood, do a crossword puzzle etc). She is quite forgetful but seems to not like being told what to do. She often just ignores what we've just asked her to do especially re changing of clothing. She has significant hearing loss. We are getting emotionally drained and desperate. What are the options here? She is the kind of person who would go downhill if moved to a nursing home but we are feeling overwhelmed and can't cope at this stage.

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Thank you very much for your helpful and supportive responses. My mother is 87 and her older sister's recent death has made her depression worse. My sibling and I are not in the same state, so we have to keep shuttling her to and fro in order to give one another a break. It's heartbreaking to see an active, independent person go through this. Thanks again for the answers.
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You didn't mention her age. Depression alone can lead to a lot of these problems, so I agree with what Pam wrote. I also wondered if there was some early dementia. If there is, you may want to look into options for your mother. If it is dementia, it will only get worse. From what you wrote, I don't know if it is something you would be able to go through. It is good that you have a sibling who is working with you. It makes things easier. Has your mother assigned POAs for finance and healthcare if she should need it? It would be a good starting point.

I hope the depression lifts soon. It can be difficult when it happens to older people, since their lives are restricted and there has been so much loss to deal with.
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First, get the depression treated; the MD may want her to see a Neurologist to rule out possible causes for her decline.
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