... and I preface this by saying that nothing I share is meant in a derogatory manner, and I would appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. Please and Thank You...

For the most part, things have been going as well as can be expected since I moved Dad in. It's challenging, but he's doing better and since I'm not working myself silly and taking some "me" time when the caregiver is with Dad, it's pretty tolerable.

...but Dad keeps saying he wants to buy a gun and "end it" (thankfully, I removed my two firearms from the home when I moved Dad in). This morning, he woke up in tears stating that he's "tired". Then he said he wanted to lie down in the street and ask someone to run over him.

I asked him why he was sad, and he said he feels like he is a burden. I can't lie... caregiving is burdensome, but this is nothing new. I've been at it for four years.... With a little more probing, it seems this is tied to Dad's incontinence. We'll have a couple of good days, but then he'll have an accident, and it really upsets / embarrasses him. I try to assure him that everything is OK and get him cleaned up, but I can tell he doesn't like this change. as I got him dressed this morning (as he continued to cry), he just kept talking about all of the things he can no longer do such as dress himself. I kept trying to turn the conversation to a more positive topic and distract him by playing with the dog, talking about baseball, etc. but he was stuck in sadness.

Ironically, tomorrow would have been my Baby Brother's 32nd birthday. He committed suicide 6 years ago. I'm wondering if Dad is sub consciously channeling the pain of Baby Bro's death?

At any rate, I'm fragile enough as a result of dealing with that. I couldn't bear ANOTHER suicide (or death at all) in my life. Needless to say... it's been a rough start to the day...


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Tiny, I'm going to suggest that you call your Senator's Vet Affairs person and tell them that a two month wait to see a psychiatrist when an elder may be suicidal is not acceptable.

I know you know how to do this; just gear up into "Tiny" mode!!!!!!
Helpful Answer (3)

Tiny, I found out rather by accident when going through some family papers when my mom was in the nursing home that her father had committed suicide in 1965. I was 12 and for 50 years was kept in the dark about this. I remember my grandpa as kindly and quiet but as a grownup, when I think back on it, maybe he was a little too quiet. It’s been my experience that people who truly intend to commit suicide don’t advertise it. They just do it. Dad probably does need a change in meds. I’m sorry you have to wait soooo long.

Incontinence seems more humiliating to a man than a woman. Maybe because when we have babies, that area down there becomes Grand Central Station and at least in my case, it seems like they must have been inviting people off the street to come have a look. Once you’ve had a child, you basically have no shame. When you’re helping Dad change, that’s the time to talk about baseball, about how the dog yakked in hallway last night and you stepped in it, how you saw this kid at the grocery with GREEN hair! I usually engage my husband in a conversation about the Cleveland Browns vs. the Cleveland Indians and who will bring home a championship first. Before you know it, Dad’s changed and you move on with your day.
Helpful Answer (3)

Thanks everyone. I did make an appointment with the VA psychiatrist, but he can't be seen for two months (typical). Right now he's only on Seroquel and Ativan for agitation and panic attacks. He may need to be on something else. I'm just hoping the VA doesn't give me a hard time about prescribing him something.

I'm hoping this will pass and he will forget that he was sad today. This is SO scary. As for me, I've seen someone on and off when time / budget permitted. It sounds like it's a good time for me to resume sessions now that I have a bit more time and money to commit to visiting a therapist.

...and we both cry when we talk about Baby Brother but it could be therapeutic. Talking will certainly be better than the entire banana pudding I finished off today...

I really appreciate everyone's support.

...and DeeAnna... sorry, that story made me chuckle
Helpful Answer (1)
DeeAnna Oct 2018
It was suppose to. 😃
Smile 😃, Mom just called AGAIN!!! (This happened 2-3 times a week during the Summer 2017 & 1-2 times a week during the Fall of 2017):

☏Person on telephone (monotone voice):  "I am calling to tell you that your Mother is in the mortuary."

☏Me:  "MOM, you are NOT in the mortuary, you are in the nursing home. And you are NOT dead.  You are alive because you are talking to me on the phone..."

[Once Mom was started on the antidepressants and antianxiety medications,  phone calls like these from Mom became less frequent.]☏😃
Helpful Answer (2)

Tiny, lots of hugs to you and your Dad,

I have experienced the death of a family member and a couple of friends d/t suicide.  I know that when their birthdays or whenever there is a "Special Day" that they would have been a part of if they were still alive, I experience sorrow and pain that their lives ended the way they did and I grieve that they are no longer here.  It is quite possible that your Dad is remembering and grieving the death of his son.  That is OKAY!  Grieving is part of life and there is NO TIME FRAME for when a person STOPS grieving.  Ask your Dad if he is missing your Baby Brother and tell your Dad that you miss your Baby Brother also.  Talk about your feelings if you can, or just be with each other.  Maybe reminisce about some of the good times you had with your Brother or when he made you laugh or look at family photos together. 

I don't remember, are you or your Dad seeing a therapist?  If you are not, I would suggest that you seek some counseling to help you with the ongoing grieving of the death of your Brother, the grieving that occurs when you realize that your Dad is no longer "the person that you used to know", and the future losses that your Dad will experience as his disease process gets worse.  I started counseling when my Mom entered the nursing home because she was "no longer My Mom", she was someone I didn't know anymore and I didn't know how to handle her moods and behaviors. 

Is your Dad taking any antidepressants?  It might help with the crying and depression he is feeling because he is losing his "manhood" (d/t urinary incontinence and his inability to live alone anymore).
In regards to, "he just kept talking about all of the things he can no longer do such as dress himself. I kept trying to turn the conversation to a more positive topic and distract him by playing with the dog, talking about baseball, etc. but he was stuck in sadness.";  I suggest that you let your Dad express his feelings about not being able to do things for himself.  Let your Dad feel and express his sadness and grief.  It is okay to be sad.

In regards to your Dad ' "saying he wants to buy a gun and "end it" 'AND "he wanted to lie down in the street and ask someone to run over him'; I think that your Dad needs to see a Psyciatric Nurse Practioner or Psychiatrist (if he isn't seeing one already) so that his potential for acting on his thoughts can be properly evaluated by a psychiatric professional who can prescribe antidepressants and antianxiety medications for your Dad.

My Mom and I lived together for 9 years (Mom said that she had "her own private Assisted Living facility") until she went into the nursing home in May 2017 after her younger brother died in March 2017 and her older sister died in April 2017.   My Mom cried every time I talked to her on the phone or visited her at the nursing home.  The Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who came to the nursing home was able to prescribe antidepressants and antianxiety medications that helped decrease Mom's crying and depression so that she was able to socialize with other residents more.

Good for you for taking some "me" time when the caregiver is there with your Dad.  💖

I am glad that you feel comfortable enough to express your concerns on this forum.  Please know that we are here to support you and your Dad.
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I was just thinking about you this morning wondering how things were going andcwas going to message you.

Its so sad when they realize what is going on. I think its harder for our parents generation because our Dads were raised that men are not to show weakness. They are the breadwinners and caregivers of their families. Wives usually didn't question husbands decisions. Now he needs someone to help him dress and toilet. And Dad has been thru a lot of changes. I guess, just be sympathetic and say but we will get thru this together Dad.

Sorry about your brother.
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I am sure that for a man, having accidents that your daughter has to clean up, as well as clean you up is so humiliating and degrading. A real man does not want his daughter involved with his privates, at all.

I think that just acknowledging that it is a hard situation but it is all okay would help him. Sometimes just having the others involved acknowledge how much it sucks feels reassuring.

Best luck getting him out of these nasty blues.

Hugs 2 u both!
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Tinyblu - is your father on any anti-depresant med? If so, maybe the dosage should be adjusted. Talk to his doctor.

My Alz. mother was depressed and used to say she wanted to die and sometimes cried. Her doctor put her on anti-depressant med. And now she is happily picking all my unripe fruits on my trees and driving me crazy.
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I'm not sure how to respond to you, either, Tiny.

Um. Acknowledgement, I suppose. It's sad that your Dad is sad, but he does have real things to be sad about. And when the cause is a real thing, not the creation of a diseased or lost mind, maybe all you can offer is compassion in its truest sense - just being there and feeling alongside the person.

And reassurance that you love him, whatever.

Which, my goodness, you have most certainly proved time and again and way beyond the call of duty, sigh. But that last bit is just me feeling tetchy on your behalf.

You're not still trying to solve the insoluble, are you? Do you think?
Helpful Answer (2)
Probably... old habits die hard.

Oh... if I could wish the situation away for both of us. Poor guy. He was such a proud military man that NEVER cried and would "give me something to cry for" if I even THOUGHT of shedding a tear

A good Southern "Bless His Heart" comes to mind right now.
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