Parent with compulsive disorder and depression since spouse passed away. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Parent with compulsive disorder and depression since spouse passed away. Any advice?

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She cannot relax. As she is sitting on the couch watching TV she will be discussing what she has to pay tomorrow or what she has to clean. She has me running up and down stairs to keep checking to see if I locked the doors. I have no help. My brother lives out of state and could care less. She also repeats stories 2 or 3 times a day, When I tell her I heard it the first time, she gets angry. Is there a way to treat this I am running out of patience.

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linsuejac ,
She's 86 yrs old with compulsive disorder and depression since spouse passed away.(She also repeats stories 2 or 3 times a day, When I tell her I heard it the first time, she gets angry)
With the repeating stories 2 or 3 times a day she tells you sounds, like to me she has Dementia.Repeating stories one of the signs of dementia at age 86.You need to remind your self that she is 86 yrs old.There's many types of Dementia.Memory loss as forgetting,misplacing items,accusing and hatefulness towards others.That all comes with Dementia and it only gets worse as time goes bye.She needs to see a doctor for Dementia.There is pills for Dementia and activities to help with Dementia as puzzels and such but really is no cure for Dementia.You must work with what you got so to speak.I see so many people becoming caregivers for their Parents without realizing the true outcome that accures in the long run.As relationships going sour.If you truely love and care for your parents?Don't become their caregiver!..It's best to have a outsider or someone else do that job.
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There's no reason for you to run up and down the stairs all day. Reassure her that the doors are locked, that you checked and double checked and they are most certainly locked. Tell her they're locked because you wouldn't want to sit around with the doors unlocked either.

When she starts telling you a story that she told you previously try to redirect her attention to something else. She doesn't realize that she's already told you. I know how frustrating this can be and it's easy to lose patience but redirecting her attention might help her more than telling her that you heard her the first time.

And get her in to see her Dr. She could benefit from medication. If you don't want to talk about her in front of her write down a brief description of what she's experiencing.
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You did not say how much time has passed since her husband passed away or details of his passing...was it sudden? Expected? Quick or lingering? Tragic? I can relate by personal experience some of what you've described that you are observing with your mother. My husband passed away six months ago. I'm 56.
I've often noted to myself that I think it's better that I'm dealing with his passing at this age than if I were a senior citizen, when most people 'expect' or assume they may have to deal with the death of their spouse. I think I have more mental and physical energy to work things out in creating a "new normal", than I would in my 60s, 70s or 80s. Your comment that your mother can't relax, while watching TV, thinking about what she needs to do the next day...sounds familar to me. Guilty! She is feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities. I have felt that way too. Not only do I have to do my normal activities, but now I must take-on things that he used to take care of, to keep the household running...to get things done. I also have difficulty with focus. (RE: her lack of focusing on the TV...her mind is wondering.) After six months since my husband's passing the lack of focus and feeling overwhelmed have gotten better...but I'm still in the process so I can't give you an idea of if or when she may improve. I can only say...give her time. She is in the process of sorting things out and creating a new normal.

I would suggest ignoring her repeating of stories. Acknowledge that you heard her and leave it at that...no sarcasm. Offer to help her take care of chores. Help her get organized. Keep a list of "things to do" and cross things off as they are done. (that helps me) That can help reduce the 'overload' of her busy mind. I wouldn't keep running and doing the same things like checking doors constantly. Maybe do it twice and if she asks again...tell her you've already done it twice etc.

Finally, concerning the med for anxiety. It should be a very small dose...like 1/2 a ml. Usually they are prescribed for not daily use but more high anxiety moments. If so, tell her that that will not slow her down or make her drowsy...but just relax her. Unconjest her mind. Perhaps encourage her to just try it and see.

Hope I've been helpful. I wish you and your mother...the best.
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She is 86 and very active She drives and has a little part time job as a foster grandparent. She does not care for the senior center, she thinks they are too old. Being very active, she is right. Her doctor has given her anxiety pills, but she will not take them, she is afraid of slowing down. I always believed she needed more help like an psychiatrist I think there were issues when she was growing up Her sister is like her.
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Yes, share this with her doctor and get a mild antidepressant. And jump up as little as possible, make her move around, keep her busy. If you can get her involved in the local Senior Center, so much the better.
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