How can you deal with your parents depression about their aging problems when you are overwhelmed by their demise yourself? - AgingCare.com

How can you deal with your parents depression about their aging problems when you are overwhelmed by their demise yourself?

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My Parents are 90 and 87 both are disabled living with cronic pain, financial, and mental issues and I am tring to get all those things addressed as much as can be. I try to be positive and as loving as I can with them. Dementia has taken my Dad to extreem narsacistic behavior and my mothers is so depressed all she can do is tell me what is wrong and vent. How do I create some positive? We are all on antidepressants. I want to be there for them as much as I can, but I am so depressed after calls and visits I don't what to do.I guess I am looking for tips to try to bring some positive in an very dark situation.

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You are facing a situation that many of us face. There are no easy answers. Sometimes people mention that taking care of elders must be like taking care of children. It is nothing like it at all, except in the circumstance where a child is very ill. There are many nights I went to bed exhausted, worried, and angry, and many mornings when I woke up feeling nothing but dread. Now the nights are better. I'm still working on the mornings.

I am not a religious person. Still I found one thing helped me more than anything else. I turned it over to God and take things one day at a time. There are things I can do and other things that I or no other human can do. I just put those things in God's hands and do the things I can do.

To help myself, I go shopping and eat out when I can. I go to the gym at the senior center. And I'll talk to anyone who stands still long enough to listen. :) I go for long walks and play on the computer. All these things help keep me a little bit saner. The hardest thing can be the isolation. It can be very sad.
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You can only bring positives to yourself...nothing will change where your dad is with his health, and your mom is going to be your mom... this is why caregiving is such a hard job, we try to make everyone happy... and the bottom line... we can only change ourself, our attitude, our outlook, our own disposition.... hopefully you will come back to this sight, make some new friends.... tell us your story, and realize you are not alone....
This is a hard job under the best of circumstances... and without knowing a little more about YOU, it's hard to give you some suggestions on how to make yourself happier... I do crafts, read, come here, vent, laugh, vent some more.... have wonderful friends here on AC, so as I said, hope you come back and join us... it's a safe place to have your feelings, you will be validated, and will be given some suggestions on how to take better care of yourself.... proud of you for reaching out.... if nothing else, now you know you are not alone.... sending hugs to you...
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The three answers above all contain very good advice. It's important for you to realize and accept (acceptance is harder) that what's happening to your parents is one more stage in their lives, and not an unusual one. My 92-year-old father-in-law, who lost his spouse of 65 years recently is in a very similar situation in terms of depression and physical immobility (though no dementia, thank goodness).

My wife and I visit him every day (his assisted care facility is very close by). We have come to accept that there's nothing substantial we can do for him other than to be there as much as possible to help alleviate his loneliness and listen to him.

You must make an effort to relieve your suffering, which is so sad. You still have many years of life ahead and must work hard to ensure that you, too, don't remain depressed and full of stress. Again, I think the only way you can do that is to convince yourself sincerely that you are doing the most you possibly can and there's nothing more to be done. You have to accept that this situation is part of the natural course of their lives.

Good luck to you.
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Hi All, It is so helpful to me to read these posts. Both the question, which I share and the answers. As has been said, coming here is so helpful to me, that I look forward to it twice at day... One thing that has worked for me just a bit is to make lists. When I'm highly stressed and feeling low, if I make a list I realize that the words that come out help to articulate what the problems and challenges are and I try to turn them into small actions I can take. It also helps me articulate the issues to my friends and family. I put on my list that I should check out my insurance and look to see if I could find a face to face counselor, so that I would not always just be burdening my spouse with the heartbreak that I have with my mother. I've booked that appointment and will go on Thursday. Then, when I do the things on the list I feel like I'm more productive and just a little bit proud of my accomplishments. Looking back on older lists I see all that I've done and that helps me feel better... also while I feel sometimes that days go by in complete chaos, the lists help me to stay on track and get some things done that help me to feel that my whole life isn't wasted. I hope this simple idea is helpful to you. It is most helpful to me when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep. Some how if I add to my to do list I feel more calm... some times I get right on the internet and do some work that occurred to me. For me, being productive helps a lot and in utter chaos, that's hard to do and time slips away if I'm not diligent about doing something good every day. Seeing it in writing helps me think and do more... good.
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You just have to accept your parents behavior and know that there is really nothing you can do to change it. You CAN get the joy back into YOUR heart!

If you havre siblings close by, perhaps you can share a visiting schedule so that each day is covered but not always by you. Gardening, walking, Bible Study and time with my grandchildren seem to put all the pieces together for me.

I believe you have to take care of yourself first in order to effectively care for someone else. If all is right with you, then the issues with your parents become things you deal with and handle but don't personally absorped.. There is a bit of detachment required in caregiving a loved one. Just know that you are doing all that you can do for your parents.
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You have received some great advice. You have to get out of your mind that this isn't personal they are sick and not themselves anymore. Somedays you will want to scream and you go to bed, mad as hell. Other days, you will have that moment with them and you will know why you are there and how important it is for you to be there for them. You did notice I said MOMENT,you just have to take your defeats somedays and hope for tomorrow will be better. You are there or them everyday that is more then anyone in this world is doing, and you shoud be very proud of yourself for being that wonderful, caring, beautiful individual. You can't define yourself as a loser and hopeless because you can't fix them. Everyday you have to find a funny and keep referring back to it all day it's the only thing that will save your sanity. There is nothing you can do for them anymore they are who they are now. You can only love them and keep them healthy and safe. It takes everything you have to watch the demise, but it is what it is. I hate it and wish I could take my moms pain away, I wish it was me somedays. Just focus on the positive this group is a good start. Personally I am 0 for 2 the last couple of days have just been a nightmare. I am sitting in my moms room with her because for the last hour she has not been able to stay seated and is obsessing about everything. So today is stay with her keep focusing and asking her questions or telling about the show we are watching. It calms her. Everyday is a new adventure. I can only say I feel your pain and hope you have a better day tomm.
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Acceptance has been hard for me! For several weeks my mom is stable and walking! 2 months ago she had a fall and so far it's one thing or the other. Everyday is a new day.....some Great some Horrrendous!!!!!! She is now is an Acute Speciality Hospital trying to heal several health issues! She has only been ther 4 days and she is still being evaluated as to getting a game plan! She lost her husband ,my father of 64 years ago and for her life has never been the same. Anti- depressants help her ALOT! As long as she takes them!. Laughter is the key in our life........even though I cry at times when I'm alone. She is not dying, yet if she does not help me help her she will decline. Caregiving is HARD......rewarding but hard. The natural life cycle no matter what age our loved ones are are hard to accept! This website is a life saver for me......I read it every morning and night to realize I am not in this alone!
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I agree with the advice written up here. I think it is important to do the things that make you happy. For me it is, going to a bible study and praying and lifting up the name of Jesus. He says Fix your eyes upon him and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of his glorious grace. He uses things like this in our lives to enable us to know that he can do more than we could do ourselves. He can be trusted. I am facing a situation right now where my mother was just diagnosed with early dementia. She thinks that the world has come to an end. DMV has also sent her a letter suspending her license temporarily and she was required to see a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. Good news is she can still drive mostly in her local area. However, the bad news is she can't take the interstate. She has to take another Road Test in a week with a DMV instructor. She is worried that she will not pass and lose her license completely. What can I do to help her?
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I would do a Google search on the side effects of the antidepressents that you and your parents are taking? I am not at all saying to stop taking them, but sometimes antidepressents can make people more depressed. If the antidepressents are not working well enough, you may also want to discuss it with the doctors who prescribed them. In addition, have your parents B-12 levels ever been checked? Sometimes B-12 can make memory problems, etc. worse.
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One of the hardest parts of this journey with my Mothers was realizing that I did not have 'Mommy" to vent to anymore. She just is not there mentally, just thinks about herself ect ect ect.... All of the stuff that this website addresses. Having to realize that I was now the surrogate "parent" of my Mother was really depressing. However once I accepted the situation and stopped responding to my Mother like a teenager it became a lot easier. It is just sad to me that I lost my Mom while she is still alive!! At times I have to reach way deep into my heart and be grateful for having these last few years with her. It is not easy..... Do not forget to do something just for YOU also. Much love
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