My mom is depressed and my siblings want to add more antidepressants to the 2 she's already on. Any experience with this? - AgingCare.com

My mom is depressed and my siblings want to add more antidepressants to the 2 she's already on. Any experience with this?

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My mom had a stroke 4 month ago. She has recovered very well but she hates been in long term care nursing home, the food, and the fact that everyone is drugged. She has become very depressed and crys to go home. My siblings want to add more antidepressant to her already 2 she is on.. she is 93, has her wits. Any experience is these antidepressant?

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While the hallucinogenic thoughts seem all to real to the patient, we lucid caregivers know that they are just pure fabrication. You may want to take her to a geriatric psychiatrist.
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Sounds like this is really a hard time for you. Anyone would be worrried about what is best for your mother.
Your sibs think it's just a lack of medication. It's probably more complicated than that.
People here tell you it is normal to be depressed after a health loss. But a stroke also is an injury to the brain,and that may make it all the more difficult to treat, and outcomes maybe less you hope.
Has she had a phsychiatric consult with a phsychiatrist? It would be best to have her see a geriatric phsychiatrist, but certainly psychiatrist ( who is a MD ).
Although difficult to do, it's alsohelpful to have reasonable expectations and realize that you, your siblings, and Mom, are feeling the loss that comes with her decline, and her inevitable progression toward end of life.
Talk with her about this, and start talking with sibs too. Since a 93 year old post stroke woman with depression is probably not going home ask her what would make it better to be there. Then if you can try to provide these things.
And be kind to yourself. You are a good and loving daughter.
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I'm so sorry for her mom--I'd be depressed too.
Anti-depressants only allow the body to do so much--they do NOT "cure" depression, esp situational depression!
Was she home before? Was she alert, active and able to care for herself? If so, she has every reason to be depressed!! Get her out of that NH and back to where she's comfortable.
BTW, she probably is telling the absolute truth: I'm sure the food is horrid, people are noisy and it smells bad.
Trying to take antidepressants in a situation like this is like painting the fence once it's fallen down...a nice gesture, but won't accomplish anything.
The geriatric brain also metabolizes AD's differently than a younger brain. They may actually be making her worse. Find a Dr who will listen to you and MAKE them listen. (They work for you and your mom, BTW, make them do their jobs!!)
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Consult a doctor.Many antidepressants are not suitable for the elderly. She may need s different med or a different dosage.
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I would encourage the family to assess her needs and determine what level of care that she needs. Does she have mobility problems? Does she have dementia? Does she need continued nursing care? If the answer is no, then, she can decide to go home if she wishes, as long as she has the ability to function at home. If she's not able to function in her home, then, I'd approach it differently.

And the doctor should decide what medications are appropriate. It's not necessarily the amount of meds that helps. She needs the correct ones. If her doctor can't get them adjusted, maybe she needs to see a geriatric psychiatrist.
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Ah, if only the answer were as simple as swallowing a pill or more of them. I'm not so sure that being in a different place might not help, whether it was her home (with in home assistance) or another facility, depending on her level of need. One thing that might help if the pills are the issue is to get a consult from an outside psychiatrist who might visit her there, or you can take her to them. I'm not a huge fan of all of them, but there are some decent ones to be found...they are far more familiar with the issues of depression and medications available, especially when being used with older adults.
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Unless your siblings are Medical Doctors how can they just assume that more medication added to what Mom is on now will help?
It is possible she does not need MORE medication but she needs the correct medication.
This should be a discussion with the doctors and if possible with your Mom.
Where was she living before the stroke? If she was with you or other family member will she be going back or will she stay in a Nursing Home or can she go to Assisted living or if she needs it Memory Care?
If she will be going back to your house or a siblings make sure you have all the equipment you need before she comes back. And make sure you have caregivers lined up to give you or whoever she will be living with much needed breaks.
Keep in mind the fewer transfers to "new" living arrangements she has the better. So to move her in with one family only to find 6 months or so later that they can not handle it and Mom has to move is not a good situation.
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I would ask for a care conference with her providers to ask what they expect to achieve with these medications as to me, 4 is way too much. During the conference discuss what her prognosis is as far as recovery - is she able to stand and pivot from bed to chair, is she swallowing foods ok, ambulating, able that get to a commode, etc.
Not knowing her level of care as far as her ability to perform activities of daily living it's hard to determine if she would be ok at home. Is her bedroom and shower on the first floor? If she did come home is her home environment safe for her? Do you have resources to provide caregivers in home? Hospital bed? Handrails? It's a lot of preparation.
If she is improving physically & making progress, I would consider a Home trial.
If not, maybe a change in roommates and offering her mental stimulation where she is would be the way to go.
Good luck, it's so hard to see your parent go through this.
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I'm very prey to hear this about your mother. Often times after a stroke, or any other catastrophic event depression can be a side effect. I would strongly advise that you meet with her interdisciplinary care team at her facility before just "taking her home". Of course she wants to go home but that's not always the best answer for her and you. Long term care is a tough transition especially after 93 years of essentially living independently in her own home. Most long term care facilities aren't going to recommend that someone stay there unless they truly need it. As far as being drugged, it may seem that the residents are, however, the regulations that SNF's are under are very strict when it comes to medications. I'm not saying that it never happens, but facilities are monitored both by how many meds residents are in as well as type of medications. They're also required to try to reduce medications, especially psychotropic medications. I would speak with her physician as well as a psychiatrist (facility should have one available) prior to adding a new one. It's fairly uncommon to be on that many antidepressants. Is she participating in any activities? Does she have a roommate? What's her roommate like? Maybe a different room might help. Let her know that you're there for her. Although she likely will never return to her "home" she needs to know that people still care about her very much! Try to increase your visits if possible and strongly encourage her care team to giver her extra TLC.
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Take her home. Now.
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