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I am not caregiver for my 88 year old mother, I live 9 hours away. My brother and his wife live near mom and dad, so they see to them. My parents still live at home, are ages, 88 and 90. Both have health issues. I spent last summer at home with dad, and mom was in a nursing home after a fall with broken hip. She went home soon after I went home to my husband and teens last fall before school. I will be going back soon, one teen done with school for the summer the other still has some school stuff for 3 more weeks. But I will be going to mom and dad after that... for the summer. Last summer mom was on zynex when in the nursing home, but I was not happy with it for her and talked to the Doctor and she was taken off it last fall. Over the winter when not with mom she was having her up and down days. After a push from my brother and his wife in early spring the Doctor started mom back on Zynex and added Zoloft. Since I only talk to mom on the phone it is hard to say how she is and I hate to second guess my brother and his wife, since they are the ones seeing to my parents day by day. But I have seen her decline mentally over the phone this spring, since zoloft and zynex were added. After talking to my sister in-law she tells me mom is doing better on the drugs. I still feel this is way to much drugs for mom. I will get a better handle of this when I get over to them later in June, but till then.... What do you think, is Zoloft and zynex over used on the elderly to just keep them calm? This is how I feel it is being used on my mom, but I am not the one over there, day in and day out like my brother.

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As a person who has been in the health care field for years I will have disagree. There are true chemical imbalances not resolved by vitamins. Wouldn't that be great though? Each person is an individual case and should be evaluated as such. There are also personality disorders. I can only speak from my own personal experience. My father is a NEW person and he is relating to his family as never before. I am grateful that he is taking something to increase his serotonin and decrease his worry. It's been a godsend for all of us.
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Sorry, I agree with Sherry1anne - though I find it frightening to speak up about a different perspective from a very common one. I think our society in general looks at behaviors and the problems they cause but not what led up to them.

We don't allow people to have depression and anxiety when we/they go through changes, and many losses (even of abilities) can merit sadness. During times like that, extra rest can help enormously, and even better, having companionship of someone who knows what a big change it is for you, and notices the small things you do, to handle it well. Instead, we have rotating caregivers and people who look at life medically, often expecting people to act as others do, or as the elder person used to do. Grief and fear are very individual and related to interactions and expectations of others.

Helping caregivers to find small alternatives, sometimes just accepting the sadness - our society seems to expect so much unrelenting cheeriness, even as the planet is shrinking, in relation to oversights from our efforts to rush and keep up with the pace we have set for young people.

There's a book on Slow Medicine - called My Mother, Your Mother, in which a physician for elders notes how his perspective changed when caring for his own parents, and realized that through risks, they want someone to sit with them, notice the risk, and together find solutions. Takes time, and even though most people are good willing, many try, there are still many carers in group living settings and medically focused care, who don't have time to give, even when people's speech has slowed down, and reassurance can help a lot, but results focused people try to give them answers instead..
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Yikes sherrybaby, yeah she probably should do all that stuff but to say she shouldn't also be in meds is scary. Let the meds help deal with the chemical imbalance. You thought depression is something else? Plenty of people with depression aren't hiked up at home. They are our there doing the best they can every day. Give them a break and a drug for crying out loud.
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More elderly people decline and die from the drugs than the things that the drugs were prescribed for. I agree with your concern. Your mom shouldn't be on drugs. If she is depressed, she should go out to a movie or a walk - spend quality time with family, avoid holing up at home. That's what causes depression!! AND if it's a chemical imbalance, it's probably nutritional. Most elderly benefit from sublingual B6, B9, & B12 or injections. Spend some time with your parents, observe what's going on and make your decision from an informed place.
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Those meds sound fine for someone with anxiety and depression. Maybe they should add those to our water supply like fluoride. Anyhow, a talk on the phone can give you one impression and long conversations in person over several days is likely to clear up the question of why the meds. Don't second guess the close by caregivers. Things sound like they are under control. If the drugs help calm them, great.
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I forgot to mention that we moved my dad to be near me six months ago and although his memory has declined, his mental state is so much better. He was literally making our lives he'll before the Zoloft.
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My dad is 92 + and has STML and general anxiety and depression. It wasn't until he moved out of his home into IL in his home state where none of his 3 daughters lived, that we really noticed his anxiety and depression ratcheted up. This state will actually cause MORE of a mental decline. My sis and I drove up there and went with him to his doctor and after discussion between the four of us decided to try a trial of Zoloft and an anti anxiety med until the Zoloft could kick in. Short story was, it totally made his tolerance for change so much better and I felt like I had my dad back. We all noticed how much better he seems. Dosage level is a concern as too much can increase a chance of falls with the Xanax. I agree with Pam that the changes you hear on the phone may not be related to meds. Go and visit and if you'd feel better make an appt with her physician for a frank discussion. But if you are not there on a day to day as the caregiver do not be too quick to criticize those who are. Go see for yourself. You sound like a caring concerned daughter.
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Bear in mind the mental decline may NOT be medication related. Zoloft is an anti-depressant. Xanax is for anxiety. Neither one should induce mental decline, they should just relieve anxious moments and lessen the anger and aggression she has. It's pretty hard to evaluate her over the phone, so come in and see her and talk to her caregivers. You didn't mention the dosage, so if you can share that, along with any other meds that would help the discussion.
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