My gma was the same way for a long, long time. What finally got through to her was when we stopped telling her what to do & instead focused on telling her how medicine & counseling were helpful to us. Antidepressants can be helpful for other conditions besides depression. Sometimes telling an older person that even if they don't think they're depressed that a/d's can help with headaches, tiredness, memory/difficulty concentrating, or whatever it is that they're dealing with. With my gma, she was having trouble with sleeping a lot during the day and remembering things. We kept telling her how medicine helped us with those issues & then privately contacted her doctor to ask if he could talk to her about
the medication. She has been to a few geriatric specialists & the last couple have been great about
focusing in on the issues my gma admits to, rather than trying to convince her she's depressed. I know your dad's probably not old enough to go to a geriatric specialist, but maybe his heart specialist or generalist can get involved.
Now that she's been on the a/d's for a while, is feeling a bit better & is a little more receptive to what we say, we're working on sneakily convincing her to see a counselor. She's been doing better, but now is at the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Her mother had that & she has always been terrified of getting it. She's starting to realize that something is wrong & the depression is worsening again.
It's really an uphill battle, isn't it? In spite of dealing with my gma, I can't really imagine how hard it must be to try to manage 2 relatives & worry about
them constantly. :( Let us know if we can do anything to help.
PS -- There aren't too many home counselors, but there are PT's that will come to your home. My gma's on Medicare & they actually cover for a lady to come out and do PT with my gma for 3 times a week. Unfortunately, I don't know how it all works but I know my mom set it up with some help from the hospital. I know your dad really needs help with the depression, but even if he starts meds & counseling right away it could be a while before it helps. Home-based PT would have a few benefits: gets him moving for his heart, gives him someone else to talk/interact with for an hour, raises endorphin levels which might actually improve his mood.
For gma, if she would qualify for public nursing care, in some states (well, IL, FL & a couple others I know of) the Department of Human Services will pay for a Personal Assistant to come to the home for a set number of hours per week. I used to work for a disabled lady doing that. Even when her father was there to help care for her, she still got 40 hours per week of paid care (she had to train the staff or get a friend/family member to do so). She had a couple PA's & we would help with everything from personal care activities like hair washing, to house cleaning, to taking care of bills, to running errands and setting up appointments & arranging for transportation. She advertised the position at church & through friends to find the workers & interviewed us and then we submitted a packet of information to the state for a background check and final approval. Twice a month we mailed a time card to the state and they paid me. There are also some organizations like United Way that will send volunteers to help out (they choose the people for that program) for people who are below a certain income level.
Post Edited (Frances_2008) : 9/28/2010 10:16:52 AM (GMT-6)