Need some advice to help my father

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Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 9/26/2010 5:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone! I am in the need of some advice for my father. My dad is 66 years old, retired for 16 years, lives with his mother(my gma) to help her out because she is 88. Back in 1980, my mother passed away and ever since then my dad has never truly gotten over her death. He turned to alcohol and was an alcoholic up until about 2 years ago when he started having health issues such as his heart and prostate.

He has been in the hospital many times for falling due to dizziness, which has to do with his heart. His doctor told him that he has to get up and get moving to combat the dizziness, to exercise. But the problem is, is that I believe my dad is suffering from depression. It seems he just doesn't care anymore, like he has given up. He lays in bed all day, sleeping off and on. His room is a nightmare....think extreme hoarders. And since he is unable take care of himself, he can't properly care for my Gma either. My Gma has been taking care of him. We are in the process of trying to talk my Gma into moving into an assisted living center but she really doesn't want to go - she is failing healthwise as well. My dad cries a lot because of his mourning for my mother.

I've been going over there every 2 weeks to clean their house because neither of them can and my dad won't allow anyone he doesn't know into the house.

Do any of you lovely people have any suggestions for me? How can I get him to address his depression? I want to be able to help him in anyway that I can.

Thanks!
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
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awty
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 9/26/2010 7:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Red, this is a really tough one, as we can't make anyone do what they feel adverse to do.

Does he acknowledge he is depressed? His generation often doesn't.

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 9/26/2010 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
No I don't think he does.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
current status: flaring! Ugh!
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(25mgs), Allopurinol (100mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds Syndrome~OA-Tylonel Arthritis/Celebrex~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis/GAD - Klonopin (.25mgs)

awty
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 9/26/2010 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
If you spoke with him, do you think he would deny it, or admit to it? You know Dad the best.

He may just surprise you, and be ready for some guidance, or he could stone wall the subject, in which case, there is little anyone can really do.

Goodluck Red, it's really tough watching someone you care deeply for, struggling

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42609
   Posted 9/26/2010 11:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sherry,

Too bad there aren't counselors that could come into the home and talk to your dad. It would be easier than getting him to go. Has he seen a doctor lately? A doctor might be the ticket. Maybe the doc could talk him into going. He truly needs help but as was posted above, it is hard to help somebody who isn't willing. I truly hope that things turn around. Keep us posted as to what is going on. I am sorry that I am not much help. Do you have other family members that could help with this situation? And I am sorry about the loss of your mom.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 9/27/2010 6:42 AM (GMT -6)   
My dad is very....stubborn. I can usually talk him into things but sometimes he just digs in his heels and the more you pressure him, the more he ignores you. I went there yesterday and started cleaning his room but I didn't get much chance to talk to him. He gets cross with my Gma and she follows him around and what he calls nagging him (I prefer the term tenacious). And it is hard to get him to talk to me when Gma is around, but I plan on talking to him in two weeks when I go over there again because my Gma won't be home.

He seemed in better spirits yesterday. Oh and sadly, I discovered that he HAS been drinking because I found a lot of whiskey bottles in his room that wasn't there the last time I visited two months ago. (Gma cleaned his room while he was in the hospital for his heart about 2 months ago).

Our family is small. There are only my two older brothers but they don't have cars nor licenses to get to my dads house. One of my uncles' goes over there once a month to take my Gma grocery shopping.

Thanks for the advice. I will try to talk to him and see if he will tell his doc about possible depression but I doubt that will happen. He hates going to doctors and he has an appt next week for his heart, but normally he won't go unless he is hospitalized.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
current status: flaring! Ugh!
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(25mgs), Allopurinol (100mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds Syndrome~OA-Tylonel Arthritis/Celebrex~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis/GAD - Klonopin (.25mgs)

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/27/2010 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   

Sherry,

I am so sorry to read of your Dad's problems. If you understand the causes of alcoholism if may help you. The most common cause alcoholism is depression. It doesn't happen very often that a person becomes an alcoholic without being depressed; moreover, drinking does nothing but make one even more depressed. The only difference between being depressed when sober and when drunk is that people forget about themselves and can lose control of their actions when drunk. At the very least, some actions can be blamed on losing control, so the person who drinks somehow eases a burden. It's more difficult to deal with your problems when sober; when you're drunk you can refuse responsibility for everything.

To help your Dad deal with this, encourage him to talk about possible reasons for the depression that fuels it. Showing compassion is not the same thing as tolerating or enabling your parent.

My Mother died when I was 18 months old and my Dad never got over losing her. He drank but he had to raise me and he did an awesome job but I could always sense the sadness in him. If I had been wiser I would have talked to him about my Mom. I was to young to know what might have helped him. The last thing he said to me before he died, " I am going to see your Mother soon."

Take care of yourself Sherry as you are very important too and you need to know you are doing the best you can.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
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"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 9/27/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt :) Yes I know about the alcoholism and what fuels it. But I think just the act of me showing more concern for him and going over there every 2 weeks had put a little spark in his step. I will be honest, I love my dad but I still hold resentment toward him. I am in therapy right now to help deal with it. I am trying to put the past behind me and move forward. By doing this for my father, I can't help but feel as if I am heading in the right direction. But hopefully once I can talk to him alone, he will see things from another person's point of view and let me help him.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
current status: flaring! Ugh!
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(25mgs), Allopurinol (100mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds Syndrome~OA-Tylonel Arthritis/Celebrex~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis/GAD - Klonopin (.25mgs)

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/27/2010 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Sherry,
 
I know that everything you are doing for him is a step in the right direction.   I understand so very well how hard it is to let go of resentment and I am proud of you for your efforts.
 
Wishing you peace,
 
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 9/28/2010 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Red,
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.

hugz,
frances

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)


Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 9/28/2010 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Frances for the suggestions. I may just see what agencies they have in his location. I am convinced now more then ever that he needs more help and care. I just got a call from my Gma and she told me he fell again and may have broken his arm.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
current status: flaring! Ugh!
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(25mgs), Allopurinol (100mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds Syndrome~OA-Tylonel Arthritis/Celebrex~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis/GAD - Klonopin (.25mgs)

Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 9/28/2010 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh gosh, Sherry. I'm so sorry. That's awful. I sure hope it's not actually broken, but in any case it's not good that he fell.

My gma fell a few weeks ago & they thought she might of broken her arm, but it turned out it wasn't broken. The doctor switched her from a cane to a walker (which she hates!) and told her that if she didn't go back to doing PT that she was going to the home -- right now she's living in Senior Housing where they fix meals and handle transportation but not much else; she just moved there a couple months ago once she sold her home & she hates it, but not nearly so much as the idea of a full care facility. That scared the living daylights out of her & she has finally kept to her PT schedule (she's exhausted her home PT benefits for the year so now she has to travel to the PT office). It's been 3 weeks or so & this is the longest she's kept at anything. So as awful as it was with my mom getting a call late at night, it turned out to have a silver lining. I sure hope there is some kind of silver lining with your dad. I know you really care for him & I wish you and your family well.

frances

Trying to Understand
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Date Joined Sep 2010
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   Posted 9/30/2010 3:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Can you fib to your dad and tell him he has a doctor appointment? Get him there under any pretense, describe the symptoms your dad is exhibiting and let him prescribe something without using the word depression at any time. ??
Now that he fell again, you could say its to get his arm checked now that the swelling is down. What about putting him in a home? He can't care for himself, and with the drinking and falling, it would be safer. Maybe if he were around some other guys his age he would play cards, go on outings, etc. and his meds would be given to him, along with regular meals.
This must be extra hard since you are in therapy discussing your issues that relate to him.
My sympathies, and hope for a resolution

SmurfyShadow
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 9/30/2010 4:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Does he get up a lot in the night? Basically taking a nap for a few mintues to a couple of hours all day and night? Does he forget?

You actually described my grandmother minus the forgetfulness and she has dementia. Something to think about....

Get him a doc apt
Don't Care Bout Nuffin No More, Guess I shouldnt even be in this world
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