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Caregiver Depression(2)
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2023 11:42 AM
Joined: 1/22/2023
Posts: 1

Has anyone else experienced this?  I have been living with my mom for 1.5 years and it has definitely taken a toll on my mental health. I have lost 20 lbs and my hair is falling out. My mother is in constant need of companionship. I spend a lot of time driving her around because she does not like to be in her apartment. She is 87 and can still walk short distances so we go in and out of grocery stores. I have been seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist who put me on medication for depression but nothing seems to help. My mother has no short term memory, repeats the same thing over and over and has no idea how much attention she needs. She has no idea that I am taking care of her. We are in a tough spot financially because she has some money but not enough to afford assisted living or memory care for very long. I feel like I am going crazy. Thanks for listening.
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2023 12:55 PM
Joined: 10/29/2020
Posts: 236

Gods afternoon.  You are in a tough spot.  Could your mom’s finances afford for her to have some home care during the week to give you some small breaks?   Our home care company will come for a minimum of 4 hours once a week.
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2023 1:45 PM
Joined: 10/20/2021
Posts: 51

When I was at my most down, my hair started falling out, too. I was also the most depressed when I felt the least in control of my situation caring for my PWD.

I would highly recommend speaking with a certified elder care attorney if you haven’t already done so. I’ve found that most will give a new client an hour to an hour and a half initial consultation for free. Use that time wisely. A CELA knows the ins and outs of Medicaid for your state and can often help you get your finances into order to help with placement, which it sounds like you need for your mother.

Many facilities have a few Medicaid beds available after you’ve private paid for a bed for two years or so. 

None of this may work for you, but the consultation is (usually) free and I found once I started to feel more in control helping a person with an uncontrollable disease, I started to feel better. Think of it like you’re on an airplane and the oxygen masks have deployed. You have to put yours on first so that you’re able to help your LO. 

Your local Agency for Aging may also have some assistance programs you might qualify for, which could involve some in-home help for a few hours a month. Also, sometimes church groups have volunteers that will sit with a person for a few hours a week, too. 

But you have to take care of yourself first so that you can be the best advocate for your mother.
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2023 8:01 PM
Joined: 5/22/2021
Posts: 89

You can also see if there are any adult day centers in your area where you mom can go for a few hours a week. 

If able, hire a part time caregiver to allow you to get out of the house for a few hours.

If you attend church, maybe they have volunteers to sit with your mom.

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2023 8:53 AM
Joined: 6/28/2021
Posts: 19

Maybe you could get mom into Memory Care under a respite program for 2-4 weeks.  It will give you a needed break and time to think through options.
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2023 9:48 AM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 7010

I agree with Phoenix. Meeting with a CELA is just about the best thing you can do now. They can protect assets, draw up any legal paperwork that might be necessary, explain how Medicaid works, and other things. You will come out of the meeting feeling more secure, and in control. Call for an appointment, and ask if the initial consult is free. If not, you can call another one. Just make the call. Hopefully your mother can still make rational decisions.

There may be local help available that you don't know about. You will have to dig to see what's out there, but it could be significant. A local caregiver support group might be a good source of that kind of information, but you'll have to ask.

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2023 10:16 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 256

So sorry you're going through with this, you've come to a good place. As others have mentioned, I think you need to step back. You have gone on as long as you can; you've done great hanging in there.

Try to see if there's any programs in your area that can get your mom on an assistance program that can cover some or all of the costs of having someone else come in to care for her. The CELA might be able to point you in the right direction and you can try the Alz hotline (800) 272-3900

You need more time for yourself. It can be difficult to let go and allow someone else to care for your mom. You're at the end of your rope and it's fraying.

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2023 10:33 AM
Joined: 5/5/2021
Posts: 4

I’m not sure how this works or if I’m in the right place to make this post. My husband has Korsakoff Syndrome caused from alcohol use and possibly some vascular dementia. He still drinks a lot and will go through a terrible detox if he tries to quit. I’ve given up on pushing for that, the alcohol is the only thing he enjoys anymore. Most of the time he doesn’t think he has dementia but I’m not comfortable leaving him alone anymore. He has a lot of false memories, mostly about where we live and he imagines places we’ve never been to. Twice he’s been so convinced we weren’t home that I’ve had to drive him around a few minutes and come back. We walk in to the place we just left and he’s ok, he’s home. He imagines people are in the house. Twice he’s left the house looking for me convinced I’ve left him in one of the places he thinks I take him to. I had been able to leave him for a short time until all this got worse. Twice when I left him he called our adult children and told them he couldn’t wake me up. He’s lost some bladder control, won’t bathe or brush his teeth. One of our adult daughters will come stay once or twice a week I get depressed when it’s time to go home. He has always been a little difficult but now is extremely so. He’s called me names and  told me to move out. He doesn’t remember this though and other times is very loving and appreciative of all I do. He needs help with mist things, dressing and undressing, food prep, etc. sometimes I just feel like giving up.
mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2023 11:05 AM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 914


The only way I could continue to care for my mother at home was with respite breaks. In other words, YES, I experienced the depression.  I think you should try to get someone in as soon as possible so you can get away.  Caregiving alone for a dementia patient is very difficult to say the least. Please get the time away you need to take care of yourself.  

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2023 7:58 PM
Joined: 1/26/2023
Posts: 2

I'm 32. She's 84 with Alzheimer's and dementia. I have depression and anxiety. This involvement I have isn't doing any good to my mental health. She drives me crazy. I'm at the end of my rope which wasn't very long to begin with. Any advice or anything would be helpful.
MN Chickadee
Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2023 9:20 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1672

Flower Power are there any adult daycares in your area? They can be a good stop gap when family is near the breaking point. My mother started a couple days a week and then moved to 5 days a week and it allowed us to keep her home longer than would have otherwise been possible due to that respite. Plus she got socialization and dementia informed activities. Also contact your local agency on aging hotline and Alz Assoc. They may have some local resources to look into. Some facilities provide respite care where the person stays with them a few weeks to give the caregiver a break. Or it could be it's time for  full time care, either in the home or in a facility. It happens. Save your own health and future. Consult an elder law attorney, they can guide you through the medicaid process since finances are tight. 


540mylh: You are posting on a thread with a different topic. If you go to the main caregiver page and start your own you will get better responses to your individual situation. https://www.alzconnected.org/discussion.aspx?g=topics&f=151  and press the "add topic" button at the top.

We have a member who has experience with alcohol dementia, so if you put the Korsakoff in the title of the thread then those with experience will see it and post. 

Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 3:39 PM
Joined: 5/12/2022
Posts: 12

It sounds very sad and I understand you a little. I took care of my neighbor for a while and I started to get depressed. I consulted a doctor and he recommended me antidepressants. I started to feel better. I understood that this is very hard work from which you need to rest from time to time.
Lone Caregiver
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 7:08 PM
Joined: 1/31/2023
Posts: 2

I am new on here so not sure but just jumping in to connect.  I think feeling a bit depressed is a natural way to feel with all of stresses as caregiver.  I tend to comfort eat and have the opposite problem lol.  However nonetheless to be honest I am sure I am also depressed a bit as I have given up my whole life as I knew it.  My hair is also falling out, partially to the stress of caregiver but also due to Lupus.  I think if there were better resources available to give us relief, it would definitely help with the overwhelming stress.  Sometimes just a few hours being away more frequently gives you a whole new prospective.  I only have one sister who comes to visit when she can but she doesn't live close to me so it is difficult for her and she is still working.  Me being on here is the sole purpose of sharing and hopefully feeling a bit better afterwards.
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