I am giving this a try because I'm not quite sure what else to do. My story condensed is this. I live with a parent who is 71 yrs old and has suffered from depression since I can remember. It has been in varying stages but has always been there. About 5 yrs ago he had a stroke that affected his vision badly. He is not legally able to drive. Physically he was fortunate and had no lasting effects.
Since he can not drive and was forced to retire he has been in a constant state of depression and I would call it mourning for the loss of his independence. Because I grew up with this and other close family members who have emotional and mental health issues I navigate them fairly well. However this is slowly and continually spiraling out of control. When he had his stroke and had to regularly see the Dr he was diagnosed with depression. The one medication they gave in conjunction with his heart meds made him extremely tired. He had to be weened off of it and has not been back to the Dr since. He won't even go back for medical refills for his heart or a check up.
I have tried talking to my other siblings and his siblings but no one does anything to help.
It's to the point I literally have to scream at him to bathe because the smell is intolerable. He will go weeks without maintaing himself at all. There are times he will think only 2 days have passed and it's really been a week and half or longer. The only thing he does consistently without me having to beg, cry, or scream about is take out the garbage every week. That's it. I clean the entire home and clean up after him constantly. I don't ask him to help with the chores around the house to keep him active anymore because after the first three years of getting pretty much nothing I gave up.
All I ask him to do is bathe at least twice a week, keep his fingernails and toenails clipped for health reasons and walk to the store twice a week for fresh air. All of this mind you not required. If he even does one of them I am happy.
I'm in a solid relationship with someone and it is progressing along. He still has yet to meet my family, my father in particular because I can't get him ready to meet anyone. My boyfriend is aware of the issue and is very supportive. I just don't want to move on and leave my dad behind. He says he will be fine but I know that he won't be. I have become his crutch because he knows eventually I will do the things that he won't. I dont' have a choice because we share a house.
He won't go to the Dr at all. I've made appointments for him, taken off of work and he refuses to go. He won't go to family functions at all. He either gets "sick," right before them or says they won't notice he's not there they will understand. I'm litearlly watching my father slowly wither down to nothing physically and mentally and I don't know how much more I can take. Any suggestions?
Wow. I have IDEAS about what can be done for him, but no certainty that anything might work. On the other hand, I am EXTEMELY concerned about you - YOU deserve to have your life, and it sounds like you are being robbed right now.
Get in touch with his doctor(s), his insurance, any local support groups, find a resource that is willing to HELP YOU. Please.
Thank you for the response. Until I really started surfing I didn't realize there were books, and support for the family of. It just seemed like everything was geared to focusing soley on the person who is depressed. I know there is no guarntee what so ever that anything will work for someone. Just some ideas would help. Even if the effort gets him to come out of if for a day that's better than nothing at all. He used to go in cycles of good days and bad ones. Now it just seems like the cycle has ended.
Yea, im also more worried about you. Is there anyway, his doctor can ask insurance or medicare to provide a home health caregiver for him? That will give you some time off, and the insurance or medicare pays for the caregiver. Being a caregiver and being the ONLY caregiver can cause you stress, physical problems, depression and a number of other things like IBS, and ulcers. I know because my sis is my parents caregiver. Shes younger than i am and looks older, poor girl. There is so much to caregiving that unless you know first hand, you wont understand. A nurse can also come to your house on a regular basis and check him out, if he needs physical therapy theyll provide that too. Also a caregiver, especially if a man, can help or motivate your dad with his bathing. A caregiver can also help with household chores, certain ones. But that can give you some free time as well. Since i have fibro plus kidney and liver problems, i cant help my sis with them. But i do handle all insurances, bill payments, medicare paperwork, anything that has to do with paperwork and believe me that keeps me very busy, i do that to help my sis.
Last edited by Jenetti; 10-05-2009 at 03:40 PM.
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