I’ve recently been away from WordPress because I had to go out of town suddenly for a family emergency. My elderly mother had fallen and due to the neglect of my father, had spent 5 hours crawling around on the floor trying to get up. He leaves her alone for 8 or more hours at a time because both him and my mother are completely and utterly deluding themselves about the actual state of her health.
She is almost completely incapable of caring for herself, and even when I went out there, they were making plans for her to come home after 3 weeks in rehab with no major plans of changing how they would live. My father would still leave her for hours at a time, except he would give her a panic button in case she fell. This is a woman who can’t even take 1 step unassisted, but who insists she can still care for herself.
I ended up bringing her home with me, and she is with me now. I am slowly trying to help her gain strength and independence, although it would take me many months, and even if I had that long, she would not be able to completely care for herself. Two minor strokes have damaged her brain resulting in cognitive ability and balance problems. Severe, crippling arthritis has damaged her joints, and muscles have weakened to the point she can barely even tear a piece of paper. Mild dementia is also affecting her cognitive and reflex ability.
Add to all of this a lifelong battle with Clinical Depression.
She cries all the time. Over the things she used to do and the things she can no longer do. She cries when she drops a napkin…she cries when she can’t find her comb. She cries a lot.
She’s on Prozac for the depression, and she on Xanax for her anxiety.
I would like to write an entire blog post myself on depression in the elderly, but it’s past time for me to work on her physical therapy exercises and I have to get her to the bathroom before we start. Just going to the bathroom takes about 30 minutes.
I won’t be on as much in the next few weeks. I’ve gotten both my parents to agree she can stay until the end of June. I found a great article on depression in the elderly, please check it out. Depression is a serious issue in the elderly, and one that is often over looked by people who mean well, but focus on other, more acute, easier to detect issues.