Depression in a 95 yr. old Male in Generally good Health Otherwise
My Father is 95 years old and in relatively good health. He is hard of hearing, takes Comoudin (sp?) and has aches and pains like most elderly.... but what is the worst is his depression. He tried to take his own life because he is as he puts it: Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
He can't drive anymore which is driving him crazy (no pun intended). He feels like he has no control over his life. He moved in with my sister who takes him to all of his Doctor appointments, has set him up with an in home person who comes to visit 2-3 hours once a week. They take him to college BB games, dinner and include him in most activities he is physically able to attend. But he is still depressed.
I think he just cannot accept getting older. The old adage, growing old gracefully is harder to do than most people think. At least it is for my Dad.
He has a lot to say but unfortunately he never lets anyone have a differing opinion and just says we don't understand him if we try to explain ours. He has developed of yelling, I mean really yelling at you if he is mad or frustrated with a situation. If you sit him down and ask him to be more relaxed about a situation or try to find out what is bothering him he won't tell you exactly what it is but just this general feeling of unhappiness with his life.
My sister, who is the primary caregiver in our family is the best suited for this because she is always even keeled, genuinely a sweet hearted person who does try and listen to you and figure out solutions. Even she is getting frustrated as to what to do.
He is seeing a therapist but he doesn't talk about what is going on now but just relays his life stories to
the therapist. My sister is always trying to find ways to improve his quality of life, making sure he has at least 3 people, besides family that he interacts with. They say this helps fight the loneliness. I think he's just mad that he can't do the things he could do as recently as 10 years ago. She's given him a schedule of the Senior Life Line taxi type service so that he could go and walk around the mall or something of that nature but he says it's too hard to plan in advance. He has a good walker and a motorized chair that he uses to either walk or drive around the neighborhood daily. He's met a few neighbors doing this activity.
Their are five children in our family and we're all perplexed on how to make this better for him. I wish he'd try and see the good things in life instead of focusing on all the negative. Which he does constantly. He's a fairly intelligent guy (an engineer in his working life) and I don't know if that makes it better or worse for him.
It's an ongoing situation, as he tried suicide only a few weeks ago (with a plastic bag and rubber band around his head). So if you have a depressed Senior keep an eye out for these things in their bedroom. He kept his under his pillow. I know they are common items but still just be aware of how they could use them if they are depressed. I feel so badly for my Father but I'm not sure what to do? We were never the closest of all the kids in the group.
Well, that's my situation. What's yours? I haven't provided much in the way of relief for this problem so maybe you have some suggestions for us? There is a fair amount of guilt about this situation because I don't know how to make it better for him.