Posted by: sue | 2009-10-09

depressed mother

Hi Doc

My mother and father live at south coast - In july my mother(75) got very sick, she refused to go into hospital. My father (79) couldnt cope with her, she refused to eat so got weaker. Eventually he had her admitted to hospital where they diagnosed CHF and Pneumonia and Bronchitis. She had an allergic reaction to a new med they gave her on day 7 or so, so she insisted on leaving. She deteriorated until eventually I was called down to go and look after her (By which time my dad was at the end of his rope). My mother suffers from depression, but wont admit it to the doctors. Anyway, I found them a place in a retirement village which is stunning, managed to get their house sold, and sorted out the problems with her doctor and her meds etc etc.
The place they are in now is alot smaller than the huge house they were used to, but they have the health care there, the security, subsidised restaurant etc etc - the problem is this:
My mother is depressed and miserable (and very nasty with it), and has told me it is my fault that her and my father are living on top of one another in such a dreadful place, that I forced her to go there.
I found the place for them, because they hadnt bothered looking to their future, and by some miracle, managed to get them in without going on a waiting list - but I left the choice to them as to if they like the place and wanted to move there. They were robbed numerous time in the house, and my mother claimed to hate living there (at the time).

It cost me every cent I had in savings (am a single mom), to fly down and take care of her, and to buy them groceries etc etc, but it appears i was wrong.

What do I do? How do I deal with this? If it wasn' t for my dad, I would walk away now.

Thanks for your help.

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Our expert says:
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Its remarkable what you have been able to sort out for them so far, and in a reasonably short amount of time, too. Obviously it would be useful for your mother to have her depression properly diagnosed and treated. Maybe if she saw an understanding doctor / GP for whatever physical problems still trouble her ( such as the CHF ) she could be persuaded to take an antidepressant as part of that plan, and indeed proper treatment of the depression would probably be good for her heart, too.
Know, and remind herself, that you absolutely did NOT do wrong, and in her frame of mind anything you might have done, including nothing, would have been grounds for grumbling. Some older folks actually take on grumbling as a hobby and actually enjoy it, though they'd never admit it.

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Our users say:
Posted by: tasja | 2009-10-12

Please dont worry.I live down in the South aswell and ive worked at n Retirement Village for 4 year,and i really love the people their.Would gladly go back,but im a Stay at home mom now,my kids are still small.
You did nothing wrong,older people are very set in their ways,and they do not cope very good to change in their old age.But at least you have peace of mind as to their well being.They are taken care off!Do you know how many old ladies in the course of the 4 years were totally out of it when their husbands died when they were both old.Well they coulndt cope because they were used to their husbands doing everything for them,like drawing money,driving,everything.Now suddenly they dont know what to do!.So at least you know now that when something happens to one of them,the other one is in an safe enviroment!
Its normal for her to feel like this and some of them are not their selfs any more.Just ignore what she is saying,because you did not do this for youself,its for their safety!What would have happend to her if your dad died while they were still in the big house all alone????At least now its done!You did the right thing!

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