1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    I've probably done this wrong, I read posts every day but don't often add them.

    Anyone have any idea what I can do to help my husband with his depression please? Six days ago he started to cry and has been doing so more often than not ever since. He's sitting here crying now. He says he feels like an imbecile and a prat. I've said all the right things but of course that doesn't help. I've been to see the GP and he said to up his Amitriptyline from 10mg per day to a 25mg at 6pm and another 25mg before he goes to bed. He only started with the higher dose on Wednesday so I'll give it a week and if he hasn't stopped crying by Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll take him back to see the GP. Steve is 56 years old and has rheumatoid arthritis as well as dementia and is on 20 tablets a day and just recently he has really gone downhill quickly. We live 70 miles away from our kids and they can't visit too often so I'm a bit depressed myself but we can't show it can we. He had to give up all his hobbies as he can't use his hands really now because of the R.A. so he sits in the chair every single day and stares into space. I have no idea if this is a blip and he will come out of the depression or what. It is very tough on us all.

    Twink/Sue
     
  2. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    520
    Hi Sue , Sorry Things Are Taking A Turn For The Worse ,steve Really Must Be Suffering , And You As Well Coping With All This ,i Dont Have Any Experience With Depression , Apart From What All Carers Feel , Hardly The Same Thing Though , I Suppose It Will Take A While For The Extra Dose Of Tablets To Kick In , I Hope You See Some Improvement Soon ,take Care , Thinking Of You , Angela
     
  3. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Thanks Angela. My friend is a psychiatric nurse and she has spoken to him this morning and she said he really is depressed and flat. She said if the tablets haven't worked by about Wednesday, go back to the GP or ask to see his psychiatrist. He's put on loads of weight because he eats sweet stuff a lot and hardly gets out of the chair now so he's really puffed when he walks upstairs. It would be so great if we knew what would happen and when. I will have to wait and see if he comes out of this depression or stays like it for a while or what. He was always so busy, never at home, loads of different hobbies and now he can't do anything. I have a great support worker so I'll speak to her on Monday, she can't do anything I guess but she is a good listener.

    Sue
     
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Was reading along I was wondering could you organise for your husband to go to Alzheimer's day centre. My mum stared to really life her mood when she started to go there, they have evening out that they can pick you both up so for you also ,you can meet other carers or have you tried this and your husband does not like it at mum day centre I have seen a man that’s in his 50s .

    when you say
    Why not how old are your children ? Must say I use to feel like that in not wanting to tell my children how I was feeling, your may be amazed by there reaction if you are open with then with your feeling If you have grandchildren, it could be a tonic for your husband to see them If you do not have grandchildren just inviting them for a meal and your children talking o your husband may help him your never no if you don’t give it a go if you don’t mind me saying :)
     
  5. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    My Mum got very depressed with her R.A. long before she had any dementia problems. She would get very frustrated that her hands were too weak and painful, for her to do things she wanted. A new drug regime might help a lot or perhaps a trip out somewhere. There are quite a few gadgets available to help people with arthritic hands. Social Services might be able to send you a catalogue or arrange for an occupational therapist to visit. Mum even had a pair of one handed pruning shears and a device that fitted on the end of a key to make it easier to open doors.
    Kayla
     
  6. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Hi Margarita, I don't mind you saying anything at all. I try not to show him that I'm depressed as it makes him feel worse and then he gets more upset and says he is a burden.

    I go to carers meetings twice a month, he hasn't been to a day centre yet because he wasn't so bad, it's only this past week he has become really depressed and confused and frightened. He seemed ok one day and in floods of tears the next and has been like that for 6 days now.

    He has two daughters, 32 and 30 and the elder one has said she will take him for a few days so I will be speaking to her about it. She lives on the East coast and has 3 little boys so I hope, if she will take him, he will agree to go. I have a feeling he won't because at the moment all he wants is me. My two sons are 30 and 34 and see him more than his daughters do. The youngest girl works full time in London.

    I'll be speaking to my support worker on Monday and asking her if there is anywhere Steve can go. I know there is a day centre 5 miles away as my friend is a nurse there but it's only open 3 days a week and only Tuesday is dementia day apparently.

    Sue
     
  7. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Hi Kayla,

    I had an occupational therapist ring me yesterday. I was told there was a 56 week waiting list when I asked for an appointment a year ago and she rang yesterday and asked if he could get up and down the stairs once a day to go to bed and if we had a shower and loo downstairs (we have) so she said ok, ring me when you have any problems!! It's Steve's hands that are the problem too. He's had his right wrist fused and is now waiting for the left one to be done.

    Sue
     
  8. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    My Mum's hands were her biggest problem. She couldn't lift anything up that was heavier than a bag of sugar and she lost fine control, so that she would drop an egg. I guess it must have been like trying to do things with a really thick pair of gloves. Try and get the catalogue from SS if you can. There might be a gadget or two that would help him. Until a year or so ago, Mum was quite mobile, but was hindered by her hands.
    Kayla
     
  9. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Thanks Kayla,

    I will see if I can get one from SS. Our local Lloyds chemist had one and we both looked through it ages ago and he said there was nothing he needed. Cos he had me to do everything probably!! His right wrist which has been operated on is great, no pain, only problem is, he has no movement in it but he manages quite well. His left wrist is now the same as his right one was, all swollen and very painful. He's had a plaster cast made to fit which they cut up the front so he can take it off at night and that does seem to help a bit. Plus all the steroids of course. The wrist splint just hurt him more when he had it on. He is waiting to see the orthopaedic hand surgeon again at the moment but I wonder if they will operate with him having alzheimer's? They say the anaesthetic can make them worse.

    This is the first morning in six he's got up and isn't crying so hopefully the amitriptyline is kicking in.

    Sue
     
  10. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    558
    Stow-on-the-Wold
    Hi Sue

    "I'm a bit depressed myself but we can't show it can we" - oh yes we can, in fact I would go as far as saying we must. I have been down this road and I know that a carer's mental health is of paramount importance if we are to carry on careing.

    Please look after yourself.

    I hope that your other problems are sorted out but I felt that it was important that I pointed out how vital it is for you to remain healthy, both physically and mentally.

    Hugs

    Dick
     
  11. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    265
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Thank you Dick. I suppose we have to show we are depressed to the right people? I have taken Prozac for the past 8 years or so, that's not to say I'm permanently depressed but I started on them when our grandson died 8 years ago and then my marriage wasn't good, then my Dad was ill and died and there just hasn't been a good time to come off them.

    I think I'm ok physically. He hasn't been too bad until this depression set in and I've found this quite draining so I now realize we have to be on top form to care for them when times aren't so good. I hope I'm as strong as I thought I was!!

    Love Sue
     

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