Over the past while I've been very concerned about my Grandma. She is getting much older now, and ever since the loss of my Grandpa many years back, she has been on a downward spiral into depression.
Lately though, it's gotten much worse. She has been having problems with her foot going numb, and she fell as a result of it, fracturing a bone in her foot. Not being able to risk that happening again, we got her a walker (well, 2 walkers actually) to help her maintain more independence, and not have to rely on us for rides. Of course we offer rides, and would be more than happy to help, but she is literally the most stubborn woman on the planet (followed closely by me, and my mother) and refuses just about any and all help unless you just force it on her and hope for the best. For example, this weekend would have been my Grandpa's birthday, and she wanted to go to the cemetery to visit his grave, which is quite far even on the bus, so my mom offered to drive her up there. But, of course she refused the ride, even though was supposed to pour buckets. Of course, it does end up raining so she didn't go at all. But she didn't just refuse the ride, she gets mean and nasty at times, and then almost threateningly says 'I'll just go myself anyways, I don't care if I get stuck or if anything happens to me!'. This of course devastates my mom, and I'm left with two stubborn women.
I understand, really, I do. Well, I can never truly understand, but I get the gist. She lost her husband, she is lonely, she wants to keep her independence, she doesn't want to rely on family to take her everywhere, she despises the walker, and hates everything right now because she feels confined to the house and the walker. But she's gone beyond 'bummed out' to seriously depressed. Some of the things she says are very worrying, and while I seriously doubt she'd ever do anything too harm herself, I don't doubt that she doesn't care if anything bad did happen to her. My mom has tried talking to her about it, but was shut down and she refused to discuss it. I've broached the subject with her, and after her endlessly changing the topic and avoiding it, she finally listened. I mentioned she should see her doctor, maybe there is something that can help, but she is dead set on not taking anything she doesn't need (although what she thinks she needs is arguable at this point). She did divulge that shortly after the loss of my Grandpa she did get something from the Doctor, a benzodiazepine, which she said didn't help, so she stopped it that week. According to her current logic, that medication didn't work, so NOTHING will ever work again in the history of man and medicine! Ugh. I think she needs an antidepressant, not a benzo; but regardless, she refuses everything.
She does have an appointment with her family doctor later this month, and I am really hoping that she will mention how she's been feeling, but realistically the odds of that aren't good. I'm going to see if she will let me or my mom go along to her appointment, as she's let us before. But if she does allow me to go, is it wrong of ME to say something to the doctor? Anyone have any experience with depression in seniors, advice, or ideas that might help? I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to help any further here.