Manah, no one has said anything to your question. You must miss talking to your father so very much. Your whole family seems to need his guidance right now, and instead are being left making decisions for him instead. There comes a terrible time late, late at night, when you realize that your parent, as your parent, is no longer here. Maybe that is what is happening to you now. It's a huge loss. It happens slowly when their physical being is still with us, whether the loss happens by dementia, depression, mental illness, misuse of mind altering substances, mental exhaustion from chronic disease or pain. Maybe your father can't say what he wants because he knows you aren't ready to take in the thoughts he has to express and that's why he doesn't use the device. Your family hasn't failed your father, and you haven't failed in convincing him to use a communication device. You are still it seems communicating with him by looking in his eyes. When you look in his eyes be silent. Hold his hand, sit with him, look in his eyes, accept his look and be silent. Maybe that is all he has to say, that he wants acceptance right now. I realize it's frustrating and that being unable to help change his situation is crushing your hearts and souls. You can't do this for him, but you can be there with him, and love him regardless of how he chooses to respond to his situation (yes, I'm listening to myself). Can't answer your question of how long he's going to be in this condition, which condition? The one of not being able to communicate? Or the one of depression? Or the one of paralysis? Can't say, I read a mother's post on CaringBridge today and she said "paralysis is fluid". Depression can only be blunted with meds, but the underlying cause has to be dealt with or the depression remains and doesn't get better, it gets worse. You seem to ask for him, but for your family also, why if he's not getting worse from the vent caused illness, the paralysis, from the depression he's not getting better. Because, he just is stable. Not better, not worse, just stable where he is right now. There's sometimes no explaining stuff so we understand. But it's not just your father. My mom, who's an 81 year old quad 10 years post injury, won't try new devices that could allow her to keep in touch with her friends; she won't leave the house unless going to a doctor; she won't get hearing aids so she could communicate better with her caregivers and Dad and on the speaker phone; she won't think about anything and has checked out of their life - doesn't know what's in the fridge, no idea what bills are being paid or aren't, no idea what towels or sheets they have, can't tell you how her wheel chair works or what insurance pays for. My mom has told me what she wants, very specifically, in two very candid conversations we've had, and it was what I expected but not what I wanted to hear. I know that if she'd understood the outcome of her fall she wouldn't have called for help, and if she could figure out a way, she'd end her life. She knows I can't actively help her do that. In the meantime it's my responsibility to understand all I can about my parent's situation so I can help should something happen to my dad. I'm so sorry for your sadness, your grief, your frustration, your feelings of "if we could just get him to try this.....it would be so much better.." But I'm telling you, if he doesn't want to, you won't find anything that's going to help, and you're just going to make yourselves more sad. Two years ago just before Christmas I had left her house after a day that ended in one of the serious talks. When I voiced my concerns she'd told me to "F*** off. Everything was just peachy." While I drove to my cousin's where I was staying, I made the decision to stop worrying about it all because I couldn't change her, the situation, the interaction between my parents, their choices. All I could do was change me, and my reactions to everything. So I did. That night and it's helped me tremendously. So back to that late night many years ago when I realized that she's not Mom anymore. I lost my mom when she fell and broke her neck. I miss her so much I have no words to express it. Find a support group for caregivers, seek therapy yourselves. Then just sit with your dad, hold his hand and look into his eyes. Accept him for where he is now.