Caring for a Loved One? You May Be at Risk for Caregiver Depression
- By: Scott Vanderhoef
- Alzheimer's Disease
There’s no question that it’s a great honor to care for people we love. Family caregivers encounter a closeness and bond with those in their care that very often far outweighs the difficulties. But yet there are challenges. A never-ending to-do list to make sure the senior loved one you’re providing care for is as healthy and happy as possible. Household duties and errands to run. Career obligations. The needs of other family members and friends. And don’t leave out self-care.
The result is an often daunting quantity of stress, that when left unchecked, can very quickly transform into caregiver burnout as well as caregiver depression, which could develop in any or each of the following ways:
• Thoughts of frustration, sadness, despair, anxiety
• Difficulty with falling or remaining asleep through the night
• Lack of interest in previously-loved activities
• Eating more or not as much as normal
• Delayed thinking
• And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts or possibly attempts at suicide
This short online assessment can help you see whether you may be experiencing depression.
Thankfully, there are several simple steps it’s possible to take to lower your chance of falling into depression:
• To start, make an appointment with your health care provider for assistance
• Avoid isolating yourself and ensure plenty of chances for socialization outside of your caregiving relationship
• Remain active, both physically and mentally, with activities you love: swimming, playing a game, reading, volunteering with a cause that is important to you
Although it can be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time necessary for self-care, it is vitally important to the health of both the caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. And many times, family feel as though they need to do it all by themselves – after all, they understand the older adult better than anyone else, and in some cases it simply seems much easier to manage things independently.
However, an overly stressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver needs to have trustworthy, reliable support – and the best news is, it is easily obtainable! An experienced, agency caregiver can provide as much or as little care support as necessary. Perhaps, for instance, you prefer to continue to prepare all the meals for your loved one – but would love some assistance with cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. Or possibly your loved one would feel more comfortable with a skilled caregiver providing assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing and assistance in the restroom.
At Heaven At Home Senior Care, the best providers of in home care and hospice Plano and the surrounding area depend on, we know how complicated life can feel for family caregivers, and we work with families to develop a plan of care that meets each person’s unique needs and desires. Let us assist with trusted, professional respite care. Reach out to us online or call 866-381-0500 any time to learn more.