There’s no question that it’s a great honor to care for family we love. Family caregivers experience a closeness and connection with those in their care that generally far outweigh the difficulties. Yet unfortunately there are also difficulties. A continuous to-do list to make certain the person you’re providing care for is as healthy and happy as possible. Household duties and errands to manage. Career responsibilities. The requirements of other relatives and friends. And don’t leave out self-care.
The end result is an often overwhelming degree of stress, that if left uncontrolled, can quickly transform into caregiver depression or burnout that could manifest in any or all of the following ways:
- Thoughts of frustration, unhappiness, hopelessness, stress
- Trouble with falling or staying asleep during the night
- Lack of interest in previously-enjoyed activities
- Eating more or significantly less than normal
- Delayed thinking
- And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts or possibly attempts at suicide
This short online assessment makes it possible to decide if you may be experiencing depression.
The good thing is, there are a number of easy steps to take to lessen your potential for falling into depression:
- First and foremost, schedule an appointment with your physician for help
- Refrain from isolating yourself and ensure an abundance of opportunities for socialization apart from your caregiving relationship
- Remain active, both physically and mentally, with activities you like: swimming, playing a sport, reading, volunteering with a cause that is important to you
While it could be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time required for self-care, it is imperative to the wellbeing of both family caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. And lots of times, family feel as though they need to do it all themselves – after all, they are familiar with the individual much better than anyone else, and frequently it simply seems much easier to manage things on one’s own.
An overly stressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver needs to have trustworthy, reliable support – and the great news is, it is easily available! A professional, home caregiver can provide as much or as little help as needed. Perhaps, for instance, you’d rather continue to make all of the meals for your senior loved one – but would like some help with cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. Or maybe your loved one would feel much more comfortable with an experienced caregiver providing assistance with personal care needs, for example, bathing and using the restroom.
At Responsive Home Care, leaders in home care Broward and the surrounding areas trust, we understand how overwhelming life can feel for family caregivers, and we work with families to develop a strategy of care that meets each person’s individual desires and needs. Let us assist with trustworthy, professional respite care. Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 any time for additional information about caregiver depression.