When you become a caregiver to an older adult with serious medical conditions, you may be overwhelmed by the demands on your time and by the emotional impact of having an ill loved one. The stress of being a caregiver can lead to depression, a medical problem that needs to be treated and managed.
Caregiver Depression Symptoms.
Being depressed is much more than just having a bad day now and then. When a caregiver is depressed, the feelings of sadness go on for a long time and other symptoms may be present. Some of the symptoms that may occur during an episode of depression are:
- Crying often and easily.
- Having angry outbursts or being irritable.
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, like hobbies or sports.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Lack of appetite or eating too much as a way of suppressing feelings.
- Feeling anxious or agitated.
- Having thoughts of death or committing suicide.
- Feeling worthless or focusing too much on failures.
Preventing Caregiver Depression.
Being a caregiver doesn’t automatically mean that you will one day develop caregiver depression. However, it does mean that you should be aware of the potential and take steps to prevent the problem. Some things you can do to prevent caregiver depression are:
- Ask for Help: Don’t expect to do everything on your own. Being a caregiver is a big job, and it’s okay to ask friends and family members for help. You may be surprised how many people are willing to help but need to be asked. If you don’t have anyone that can help, contact a home care agency and inquire about hiring a home care provider. Home care providers can assist for just a few hours per week up to full days and nights.
- Be Involved in Relationships: Don’t neglect your relationships with other people because you’re spending too much time on being a caregiver. Even a quick phone call to a friend or a chat over a cup of coffee can help you to remain connected.
- Join a Support Group: Look for a caregiver support group to join, either in person or online. Support groups give you a safe place to vent your feelings and get tips from other caregivers.
- Look After Your Own Health: Caregivers sometimes neglect their own health because they are busy taking care of someone else. Keep up with your regular medical appointments, eat a healthy diet, and take time to exercise.
By taking some time for yourself, you can prevent yourself from developing caregiver depression. However, should you begin to recognize symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor. Counseling and medications can help treat depression and keep the condition from getting worse.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional caregiver services in Hoover, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
They have three teenage children and are actively involved in their church and community – both teach high school Sunday school while Dennis coaches youth sports and Kelly leads a women’s Bible study. Dennis & Kelly personally manage the daily activities of the company.
It is their passion and commitment to providing quality and responsive service that has made their company the fastest growing home care agency in Birmingham.
They believe that being an independently owned and operated company gives them the flexibility to manage their business in a way that better serves their clients.
They understand you have a choice in care providers and they will do their utmost to earn your trust.
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