Depression and Caregiving Go Hand in Hand

depression and caregiving - st. joseph mi senior care
Acting as a family caregiver has rewards, but also risks, including depression.

There is no question that it’s an incredible honor to care for those we love. Family caregivers encounter a closeness and bond with those in their care that usually far outweighs the downsides. But there are challenges that make depression and caregiving a common occurrence. A continuous to-do list to ensure the senior you are providing care for is as happy and healthy as possible. Household chores and errands to run. Career obligations. The requirements of other family members and friends. And don’t forget self-care.

The result is an often overwhelming quantity of stress, that if left unchecked, can rapidly turn into caregiver burnout as well as depression that may develop in any or each of the following ways:

  • Feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness, stress
  • Difficulty with falling or staying asleep during the night
  • Lack of interest in formerly-enjoyed activities
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Delayed thinking
  • And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts or possibly attempts at suicide

This brief online assessment can help you determine if you are experiencing depression.

The good thing is, there are a number of simple steps you’re able to take to lower your chance of falling into depression:

  • Most importantly, schedule an appointment with your doctor for assistance
  • Avoid isolating yourself and ensure lots of chances for socialization outside of your caregiving relationship
  • Remain active, both physically and mentally, with activities you like: swimming, playing a sport, reading, volunteering with a cause that’s important to you personally

Although it may be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time needed for self-care, it is imperative to the wellbeing of both the caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. And many times, family members feel as if they should do it all themselves – after all, they understand the individual much better than anyone else, and sometimes it simply seems better to manage everything independently.

An overstressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver needs to have trustworthy, reliable support – and the good news is, it is readily available! A knowledgeable caregiver providing Kalamazoo, MI home care, like those at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, can provide as much or as little assistance as necessary. Perhaps, for instance, you want to continue to make all the meals for your senior loved one – but would love some assistance with tidying up the kitchen afterwards. Or perhaps your loved one would feel more at ease with an experienced care provider providing assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing and using the toilet.

At Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, we recognize how complicated life can become for family caregivers, and we work with families to develop a plan of care that meets each person’s specific needs and desires. Let us assist with reliable, professional respite care. Contact us for more information about depression and caregiving or how our St. Joseph, MI senior care can help. For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page.

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