Older adults are at a much greater risk of developing depression. So much has changed in your aging family member’s life and those changes may be ones that are difficult for her to process on her own. You may not be able to completely eradicate depression for your senior, but you can certainly take some steps to help her to manage what is going on.
Maintaining Her Independence Can Be Crucial
Depression lies to people all the time. In your senior’s case, depression might tell her that she can’t do anything that she loves anymore. She might even start to believe that you’re going to force her to move somewhere else. Maintaining her independence can be a massive part of helping her to beat those feelings. Hiring home care providers is a powerful way to help her to maintain her independence, especially once she realizes that having help doesn’t mean that she’s infirm in any way.
Your Support Matters a Lot
Hearing that you support her can do a lot more than you realize for your senior’s state of mind right now. She may not necessarily need you to solve every problem for her, but knowing that you’re there and that you’re listening to her helps so much. When she’s upset, let her vent. If she’s not ready to talk just yet, don’t try to force the issue.
Her Doctor Can Help
Depression is something that your senior doesn’t have to keep battling on her own. There are lifestyle solutions, like making sure that she has help around the house, but depression can be a medical problem, too. Talk with your elderly family member’s doctor about what she’s experiencing. There may be medications she can try or other tests that her doctor can run to determine a cause.
Don’t Overlook Your Own Needs
Another factor you might not have considered is that you are affected by your senior’s depression, too. It takes a lot out of you to be able to help her to manage how she’s feeling. Talking to other caregivers can help, especially if you find that you’re experiencing signs of depression, too. Make sure that you’re not ignoring your own needs to focus solely on those of your senior family member.
Depression affects everyone differently. Your elderly family member might want to withdraw, her eating habits might change, and she might experience other issues, too. Be patient with her and with yourself as you both learn how to help her to deal with what she’s feeling.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Manchester, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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