How to Lower the Chance of Depression in Elder Caregivers

There is a lot of discussions lately about the increase of depression among elder caregivers. It especially affects family members and friends who choose to fill the position of caregiver for a loved one. It is important to understand that depression is not caused by caregiving. It usually happens because the people who volunteer for this important series of tasks wear themselves down while doing everything possible to improve the loved one’s situation.

Caregivers often become fatigued and depressed

Care of the elderly taxes emotional and physical boundaries. Caregivers want friends and family to experience the best quality of life available. It’s a difficult goal for anyone and, usually, results in exhaustion and unhappiness. Healthy meals, social activity, and the proper amount of rest or sleep are neglected as the loved one’s needs are put first. Signs of possible depression, including guilt, anger, and doubt, cause caregivers to question their ability to do everything possible.

Many different suggestions address ways to combat depression and the feeling of failure. Some elder caregivers start the day with a positive statement to remind themselves of their own value. Others set an attainable goal that will make both the person they care for and themselves experience a happy moment or two. An important step is to ignore criticism from people whose only contribution is complaining.

Caregivers should get as much support as possible

It’s admirable to want to be the sole caregiver for someone you care about. The reality is that no one is able to handle the constant requirements of elder care. Call a family/friend meeting and share of a list of tasks that would make things easier for you and your loved one. Someone might volunteer to cook dinner or wash dishes, providing time for you to catch your breath. A friend or relative who reads to or watches a ball game with your loved one is a reminder that he or she is important to and cherished by others.

Respite care is an opportunity for you to visit friends, watch a movie, or catch up on paying the bills. An afternoon of “me” time restores your spirits and lessens the chance of depression by taking care of yourself. Keeping yourself healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually is a vital way to keep yourself fit for the important position you fill.

Let others help you care for yourself by sharing concerns with them. Join a caregiver support group to learn more about solutions to eldercare. You’ll soon discover that anger, exhaustion, and despair are common among caregivers. A healthy diet, socialization, and adequate rest help you stay balanced. Tips shared between caregivers that help avoid depression include a good cry as you voice your concerns. Restore your positive attitude of worth by recognizing the good you’re doing.

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More on: Adult Mental Health Care, Caregiver, Depression
Latest update: October 1, 2016
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