Family Caregiver Depression: Are You at Risk?

Caregiver Depression

Depression can easily sneak up on family caregivers.

There is no question that it’s a wonderful honor to care for people we love. Family caregivers encounter a closeness and bond with those in their care that very often far outweighs the downsides. However, there are difficulties. A perpetual to-do list to ensure the person you’re providing care for is as healthy and happy as possible. Household duties and errands to manage. Job responsibilities. The needs of other loved ones and friends. And don’t overlook self-care as a way to prevent caregiver depression.

The end result is an often overwhelming amount of stress, that if left unchecked, can quickly turn into caregiver burnout and even depression, which could manifest in any or all of the following ways:

  • Feelings of frustration, sadness, hopelessness, stress
  • Difficulty with falling or remaining asleep through the night
  • Lack of interest in previously-enjoyed activities
  • Eating more or less than normal
  • Delayed thinking
  • And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts and even attempts at suicide

This short online assessment will allow you to see whether you may be experiencing depression.

Fortunately, there are several easy steps you can take to lessen your potential for falling into depression:

  • To start, make an appointment with your health care provider for assistance
  • Avoid isolating yourself and ensure plenty of opportunities for socialization away from your caregiving relationship
  • Remain active, both physically and mentally, with activities you enjoy: swimming, playing a game, reading, volunteering with a cause that is important to you

While it could be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time essential for self-care, it is imperative to the health of both the family caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. And many times, family caregivers feel as if they should do it all on their own – after all, they know the older adult much better than anyone else, and in some cases it just seems better to manage things on one’s own.

An overly stressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver should have trusted, reliable support – and the great news is, it is easily obtainable! A knowledgeable home caregiver can provide as much or as little assistance as necessary. Perhaps, for instance, you’d like to continue to prepare all of the meals for your senior loved one – but would like some assistance with cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. Or perhaps your parent would feel much more comfortable with a skilled caregiver providing assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing and using the toilet.

At Midnight Sun Home Care, we understand how complicated life can become for family caregivers, and we work with families to develop a plan of care that meets each person’s individual needs and desires. Let us assist with trustworthy, professional respite care. Contact us at (907) 677-7890 any time to find out more about the personal care assistant Anchorage, Alaska and the surrounding areas trust.

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