Elder Care in Boynton Beach FL
If you knew before you became a family caregiver that doing so would put you in a group that has a more than 30 percent chance of developing a specific illness, and you would be at far greater risk of that illness than others in the population who are not caregivers, would it have made you think differently about taking on the role?
Knowing this likely would not have made you change your mind about becoming a caregiver, but it might have inspired you to spend more time planning your care approach and putting steps into place to help you prevent the illness or be able to handle it should it arise. The truth is, that illness does exist. It is depression, and research shows that family caregivers of elderly adults are far more likely to experience it. This is especially true for those who are caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, which can push the chances of suffering from depression to more than 40 percent.
Many family caregivers are aware of the risk of depression among elderly adults. After all, around 14 percent of those who receive home care will suffer from depression, and this increases after the loss of a spouse or diagnosis with a serious condition or a loss of independence. With all of your preparations and efforts to try to protect your parent, however, you might have overlooked the chances that you would actually deal with this condition. Being prepared for this and putting steps into place to help you cope with it are critical to not only preserving your health and well-being, but to making sure that you can continue to be the highest quality caregiver possible for your aging loved one.
Try these ways to help you cope with your own depression in your elder care journey:
• Admit it to yourself. You are not going to be able to overcome your depression if you are not honest enough with yourself to admit that you are going through it in the first place. Take a moment to acknowledge what you are feeling and why you are feeling it. Give yourself permission to have your own emotions and reactions to what is going on around you, and, even more importantly, to do what you need to do to overcome them.
• Choose yourself. Everyone has heard safety spiels that include recommendations for how to handle an emergency. Whenever the announcement gets to the point when it tells you what to do if there is an urgent situation, it always tells you to take care of yourself first. Remember this when it comes to your elder care efforts. You cannot be a good caregiver if you are letting yourself get run down. Take care of your own needs and ensure that you are at your best before focusing on others.
• Get support. Never feel ashamed of what you are going through. Depression is a mental illness, something that does not discriminate. Seek out support and encouragement from those you love as well as a caregiver support group to help you move through this hard time and stay healthier and stronger throughout your care journey.