October 21, 2019

depression and caregiving

Depression and caregiving can go hand-in-hand. Know the signs.

There’s no question that it’s a great honor to care for those we love. Family caregivers experience a closeness and bond with those in their care that very often far outweighs the difficulties. But there are difficulties. A never-ending to-do list to make sure the person you are providing care for is as healthy and happy as possible. Household chores and errands to run. Career responsibilities. The needs of other family members and friends. And don’t forget self-care.

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

  • Feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness, anxiety
  • Difficulty with falling or remaining asleep at night
  • Lack of interest in previously-enjoyed activities
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Delayed thinking
  • And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts or even attempts

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

The good news is, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your chance of depression and caregiving:

  • First and foremost, make an appointment with your doctor for help
  • Avoid isolating yourself and ensure plenty of opportunities for socialization outside of your caregiving relationship
  • Stay active, both physically and mentally, with activities you enjoy: swimming, playing a sport, reading, volunteering with a cause that’s important to you

While it can be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time needed for self-care, it’s vitally important to the health of both the caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. And many times, family members feel as though they have to do it all themselves – after all, they know the senior better than anyone else, and sometimes it just seems easier to manage everything independently.

An overstressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver needs trusted, reliable support – and the good news is, it is readily available! Professional, in home senior care in St. Louis, MO can provide as much or as little help as needed. Perhaps, for instance, you prefer to continue to prepare all of the meals for your loved one – but would love some help with cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. Or maybe your loved one would feel more comfortable with a professional caregiver providing assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing and using the toilet.

At Continuum, we understand how overwhelming life can feel for family caregivers, and we work with families to create a plan of care that meets each person’s individual needs and desires. Let our trusted, professional caregivers help with private home care in St. Louis, MO and the surrounding areas. Contact us or call (314) 863-9912 any time to learn more about ways to avoid and treat depression in caregiving.