Family Caregiver Depression: You May Be At Risk

Woman stressed alone in the room

Avoid family caregiver depression so you can be at your best for the ones you love.

There is no question that it’s a wonderful honor to care for those we love. Family caregivers experience a closeness and connection with those in their care that very often far outweighs the downsides. However, unfortunately there are difficulties that come along with caring for a senior loved one. A continuous to-do list to make certain the senior you’re providing care for is as happy and healthy as possible. Household activities and errands to run. Job obligations. The needs of other relatives and friends. And don’t leave out self-care.

The end result is an often daunting degree of stress, that if left unchecked, can easily turn into caregiver burnout and even caregiver depression that could develop in any or each of the following ways:

  • Feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness, anxiety
  • Trouble with falling or staying asleep through the night
  • Lack of interest in previously-loved activities
  • Eating more or not as much as usual
  • Delayed thinking
  • And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts or possibly attempts at suicide

This brief online assessment makes it possible to see whether you may be experiencing depression.

The good thing is, there are a number of simple steps that you can take to lessen your chance of falling into caregiver depression:

  • Most importantly, make an appointment with the doctor for assistance
  • Avoid isolating yourself and ensure lots of opportunities for socialization outside of your caregiving relationship
  • Remain active, both physically and mentally, with activities you enjoy: swimming, playing a sport, reading, volunteering with a cause that is important to you

Although it can be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time needed for self-care, it is extremely important to the health of both the family caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. And lots of times, family caregivers feel as though they must do it all themselves – after all, they are familiar with the individual much better than anyone else, and often it just seems easier to manage things independently.

An overly stressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver requires trusted, reliable support – and the best news is, it is readily available! A professional, in-home caregiver can provide as much or as little assistance as needed. Perhaps, for example, you want to continue to prepare most of the meals for your loved one – but would love some assistance with tidying up the kitchen afterwards. Or possibly your parent would feel more at ease with a skilled care provider providing assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing and assistance in the restroom.

At CareWorks Health Services, we understand how complicated life can become for family caregivers, and we work with families to create a strategy of care that meets each person’s unique desires and needs. Let us help with our reliable, professional in home caregivers in Orange County and surrounding areas. Contact us or call (949) 859-4700 any time for additional information.