Home Care in New Canaan, CT
Taking care of day to day tasks such as making doctor’s appointments, cleaning, and maintaining a safe home are a big part of a caregiver’s role. But, an even bigger aspect of their role may actually be the emotional support they must give to their loved one each and every day. When caring for an elderly loved one who suffers from depression, this is especially important. Being a caregiver for someone with depression is a unique and challenging job. Here are a few tips for family caregivers who are caring for an elderly loved one who suffers from depression.
Recognize the Signs of Depression
If you suspect your loved one is developing depression, but they don’t have a diagnosis yet, it is important for you as a caregiver to watch your loved one for the signs of depression and document your observations. Be sure to write down the times when you notice your loved one feeling sad, hopeless, or fatigued. Be aware of their participation in fun activities. Are they losing interest? If you believe that your loved one may be developing depression, encourage them to get medical attention and report your observations to the doctor.
Encourage Them to Get Treatment
If their doctor has recommended that your loved one attend counseling and/or take a prescription medication for their depression, make sure your loved one follows through with these treatments. If they feel a treatment option is not working for them, discuss it with them and then encourage them to bring it up to the doctor.
Help Them With Lifestyle Changes
One way to manage depression is to make certain lifestyle changes in addition to participating in counseling and/or taking medication. These changes include participating in more active activities, eating a healthy diet, keeping a regular sleep schedule, and participating in social activities. It is important for caregivers to encourage these new behaviors without being forceful. Your loved one may be interested in making these changes, but it is certainly ok if they’d like to take it slow.
One of the most important things you can do as a caregiver of someone with depression is be a good listener. This means allowing them to express their feelings to you when they need to. Sometimes the best way to be supportive is just to listen to what they have to say without being judgmental or critical. Depression can be scary and difficult to manage for elderly adults, so they need their caregivers to be supportive and understanding.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in New Canaan, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.