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How to Handle Caregiver Depression


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By Brenda Enright
Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke

Being the caregiver of a senior takes its toll on you mentally and physically.

Suggestions to Reduce Stress and Regain Your Mental Health

Being the caregiver of a senior takes its toll on you mentally and physically. There are constant demands from your aging loved one, your spouse, your children, and your boss. You may feel like you are pulled in all directions. Some days may be better than others. You can laugh at the future and go about your duties. Then there are the “bad” days like those times when your mother is fighting you every time you remind her to take her medications. When those days pile up with no end in sight, you may find that you are fighting emotions of anger, irritability, sadness, or hopelessness.

Depression is a real problem for caregivers of aged family members. You don’t have to handle everything on your own. Get some respite from your duties so you can recharge when you enlist the services of a Personal Support Worker (PSW) from Home Instead Senior Care in Etobicoke. We not only give you a break, but we also can help Dad age at home with our personalized services including light household duties and cooking nutritious meals. Let us help ease your burden.

7 General Signs of Depression

Caregiver depression is very real. It is even more prevalent if your senior has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Consider if you have any of these symptoms:

  1. You have lost or gained weight because of a change in your eating habits.
  2. Your sleep patterns have changed. You either sleep too much or not enough.
  3. You suffer from continuous fatigue.
  4. Activities that used to be enjoyable are no longer of interest to you.
  5. You lose your patience and become easily agitated.
  6. You never feel good enough.
  7. You have thoughts of suicide or death.

5 Proactive Steps to Mitigate Caregiver Depression

All is not lost! You can perform your duties while dealing with depression. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  1. Talk to your doctor. First and foremost, consult with your physician. There is nothing shameful about depression. It just indicates things are a little “off.” Your doctor can help you get a step in the right direction.
  2. Stop the feeling of overwhelm. Take your large tasks and projects and break them down into smaller ones. Prioritize them, and do what you can, knowing you can’t do everything.
  3. Make some time for yourself. Join a book club. Go out for lunch with friends. Do something you love to do.
  4. Replace negative thinking with positive thoughts. Instead of berating yourself because Mom got a little upset with you, remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Think of the positive things, like how you and your mother enjoyed a cup of tea and reminisced about your grandmother’s famous chocolate cake.
  5. Find someone to talk with. It would help if you had others to listen when you need a comforting word. Seek out support groups, close friends, or another family member. They can often give you a different angle that helps ease things.

Don’t Let Depression Consume You – Let Home Instead Senior Care Help

It is easy to become overwhelmed by everything you have to accomplish. Before you get too upset or frustrated, seek out the services of a professional caregiver from Home Instead Senior Care. We offer you much-needed respite care, transportation, cooking, and personal care. We step in when and where you need us most.

Call us at (416) 239-2200 to book an in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality home care we deliver each day to families in the Etobicoke area.


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