Depression is common among family caregivers, and it doesn’t take much for this emotional health disorder to become a serious issue. When left untreated, depression can result in many secondary complications that impact physical health and quality of life, which is why it is so important for caregivers to immediately take action as soon as they recognize the early warning signs of depression.
Contact an Emotional Health Professional
The first thing you need to do is find a local emotional health professional and schedule a consultation. Even if you aren’t diagnosed with clinical depression, one of these specialists can teach you techniques to manage your emotions. He or she can also carry out several tests to see if you have any underlying issues that need to be treated, such as generalized anxiety or panic disorder.
Another way family members can manage their depression is by hiring professional caregivers. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in home care, Dayton Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
Schedule an Exam with Your Doctor
After you have spoken with a therapist or psychologist, schedule a comprehensive exam with your primary doctor. Many medical issues trigger bouts of depression or exacerbate the symptoms. Once you have explained your symptoms to the doctor, he or she will most likely test for hormonal imbalances and nutritional deficiencies. Fixing these issues won’t necessarily eradicate the depression, but it may make the symptoms much easier to manage.
If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality non-medical in-home care, Dayton Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Focus on Better Sleep Habits
Chronic sleep deprivation could impact every facet of your life, including your emotional health. While you are sleeping, your body produces many of the “feel-good” chemicals that give you energy and regulate your emotions. Creating a strict nighttime routine is one of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy sleep schedule and reach the restorative stage of sleep as quickly as possible.
Join a Support Group
Caring for an aging loved one can be a difficult task, and many caregivers end up feeling depressed and lonely after a few months. Participating in a caregiver support group may help you overcome feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Even if your town doesn’t have a support group for caregivers, there are thousands of online groups that interact on message boards and forums.
Stay Physically Active
Within the last two decades, over 25 clinical studies have proven that moderate exercise can ward off depression. However, many caregivers feel as if they don’t have enough time in the day to go on a run or head to the gym. If this sounds like your situation, you should find a routine that can be finished in 15 or 20 minutes at home. Even a short workout can trigger the release of many chemicals and hormones that enhance your overall mood.
By hiring professional caregivers, family members can reduce their risk of experiencing depression and take time to relax, enjoy life, and socialize. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and want additional assistance from a professional elderly caregiver, Dayton Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our caregivers are available for a few hours a day to help seniors with daily tasks, and we also offer 24-hour live-in care for those who need more extensive assistance. Call us at (937) 353-1412 to schedule a free in-home consultation.