Elderly parent caregiver depression
Elderly parent caregiver depression is tough to admit. Although a very common occurrence, most caregivers are reluctant to “own” their depression.
Almost all elderly parent caregivers experience some level of depression. After all, caregiving can be a difficult, thankless and bewildering reality.
Signs of danger zone warnings
Elderly parent caregiver depression is sneaky. While caregiving often intensifies gradually, caregivers don’t stay tuned to increasing red flags. As a result, most caregivers develop a slow leak. AND, the leak expands.
Once in the danger zone caregivers feel flatfooted and off balance.Consequently, there are some danger zone warnings to heed:
- You spend more than 24 hours a week caregiving duties.
- You resent that your life no longer seems to be your own.
- Your sleep is interrupted or compromised.
- Your diet is compromised. You are gaining or losing weight.
- Your exercise is interrupted, lessened or nonexistent.
- You are smoking or drinking more.
- You are feeling isolated or missing socialization opportunities.
- Your work schedule is affected by your caregiving responsibilities.
- You find yourself easily angry, weepy or run down.
While the signs are apparent, the antidotes are not.
Elderly parent caregiver RX
Despite its many rewards,elderly parent caregiving can be overwhelming. Not to mention unhealthy -even dangerous.
http://consumer.healthday.com offers both advice and suggestions for depressed caregivers. Our American creed has long been” I can do it myself”!
NO you can’t! The risks to YOU are enormous!! And without you, what happens to your elderly parents? http://webmd.com encourages caregivers to practice self -care!
Here are ways to help lessen your pain:
- Give yourself space and separation. Translation- give yourself time OFF. Begin with minutes a day. Work up to one whole week at a time.
- List YOUR needs. Make a written commitment of your non-negotiable needs- exercise, time with family and spouse, meeting with friends,walking.
- Ask for help!! When friends ask if they can help – say YES!!!! Push your family or siblings for designated time to relieve you.
- Schedule time for fun- REALLY! it only needs to be for short “bursts” of time. Make it happen!
- Set limits. Say NO to anything that relieves your burden. Decide what is non- critical. Say NO to your parents, your family, your friends! Do you really need to pick up the prescription today or water your neighbor’s houseplants while they vacation?
- Find support. It is difficult to have support from anyone who has not travelled this path! They just don’t get it.However-there are online groups, community groups and professional coaches who can provide new perspective.
This post is not definitive . It IS a summary of a very real situation. AND a very real danger.
Elderly parent caregiving is tough.
Caregivers must be tougher. NO ONE but YOU can take the reins of the situation BUT….you can get help.
Call or email today to set up a discovery session. I KNOW this journey. AND….how to be at ease with the travel.