How A Caregiver Can Help a Senior With DepressionHollie Pollard
There are so many ways we can help those we care for battle depression.
First, know the signs:
- Not eating or eating more than before
- Feeling tired for no reason
- Not answering the phone or the door
- Seems confused
- Has trouble remembering things
- Can’t concentrate
- Sleeps poorly or too much
- Can’t make decisions or doesn’t follow through
- Spends more time alone
Simply knowing the symptoms can often help prevent a crisis and can lead to conversations that can help someone. As a caregiver, you play a vital role in someone seeking assistance.
Please remember a few “blue days” is not depression. There can be reasons for feeling down that are very real but if it starts to feel like a tunnel with no light at the end of it, it may be time to seek help.
Here are a few of the things that you can do to help those you care about if you feel these signs are leading to serious depression.
Tell Family, Care Team
- You will need a support team in place and that can start by talking to the family and care team of those you care for.
- As a caregiver, you can sensitively let your client know you have noticed a change in them, in their mood or behaviour. You can suggest they speak with their physician and family.
- Need to help a senior reach out? First, they should reach out to their family doctor. After that, you can have them seek assistance if they are in crisis by reaching out to the Mental Health Helpline. Here is Ontario, the phone number for them is 1-866-531-2600.
- Once you let them know, follow up. Ensure a plan is put in place to help those you care about return to full health. You may even want to assist them to get to the doctor’s appointment.
We often worry about those we care for, it comes with being a caregiver. It will be vital for you to remain calm, cool and collected when dealing with them. Engage in compassionate conversations, even if it is a challenge.
When you care for someone with depression it can be depressing and cause anxiousness and anxiety. Ensure you are taking care of yourself and that you have a support system in place.
When we recognize the symptoms of depression and get those we care for the help we need there can be a full recovery.