Senior Care near Cranford, NJ – Recognizing Depression
Since older people are more at risk for depression, it’s very important that you seriously consider taking your senior for screening on October 9th. It’s easy to overlook real depression as something else, and seniors themselves don’t usually know how to describe what they’re feeling. This day for depression screening nationally began as a way to reach people across America to bring them services for support. It started as an initiative in 1991 and now 23 years later, thousands of schools, organizations and communities participate in public events annually. If you want to get involved, it’s easy to do so.
Difficulties of Talking about Mental Health
One of the hardest parts is to know how to approach your senior parent to convince them to get help for their struggles. The first part in helping your parent is to recognize when they’re starting to show symptoms of depression. If you’ve seen your mother or father lose their appetite or lose interest in activities he or she used to love for more than two weeks, then it could be due to depression.
Because elderly people have more experience with loss, they’re actually less likely to be able to cope with loss and change. If your senior dad suddenly can’t drive anymore – even if you take him around or hire a senior care service to drive him places – there’s little you can do to directly make that loss feel smaller or more manageable. You can help most by recognizing his feelings and ask them about their emotions regarding this change. Just listening does more than you think.
Recognizing Depression as an Illness
Family members who have never experienced depression before may have a hard time realizing exactly what their senior parent is going through. Even if you’ve had depressive episodes before, it affects every person differently in a very personal way. You should avoid making the depressed senior feel guilty or telling them to snap out of it. There are some people who are so ill with their depression that they cannot even get out of bed.
Depending on the circumstances, your elderly loved one may have stopped taking care of himself or herself. Even when you mean well, avoid doing everything for them because it only reiterates their feelings that they are useless and incapable. Instead, you can help them do small tasks (even slowly) and praise them for the effort. Often, letting the depressed senior know that you are there for them, listening, and encouraging are the only (and the best) things that you can do for them. In the end, mental health starts within their own mind and you can only support from the outside.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care services near Crawford NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at (908-418-4299)
Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison,Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.