Depression impacts over 18 million adults throughout the United States each year. Experts estimate that between 1 and 5 percent of the older adult population suffers from depression, and this number increases to over 13 percent among those requiring ongoing care. Depression itself can be challenging and difficult, but it also carries a variety of risks that can threaten mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being.
Understanding these risks allows you to better care for your aging parent, and yourself, should depression be a part of your care journey with them.
Some of the risks of depression include:
- Higher chances of a person becoming addicted to, or reliant on, a substance such as alcohol or drugs.
- Potential for self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
- Higher chances of exhibiting dangerous or self-destructive behaviors, such as not following basic safety precautions, or taking serious risks.
- Inability to handle daily tasks effectively, or complete tasks with the desired result, such as not being able to finish crafting projects, or work around the house.
- Strain in relationships caused by withdrawal from social activities, and not wanting to interact with others.
- Exhaustion that makes it difficult for your aging parent to participate in daily life, and take care of themselves, their home, and other responsibilities.
- Diminished perspective of the world around them, and the resulting decrease in motivation to take care of themselves, pursue proactive and reactive health interventions, and look ahead to the future.
- Increased vulnerability to illness and infection, which can be very serious for elderly adults who are already more prone to these issues, and serious consequences related to them. This also means they will have a more difficult time recovering from these illnesses or infections.
You do not have to face your caregiver journey alone. Home care can help. When you are facing the challenges of being a family caregiver for an elderly adult, you do not have to feel as though all of the burdens and difficulties are completely yours to handle. Instead, bringing a home care services provider into your care routine with your parent provides valuable benefits for both your parent, and you.
The customized care of a home care provider ensures your senior has ongoing access to all of the care, support, and assistance they need to manage their challenges effectively, support independence and fulfillment, and give you more time and flexibility in your schedule. This allows both of you to live a higher quality of life as your senior ages.