Depression is a common health issue among caregivers for many reasons. Family caregivers can manage depression by finding a balance between their personal lives and their caregiving duties. Here are some things caregivers can do to manage depression.
1. Exercise Regularly
When caregivers are physically active, their bodies release positive endorphins that fight against stress, boost emotional wellbeing, and prevent depression. Family caregivers can stay active by walking, dancing, or doing yoga, aerobics, or other forms of exercise. While participating in physical activities, family caregivers can focus on something other than their caregiving duties, which could reduce the risk of anxiety and depression.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need a break from your caregiving duties to exercise. Families looking to hire a Coral Gables in-home caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve.
2. Take Time Off
Taking time off is necessary for all caregivers, regardless if they take two hours away or two weeks off. The purpose of the time off is to rest, regroup, and regain a clear and objective mind. When you take time off, you can relax, focus on positive things that boost your mental and emotional health, and lower your risk of depression.
3. Manage Stress
Excessive stress is one of the main causes of depression among caregivers. Caregiving duties may become too much to manage, leading to anxiety attacks. To reduce stress levels, family caregivers should find ways to simplify the caregiving process and remember their elderly loved ones are in a situation they cannot control. Instead of being angry and resentful, caregivers should personalize their caregiving tactics. For example, you could tailor daily activities based on your loved one’s physical and mental abilities, making day-to-day routines easier and less stressful for both of you to manage.
4. Maintain Social Connections
Many caregivers withdraw from social activities, which puts them at risk of depression. Instead of going out and enjoying activities that make them feel happy, some family caregivers focus solely on the needs of their senior loved ones and begin to isolate themselves. You need to maintain social connections with people other than your loved one, which means going to lunch with friends, taking day trips to the spa, going to the movies with your family, or joining a local support group for family caregivers. Maintaining these connections could enhance your mood and stave off depression.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to take some time off your caregiving duties. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching in-home care agencies. Coral Gables families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
5. Praise Yourself for Your Hard Work
When family caregivers feel like they are failing, they often become depressed. They feel as though their elderly loved ones are not getting better, and it’s their fault. However, caregivers should remember to accept their best. Instead of being down on yourself, practice self-praise. Applaud yourself each day, regardless of how challenging the day has been. You can also treat yourself to lunch, dinner, a shopping trip, or another activity that enhances your mood and overall wellbeing.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Coral Gables Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, call one of our professional Care Managers at 1 (305) 964-5636 today.