What Do Caregivers Need to Know about Their Well-Being and that of the Senior?
In addition to taking caring of a loved one, there’s work, children and other responsibilities to worry about.
WFMY’s recent article entitled “Stay healthy while keeping your loved one healthy: 2 Wants to Know” reminds us that it’s important to care for yourself and your loved one’s mental and physical well-being.
Some of the signs that a senior loved one might have a mental health condition that should be addressed can be gradual and subtle. A consultation with their doctor would be recommended, if your loved one is:
- Experiencing a change in sleeping patterns
- Feeling unusually confused, on edge, worried, or afraid
- Having low or no energy
- Eating much more or less than normal
- Experiencing prolonged grief that doesn’t subside
- Losing interest in things he or she once enjoyed
- Feeling helpless or hopeless; and
- Expressing thoughts of suicide.
Know that your loved one’s doctor might recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, interventions and instruction about lifestyle changes that promote positive mental health. Geriatric mental health professionals may prescribe medications.
A caregiver can support the health and mental health of older adults, by coordinating their care. Most senior patients see a number of healthcare providers, and they frequently have a complicated care routine to follow.
Professional in-home caregivers help monitor schedules of appointments, accompany the elderly to the doctor and pharmacy and provide health reminders.
A home environment should be conducive to good mental health, and professional caregivers help with bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation and housekeeping. They provide companionship for seniors that staves off social isolation and loneliness. They provide mental stimulation that lifts the spirits.
Family caregiver distress is reduced significantly, when a family partners with professional caregivers. In-home caregivers keep the family up to date about their loved one’s condition. The resulting peace of mind lets family focus on their jobs, their other responsibilities and their own health.
Reference: WFMY (May 26, 2021) “Stay healthy while keeping your loved one healthy: 2 Wants to Know”