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Spreading the Word about Caregiver Depression

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 8:00 am on

Caregiver depression is rarely talked about, yet its prevalence in the community is finally being recognized. Currently, it is estimated that approximately 20 percent of family caregivers are suffering from depression, which is nearly twice the rate of the general population. Unfortunately, many families who provide home care in Sonoma County for an aging loved one suffer in silence, and are unaware of the many resources that are available to help them cope with their symptoms. For this reason, it is important to spread the word about caregiver depression, its symptoms and strategies that can help inexperienced and overwhelmed family caregivers cope with their care responsibilities.

Signs of Caregiver Depression

Many caregivers experience symptoms of depression, yet they attribute them to simply being overwhelmed and tired from their duties. While it is normal to feel some fluctuating emotions as a caregiver, any fatigue, sadness or irritability that lasts for more than two weeks could be related to depression. It is also important for caregivers to be aware of less commonly known symptoms of depression such as unexplained body aches, insomnia and changes in appetite.

Strategies for Promoting Mental Well-Being

When a caregiver is surrounded by support, they are less likely to experience depression. In many cases, depression can be prevented by establishing a network of support early on in one’s caregiving transition. This network can consist of other family members, a medical team and professional outside caregivers in Sonoma County who can step in and provide respite. Those who are already experiencing signs of depression should always discuss their symptoms with a doctor to determine if medication, lifestyle changes and relaxation exercises can provide relief. Support groups can also provide a place for caregivers to feel comfortable enough to talk about the challenges they encounter.

If you are a caregiver or you know a caregiver, it is important to that depression is a common condition and one that should not be overlooked. By spreading the word, everyone can do their part to ensure the health and well-being of every caregiver in local community.

To learn more about respite services nearest you, call 707-843-4368 and speak with a friendly Home Care Assistance Care Manager. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of live-in and hourly home care in Sonoma County. We have a team of dedicated caregivers who can provide you with the respite you need, while ensuring the highest level of quality care is delivered to your aging loved one. We offer complimentary consultations and never require any obligations or upfront fees. Reach out to us today.