Remind … There are times when you have to put yourself in their shoes. How to Help an Aging Parent with Depression. The more you can understand your parent’s sources of stress, the more you can empathize and think in the direction of solutions. Do you know how many of my friends that I lost this year alone? Subscribe me to the GoodTherapy.org public newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.cswe.org/File.aspx?id=23509, © Copyright 2015 GoodTherapy.org. It’s natural to want to insist that your parent get help, but being overly pushy can make things worse. These interconnected conditions can quickly compound for immeasurable distress, or a comprehensive approach to care can untangle the grip of illness and replace it with empowered treatments and tools for coping. In fact, it’s more likely that their condition will get even worse. The aging parent who says things like "If talking … If your parent experiences a fairly constant low mood for two weeks or more, they may be suffering from major depression. Make sure all medications are taken as instructed. Keep in mind that for many in this generation, psychotherapy and mental health treatment may not be seen in a positive light, having been stigmatized throughout their lives. Encourage social interaction. Why is it so common to assume that poor quality of life is a natural part of aging? Thus, suggesting therapy may seem extreme or even insulting to an aging person, even if he or she would clearly benefit. 3. Help for Dealing with an Aging Parent’s Depression Depression in the elderly is not simply incidental. There are numerous books on the topic of depression that provide techniques for dealing with the sadness, hopelessness, resentment, anxiety and loneliness that caregivers often experience. I just encourage any of us to think about how we would feel if those things were suddenly taken away from us. Offer love and support; just letting him or her know you care and are available is enough. Clients can be assured of careful monitoring as they adjust to an ideal medication plan. Take Care of Yourself. Coping with depression. Your parents’ aging, coupled with your own life stresses, can be difficult on a good day. you feel “stuck” caring for a parent and feel like it’s a burden; you need local help since you don’t live near your aging parent; you feel depressed about the stress of caring for parents and raising your children (the sandwich generation) For many, it’s hard coping with and caring for aging parents. Dealing with toxic parents is stressful and that stress takes a toll on your emotional and physical health. Be found at the exact moment they are searching. A comprehensive treatment program also takes into account the stressors and challenges they face. Some therapy can be helpful to find a way through this, friends for sympathy and to say, wow, that is tough, to remind you that what you are doing is tough. It’s not your aging parent you wish would die, it’s the deadly part of their personality that is impossible to please and too easy to upset. Can’t say that it makes everyone around me necessarily happy, but I do think that they know that they are in good hands when I do take over. But depression is real and it can be debilitating no matter how old you are. I am guilty of being controlling, wanting to give advise and not really listening with no judgment. It’s important to get a thorough evaluation by a qualified mental health professional who is trained in a variety of treatment approaches. I wish that more people would talk about the crisis of over medicating that is going on, especially in older patients, and that we could be more aware of what these interactions can actually do to someone. It’s horrible to think but his vitriol and fury is slowly killing my mom and … sometimes they just need someone to listen to them, same as the rest of us. Please fill out all required fields to submit your message. The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. I feel like most older people try to hide their feelings and emotions because they already in some cases feel like they are being a burden on the family so they would never want to add to that by telling you that they are depressed. My mother has been depressed her whole life, largely because my father and her did not enjoy a good relationship, although they stayed married until he died a few months ago. I too have a moody teenager, who is now in denial about her health issues and though we make notes about doctor comments and appointments, she thinks I have made it all up. Check the Web. Its essential that you take extra good care of yourself. Schedule regular social activities. Whether it’s disengaging from one’s family and friends or disengaging from once-pleasurable activities like eating or exercising, it’s important for caregivers to have a toolkit of techniques to help your aging loved one engage again with their life and with others. Depression at any age is a serious psychological disorder that requires early and comprehensive care to reverse an individual’s suffering and to … Dear Caroline, I really feel for you. There are always new technologies and new ways of doing things. Be honest about the … It can spark resentment in seniors who are living with chronic pain, losing friends, experiencing memory issues, and all the other undignified things that come with getting older. A gentle approach that respects your parent as a competent adult is often the best bet. One of them is the challenge of addressing mental health issues in our aging parents. When you notice signs that your mother or father is depressed, you can help them to access the treatment options to revive their overall well-being. This is why it’s so beneficial to have third parties like a therapist. You may be able to lower your dose or switch to another medication that doesnt impact your mood. It really helped. Keep going, doing the right thing, and stay safe, both of you. And, working with a therapist, they’ll be able to face the changes and challenges before them with compassionate acceptance. Taking Care of Yourself Talk to other family members. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below. piece of writing, while I am also keen of getting familiarity. It takes some getting used to, to realize that your Mom is no longer that fierce, strong, resilient person that she was when you were younger. Just remember to keep an eye on them just like you would anyone who was experiencing this, and there are care givers out there who specialize in this sort of thing and who can help them resolve some of this pain that they are probably feeling. Common Stressors That Older Adults Experience, Help for Dealing with an Aging Parent’s Depression, signs that your mother or father is depressed, Older adults may be at risk of depression, Transitioning out of a long-time career and the related sense of purpose, Declining physical abilities as the body ages, Increasing dependence on others—waning independence, Heavy responsibilities if caring for a spouse, an adult child, or grandchildren, Worries about one’s own illnesses and overall health, Therapies for processing complex thoughts and feelings, the development of positive coping skills, and empowered relaxation, A dynamic support system composed of knowledgeable experts, family, friends, and peers enduring similar phase-of-life challenges, Home and lifestyle support to mitigate some of the inherent stressors in your parent’s life. It feels terrible sometimes. Psychologically, seniors may experience more traumatic life events, such as a loved one dying, feelings of isolation, retirement, or dealing with other chronic health conditions. Im sorry to read your story, I hope you have found some help for you. It is not easy caring for an elderly parent but with the right help and support you can provide the care they need in the comfort and familiarity of a family home. Your Parent Has Expressed A Desire To Self-Harm. Its so frustrating when a parent is happy in their isolation, although my Mom has never been a social butterfly, but I feel that she is still too young to just sit at home and watch movies all day. It’s true that we cannot escape the transitions of purpose, ability, and lifestyle as the years go on, but we can embrace and adapt with the flow of change. Some companies give these to older people for a nominal charge. I would love some input into how you really know if this is real clinical depression or is it the culmination of all of the other things that go on in life that have led to this? Common feelings of loss and frustration as well as sadness are relatively temporary. How to Help an Aging Parent with Depression … The Day-to-Day Toll of Dealing with Dementia … Offering love and care is the greatest gift we can give to aging parents … Behavior problems in children, especially aggression and defiance, don’t get a great deal … It is very important not to wish these symptoms away or try to trivialize the persons mood or symptoms. Remember to give your self breaks so you can handle the downtime and be selfish about walking away when you need to as it’s easy to get dragged down x. Disengagement is a very common symptom of depression. Talk to your parent. While growing older is inevitable, disempowerment and depression are not. I’ve talked to my GP abut getting counselling because I’ve committed to spending the next six months at home with her, taking care of her, and I may develop an illness of my own if I don’t get some help! This will mean that you have to be even more in tune to their thoughts and actions so that you can get them some help for this that they may be too ashamed or afraid to ask for help for. I love my mother deeply but I left home quite young because of her abusive tendencies. What this means for our aging parents is that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. No one needs to accept depression as a part of aging. By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's Terms and Conditions of Use. The aging process is not easy. Set limits (if you can) If the negativity gets to be too much, try setting limits. Gently suggest that perhaps it is similarly possible for your parent to improve his or her. Watching an aging parent give up and not take good care of himself or herself can be heartbreaking and frustrating. I sometimes think that it can be even harder on older people mainly because they have fewer family members around all the time and they have lost so many people in their lives by this time. Clinicians can design a treatment plan that incorporates: The dangerous trend of isolation is reversed in a community treatment environment where the focus is on individual as well as cooperative care. According to a United Nations Population Survey, 37% of adults over the age of 60 reported experiencing age discrimination in the last year, and 43% were afraid of personal violence. Does anyone have an elderly parent who is not aging well and becoming more and more difficult to deal with and depressing the whole family that you just wish they would pass away already? Have any of us stopped for a moment and actually asked them what they need for us to do to help them? You lose your strength and your independence all at the same time. By turning away from or minimizing their pain, we isolate them further. That’s wonderful news, but it comes with new challenges. Visit the self-help section of your local library or bookstore or search online for titles related to depression. Several factors can contribute to depression in older adults, including: For many aging adults, the world can seem like an increasingly confusing place. We shouldn’t assume that they don’t need an active support system; after all, we need supportive connections at every single stage of life. However, many adults find themselves with an even greater hardship dealing with negative elderly parents. When you become a caregiver, often it removes the ability to be in the role of family member. Wanted to leave a comment for new readers. However, such behavior is usually not a cause for alarm. Just like with a lot of things in life, she also requires my patience I guess. What is cause for alarm however is the refusal to accept help, to be left alone, or to have anyone around them. The best course of care and recovery for seniors addresses more than just their depressive symptoms. Life sucks. Depression is a common problem among older adults, but it is NOT a normal part of aging. You’ll find extensive information about how to assist your aging parents. Caring for aging parents can become very time-consuming and emotionally wrenching as we watch our loved ones decline in health. If you are concerned and feel like things will not get better, it’s okay to start a conversation about depression. Delicately suggest one or two visits with a therapist who is experienced in, Talk about a friend or someone you know who experienced a time of depression and then recovered. Permission to publish granted by Chantal Marie Gagnon, PhD, LMHC, CAP, SAP, therapist in Plantation, Florida. If I sound bitter it’s because … I am, a little. Now she is in her seventies and so vulnerable, I feel like I have to take care of her, especially while she adjusts to life without my father. It is only natural for me want to take over everything because 1 I am a pretty controlling person and I know that about myself, and 2 I am an RN so I know that that tendency to take charge is just going to be there. Well there are days when things are depressing for you. While it’s very normal to feel sadness and even despair when enduring certain situations, such as the loss of a loved one—when these low emotions persist, it could be the result of a serious underlying problem. She thinks that feeling this way is normal, and I have tried to talk to her to tell her that to some extent we all get down form time to time but when it lasts for this long there ought to be this need to get help. One major issue here that prevents younger generations from “just asking” their parents what they need is the changing dynamic between parent and child to parent and caregiver. Here is an aging parents checklist which tells how to deal with stubborn aging blood relations. What scares me is that you know that there are certain medications that could interact with one another and cause abnormal behavior and thoughts. Get help. Understand that many times this whole aging this is going to be hard on anyone and especially for someone who is so used to doing for themselves and now having to turn much of that over to another person. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Los Angeles programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward healing. She’s isolating from the few friends she has, relying on me for everything and I am totally overwhlemed with her talk of suicide and anger all day long, alongside her feelings of guilt and regret about the way she treated my father. Don’t let your loved one deal with depression on their own: encourage … Dealing with Difficult Elderly Parents. Instead of offering quick fixes for their feelings listening to them asking them how they are feeling with out needing to cure them or underestimate the power of those feelings definitely helps. To deal with aging parents depression it’s important to ensure they’re taking medications, getting enough activity, sleep, social interaction, good nutrition, and they have a sense of purpose. If it weren’t enough to prioritize an older adult’s mental health for its own sake—it’s important to also consider that one’s mental health can have an impact on physical health and well-being. Learn more about our treatment programs, admissions process, and pricing. The rate of depression in persons over age 65 varies depending on the person’s overall health and living situation, but it can be as high as about 27% (Cswe.org, 2015). Compassionately dealing with aging parents’ depression is a necessary step toward their best health and quality of life. Council on Social Work Education. You may feel tired, sad or angry and it does not effect your day to day life. It is a mistake to assume that depression is an inevitable side effect of our later years. Depression is frequent among older adults. We shouldn’t assume that suffering and isolation are unavoidable. But, by believing that there are accessible ways to improve their quality of life and their mental health, we inspire hope, connection, and feelings of empowerment. I have found talking to a wide range of people helpful, and for different reasons. I am not sure that she sees that at all. Aging is a challenging enough journey. Depression Aging and Depression Coping with the losses that come with aging . It can be scary to bring up the topic of depression, especially when it’s with your parent. She was always so bright and vibrant and now there are very few things that she can still do be herself. Depression in the elderly is not simply incidental. Depression and other mental illnesses can undermine the immune system’s resiliency, contributing to infections, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and other medical complications. Depression is an illness, just as flu and chickenpox are. Almost every morning I discover some other small reminder that I am growing older: an age spot, another wrinkle or wisp of gray in my (thinning) brows. Depression at any age is a serious psychological disorder that requires early and comprehensive care to reverse an individual’s suffering and to prevent further mental and emotional decline. But going into caring for them expecting or even hoping for that to happen is to wade into dangerous waters. When you care for your aging parents, it can seem like -- and is -- a full-time … We can also guide you in approaching a loved one who needs treatment. Better to have no expectations and be surprised, than to have your hopes dashed. That is how aging parents feel too. At some point in our lives one in five people will suffer from some form of depression. There are many quotes about caring and dealing with getting older father mother, but the original coping with them heals their depression. Approach your parent from a place of concern and care. 8 Best Ways To Deal With Depression In Seniors We all go through upsetting changes in different stages of our lives. Whether it’s a wave of depression, the side effects of a disease, or “simply who they are,” that negative energy can drain us entirely, even when we do everything right. As the human lifespan grows, many people are now living well into their eighties and nineties. Group outings, visits from friends and family members, or trips to the local senior or community center can help combat isolation and loneliness. In addition to their overall distress, they may be at risk of self-harm, suicide, substance abuse, more serious isolation, physical decline, and a deteriorating lifestyle. I know that if I felt that loss of independence along with the loss of people in my life that mean a lot to me, then yes, I would be down and depressed too. It’s awesome to pay a visit this site and reading the views of all friends regarding this If as you care for your aging parent you bond with them in a new and deeper way, of course that's fantastic. And beyond the mental suffering, it can put your parent and others at risk in other ways. 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