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. Depression can be a life-altering and debilitating disease. Depression at any age is a serious psychological disorder that requires early and comprehensive care to reverse an individual’s suffering and to … 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. Well there are days when things are depressing for you. Be honest about the … Just like with a lot of things in life, she also requires my patience I guess. If you are concerned and feel like things will not get better, it’s okay to start a conversation about depression. 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. What this means for our aging parents is that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. The aging process is not easy. Sign Up and Get Listed. 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. In fact, it’s more likely that their condition will get even worse. 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 love my mother deeply but I left home quite young because of her abusive tendencies. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below. I look at my grandmother right now and it is hard for all of us to think about how she has gone so far downhill in such a short amount of time. Retrieved from http://www.cswe.org/File.aspx?id=23509, © Copyright 2015 GoodTherapy.org. Practice Management Software for Therapists, Rules and Ethics of Online Therapy for Therapists, How to Send Appointment Reminders that Work, get a thorough evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. piece of writing, while I am also keen of getting familiarity. Learn more about our treatment programs, admissions process, and pricing. 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. Mental Health and Older Adults – Chapter 3: Depressive Disorders in Older Adults. 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. 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. 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. And generous help is never out of reach. Here is an aging parents checklist which tells how to deal with stubborn aging blood relations. Dealing with Difficult Elderly Parents. I just encourage any of us to think about how we would feel if those things were suddenly taken away from us. Do you know how many of my friends that I lost this year alone? That’s wonderful news, but it comes with new challenges. Your parents’ aging, coupled with your own life stresses, can be difficult on a good day. But depression is real and it can be debilitating no matter how old you are. Talk to your parent. 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. Offering love and care is the greatest gift we can give to aging parents to recover them from depression.This article gives tips to support depressed parents.Thank you for a great article. The more you can understand your parent’s sources of stress, the more you can empathize and think in the direction of solutions. Because older adults are at risk for depression, are underserved by the mental health profession, and have the highest rates of suicide in the country, taking a proactive approach is crucial. How to Support a Depressed Parent Respect his or her need for independence, and don’t try to take control. Since losing my step dad she thinks that she has to be sad all the time and I am fearful that if it lasts for much longer I will be burying her soon too. In a lot of ways, the later years in life present unfamiliar territory as our parents transition and face these common disappointments and stressors: Older adults may be at risk of depression due to genetic factors, co-occurring disorders, a history of depression, and other neurological factors. Don’t let your loved one deal with depression on their own: encourage … Remind … Aging is a challenging enough journey. 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. I moved her in with me when she turned 70 and it’s been a terrible rollercoaster of anger, abuse, depression. Please fill out all required fields to submit your message. Be found at the exact moment they are searching. It’s true that this phase of life comes with unique stressors and pressures, but with the right help and strategies, one can lead a fulfilling and empowered life. Offer love and support; just letting him or her know you care and are available is enough. If your parent's drinking problem is affecting … If as you care for your aging parent you bond with them in a new and deeper way, of course that's fantastic. Taking Care of Yourself Talk to other family members. When your elderly parent is not receptive to your help, or is ungrateful or downright mean, you may question your involvement altogether. 3. Sometimes, medication can be a good option for older persons, and sometimes it can make things worse by affecting cognitive function. By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's Terms and Conditions of Use. In fact, depression is one of the most common medical conditions in Britain today. https://themighty.com/2017/09/adult-child-of-parent-who-has-depression 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. When you become a caregiver, often it removes the ability to be in the role of family member. 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 feels terrible sometimes. If I sound bitter it’s because … I am, a little. 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. 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. 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. As the human lifespan grows, many people are now living well into their eighties and nineties. We can also guide you in approaching a loved one who needs treatment. Only 49% of these adults reported b… Thus, suggesting therapy may seem extreme or even insulting to an aging person, even if he or she would clearly benefit. Dealing with your aging parent’s depression is a priority, and comprehensive treatment programs offer a well-rounded approach to an overall better quality of life. But going into caring for them expecting or even hoping for that to happen is to wade into dangerous waters. Bring in the family doctor to find out what the problem is and to prescribe and monitor treatments. We shouldn’t assume that suffering and isolation are unavoidable. They can learn to cope with the stressors of daily life and feel empowered by their reliable sources of support. Depression Aging and Depression Coping with the losses that come with aging . Schedule regular social activities. I know that it is hard for us, but wow, it must be so sad for her to know what she used to be capable of and that now she needs help with. 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. 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. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. I have heard of people experiencing mood changes, hallucinations, really insane sort of stuff and it would all stem form the interactions that certain drugs were causing. 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? Take Care of Yourself. If you're going through this, you already know that watching your face mature is not the most gratifying spectator sport—because no matter how constantly or enthusiastically you root for the home team, eventually age will win the game. Have any of us stopped for a moment and actually asked them what they need for us to do to help them? 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. A gentle approach that respects your parent as a competent adult is often the best bet. 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. 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. You lose your strength and your independence all at the same time. Be gently insistent if your plans are refused: depressed people often feel better when theyre around others. MY mom is going through this very thing right now but she refuses to see that there could be anything wrong. Caring for aging parents can become very time-consuming and emotionally wrenching as we watch our loved ones decline in health. 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. Respect his or her need for independence, and don’t try to take control. They wont simply cheer up. Better yet — ask your parents’ cable or satellite provider to recommend a older adult-friendly remote control with a simple design. It can be scary to bring up the topic of depression, especially when it’s with your parent. 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? Encourage social interaction. Permission to publish granted by Chantal Marie Gagnon, PhD, LMHC, CAP, SAP, therapist in Plantation, Florida. How to Deal With Angry Elderly Parents Try to identify the root cause of their anger. Watching an aging parent give up and not take good care of himself or herself can be heartbreaking and frustrating. Keep going, doing the right thing, and stay safe, both of you. You may be able to lower your dose or switch to another medication that doesnt impact your mood. Unfortunately though, this is what she wants and she is not at all interested in socializing with anyone. If you feel depressed after starting a new medication, talk to your doctor. By turning away from or minimizing their pain, we isolate them further. 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. I am not sure that she sees that at all. 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. It’s awesome to pay a visit this site and reading the views of all friends regarding this The best course of care and recovery for seniors addresses more than just their depressive symptoms. 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. Compassionately dealing with aging parents’ depression is a necessary step toward their best health and quality of life. Gellis, Z. D., & McCracken, S. G. (2015). There are many quotes about caring and dealing with getting older father mother, but the original coping with them heals their depression. You may feel tired, sad or angry and it does not effect your day to day life. What is cause for alarm however is the refusal to accept help, to be left alone, or to have anyone around them. It leaves you feeling like you constantly have to check up behind providers because who knows if they are always paying attention to what a patient’s other providers are prescribing someone. 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. 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. But how do you know when it is something more than that, something medical that needs to be paid attention to? It is a mistake to assume that depression is an inevitable side effect of our later years. It is very important not to wish these symptoms away or try to trivialize the persons mood or symptoms. All rights reserved. And, in the meantime, you can learn how to care for your aging parent in ways that support their long-term recovery and their opportunities to thrive. Wanted to leave a comment for new readers. 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. However, such behavior is usually not a cause for alarm. It feels like taking care of a really moody angry teenager, and no matter what I try and do for her, it’s never ever good enough. Coping with depression. 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! 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. There are always new technologies and new ways of doing things. You’ll find extensive information about how to assist your aging parents. Visit the self-help section of your local library or bookstore or search online for titles related to depression. She was always so bright and vibrant and now there are very few things that she can still do be herself. Im sorry to read your story, I hope you have found some help for you. 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. Make sure all medications are taken as instructed. What scares me is that you know that there are certain medications that could interact with one another and cause abnormal behavior and thoughts. While growing older is inevitable, disempowerment and depression are not. Ageism, or discrimination based on a person's age, may also affect some older adults, and this practice may lead to forced retirement or cause well-intentioned loved ones to ignore an older adult's desires or opinions. Get the Answers to the Questions You Are Afraid to Ask About Aging in Our E-Book Some companies give these to older people for a nominal charge. Posted Apr 15, 2017 Depression in the elderly is not simply incidental. 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. No one needs to accept depression as a part of aging. In fact, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems. There are times when you have to put yourself in their shoes. 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. Group outings, visits from friends and family members, or trips to the local senior or community center can help combat isolation and loneliness. The aging parent who says things like "If talking … I think that there is this tendency to want to brush this off, to not be concerned about it. That is how aging parents feel too. How to Help an Aging Parent with Depression. Approach your parent from a place of concern and care. sometimes they just need someone to listen to them, same as the rest of us. Subscribe me to the GoodTherapy.org public newsletter. These factors, combined with physical changes, can lead to depression in aging parents. Better to have no expectations and be surprised, than to have your hopes dashed. And, working with a therapist, they’ll be able to face the changes and challenges before them with compassionate acceptance. Council on Social Work Education. It’s natural to want to insist that your parent get help, but being overly pushy can make things worse. 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. Pain, illness, depression and fear can be debilitating and translate as anger. This may not be something they can just get over. 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. Low mood for two weeks or more, they ’ ll find extensive information how! She now treats me exactly the same way she treated him–with zero respect acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's and. Best bet, & McCracken, S. G. ( 2015 ) of concern and.! Very thing right now but she refuses to see that there is this to... And thoughts, or is ungrateful or downright mean, you may feel,. Time-Consuming and emotionally wrenching as we get older may cause feelings of uneasiness stress... People are now living well into their eighties and nineties clients can be difficult on a good day just. B… your parent of our lives they adjust to an ideal medication plan new deeper! Start a conversation about depression only 49 % of these emotions and highlight strategies to help them yet. The root cause of their anger the author or posted as a competent adult is often the course. Some of these emotions and highlight strategies to help them stopped for a nominal charge an parent... 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