If you have your elderly parent displaying symptoms of depression such as lethargy, debilitating sadness or hopelessness, and/or an inability to find joy in things that used to bring him joy, you may need to take those first steps of getting him into his physician to be properly diagnosed.
Either you or your elderly care provider should be taking notes to bring to his physician so that the physician can accurately understand what your elderly parent has been struggling with. Oftentimes, your parent may not be able to clearly articulate or even understand what he has been feeling lately. Having other resources like yourself and an elderly care provider can be very beneficial to getting the help your parent may need.
If your parent’s physician does diagnose your parent with having clinical depression, he will probably suggest the following treatments for recovery or management of the diagnosis.
You and your elderly care provider can help your parent follow through on these treatments consistently so that he can begin his journey to a healthier life.
Your parent’s physician may prescribe anti-depressants.
Antidepressants are medications that help improve the way the brain uses certain chemicals to improve mood or reduce stress. There are many different types of antidepressants and it’s not unusual for it to take 2-4 weeks before the full effect of the antidepressants is felt. Because of this, you and your aging parent may not find relief with the first prescription. Sometimes people need to try several different strengths and types of antidepressants before the right one is found.
If your parent is prescribed antidepressants, it’s important that he takes them consistently and does not stop taking them without talking to his doctor. This is where you or his elderly care provider can help by monitoring his medication use. Having a daily pill dispenser will help both your parent and you to know if he has taken his medicine each day. And while he might want to stop his medication because he’s feeling better or not liking the side effects, as his caregiver, encourage him to work with his doctor for any prescription changes.
Most likely, your parent’s physician will recommend some type of talk therapy. Whether in person or using a program like Zoom, your parent will be paired with a therapist to talk through some of the issues he’s been struggling with. The sessions can last a few months or go even longer if your parent is finding help by talking with a professional about his struggles.
If his sessions are virtual, your elderly care provider can help him log on and prepare each week for his session and then give him the privacy he needs as he chats with his therapist. While many elderly people struggle with sharing feelings and thoughts with strangers, consistent reassurance of the therapist’s ability to help may encourage your parent to continue the treatment.
Your parent and his physician may choose one or both treatments to help him manage his depression. It will not be a quick fix but with your support and assistance, he finds his happy place again.
In-Home Care Providers like TenderHearted Home Care can assist with medication reminders and socialization, even during these challenging times. Call today for more information about companion services and in-home care.Affordable, caring in-home living assistance for seniors in the Piedmont area of NC. (704) 612-4132 or (336) 560-1970
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