• Our latest book:

    By Amy and Bernadette

    Our latest book:

  • Also by Bernadette and Amy:

Depression + Aging = What Do I Do Now?

574

Care giving for someone who is depressed and who also is aging is indeed difficult.  Depression alone reeks havoc on a person’s mind and emotions.  Add the specter of aging and things really can go amuck. 

Depression can cause a person to question his or her life and wonder what could have been done differently.  Or they can bemoan the fact that they didn’t accomplish anything and because of depression, did not become all they wished to have become.  

Add aging to that and those thoughts are further complicated by thinking about the years that are left. Often they don’t see it as a positive experience and instead bemoan that there is so little time left and that death will mean being alone and unloved.

And as different abilities change or disappear, the depressed one who is aging will often think in terms of only the loss – I don’t have the balance I once had; I can’t get up and down like I used to; I can’t run anymore. It is a dismal picture that is painted.    

The non-depressed aging person on the other hand might look to acknowledging the loss but moving on to addressing how things have to change. I don’t have the balance I once had but I can practice and improve the balance I do have. I might not be able to get up and down like I used to but signing up for the yoga class might be able to help me do better in that regard. I can’t run but if I use the treadmill and walk in my neighborhood, I bet I could work up my speed.   

So much of depression is something that cannot be controlled entirely.  But there are opportunities for depressed individuals to approach certain situations with a good attitude.  This is so important when you add aging to the mix.  As care givers we need to remind the depressed individual that there are alternatives, that doors can be opened to new ways of doing things no matter our age. 

When we attempt this approach, we might not see a change in behavior very often but when it does happen, it is good for the depressed person and the caregiver as well.  And sometimes even growing old doesn’t appear so scary. 

– Bernadette

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: