There are certainly many reasons that the aged are forced, through circumstances, to live in aged care or frail care homes, but what happens to them, both physically and psychologically, is very different to what would happen if they were cared for by family at home.
While the reasons that there are very high rates of depression in elderly people living in nursing homes are varied, these homes are the perfect storm waiting to sweep in once isolation takes hold.
Helplessness and fear can be very overwhelming for an elderly person entering a completely alien environment, often causing a deep sense of loss, accompanied by anger.
These factors, taken together are a one way road to the onset of depression, which if left untreated, will ultimately become a roadblock standing in the way of physical health.
Recognising that a client in the nursing home is suffering from symptoms of depression is essential. Unfortunately this is often left untreated, put down to part of the aging process and forgetfulness that often comes with a myriad of physical difficulties.
When an elderly patient in a care facility is suffering from depression, their response to physical treatments and rehabilitation programmes diminishes.
This lack of interest in the physical aspect of the person is strongly linked to an earlier death, all of which could be avoided if depression was properly diagnosed in the beginning, and treated appropriately.
Unfortunately there are many aging people who have no family, which is what forces them into a nursing home or in a frail care facility, however, where there is a family involved, quality of life needs to be taken into account very seriously, before putting a parent into a care facility.
Elderly people living in residential facilities for the aged are three times more likely to suffer from depression than those still living in the community with family.
Our society has unfortunately evolved into one that shelves or ignores anything they consider not to be any use any more.
People forget that living within each aging parent is a rich tapestry of stories and history, a vital life lived that should be considered a treasure to be passed on from generation to generation.
The love and care of family is a definite panacea in the ability of an aging or frail parent to fight the onset of serious depression.
Residential frail care facilities, according to research, often confuse depression with illnesses such as dementia, dismissing all the signs of depression and writing them off as a normal part of the illness and aging.
Treatment, even if depression is recognised, is often simply filed away and forgotten, leaving the patient completely untreated, having to deal with the emotional pain depression brings, along with the debilitating effects of declining physical health.
The sense of no longer having anything useful to contribute is overwhelming for the elderly, whether living with family or in a residential care facility, but this is increased exponentially when they don’t have the support of family.
Not all circumstances or health issues allow for a parent to remain with the family, but, if you are able to, give your parent the gift of being cared for by the family at home.
There is so much that you can do to lessen the sense of loss that comes with declining health, physical pain and loss of independence, to give your parent the best quality of life possible.
There is no medicine as effective as feeling loved and valued. Maintaining a healthy, positive mental outlook on life, and the desire to do all that’s necessary to improve physical health, increases in proportion to how important your parent feels within the family.
Physical and mental health is exponentially increased when family, familiar surroundings and treasured personal belongings create a strong sense of comfort and security for an elderly parent.
If you’ve made the decision to take care of an elderly, frail or disabled parent, you’ll need professional, experienced and highly trained help along the way to ease what is a real challenge, no matter how much a parent is loved.
You may need the assistance of a full time caregiver, or one who is able to help out on a short term or flexible basis, in order to give the family and main caregiver time and space to recuperate from the strain caring for an aging parent at home can cause.
CareChamp provides affordable home care services, carried out by compassionate, highly trained, experienced and fully vetted caregivers.
With the reputation for excellence this team has earned through the years, why not find out more about how much of a helping hand you can expect from the CareChamp management team with their tailored, flexible approach to home based care for elderly frail patients and those living with dementia or disabilities.