Helping Senior Parents Overcome Depression After an Injury
It’s hard to see your senior parents experience a serious injury.
It can be heartbreaking, and it may even remind you that they may need closer supervision as they age.
But the physical injury is only one aspect of the situation. It’s not unusual for a senior parent to become depressed as well, and often, this may be even more devastating to witness than the physical injury.
We’ll look at what you need to know about depression awareness after an injury, and how you can help your senior parent overcome it and continue their journey of healing.
Depression Awareness After an Injury
Did you know that there’s actually a correlation between depression and falls? Sometimes excessive fear of falling—which can be associated with depression—can also increase the risk of falls. This creates a vicious cycle that can affect balance.
But you can’t help your parents overcome depression if you’re not aware that they are experiencing it. It’s important to remember that depression is NOT a normal part of aging. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for several signs.
9 Signs Your Senior Parent May Be Depressed
If your parent demonstrates any of the following signs, then contact a health care provider immediately
1. Change in eating habits.
- This can mean eating too much or too little.
- Your parent should be seen by a doctor because unintentional weight loss can be caused by a variety of other conditions.
2. A persistent anxious mood.
3. Irritability and restlessness.
4. Demonstrating feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
- Carefully listen to what they say—are they talking about hopelessness? Maybe they’re feeling helpless.
- Be acutely aware of what they are telling you.
5. Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed.
- Like unintended weight loss, decreased energy or fatigue can be the sign of other health problems.
- If this consistently occurs, you should seek help from their health care professional.
7. Moving slowly or talking slowly.
8. Difficulty concentrating or remembering.
9. Obsessive talk of death.
If your parent mentions suicidal thoughts, call 9-1-1 or take them to the nearest emergency room.
How to Help Overcome Injury Setbacks and Depression After an Injury
Recovering from an injury isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes it’s a long and winding journey. Rarely is the situation resolved overnight, and setbacks can occur.
Therefore, whenever you—or someone you love—is injured, it’s important to be prepared mentally and physically for any potential setback.
In addition, as members of your rehabilitation team, we’ll do all in our power to ensure that you don’t have any setbacks, but sometimes, they may be inevitable.
However, if you or your loved one finds yourself frustrated by an injury setback, consider the following seven strategies:
7 Ways to Help Your Parents Overcome Depression After Being Injured
Focus on what they can do.
- When there’s a setback, it’s easy for it to consume all your parent’s time and thoughts. Indicate to them that they can do and how far they have come since the injury.
Help them work on their weak areas.
- Physical therapy can be challenging. Often, your encouragement can make a big difference. In addition, provide positive reinforcement when they complete their physical therapy exercise “homework. “This will help them strengthen their weak areas. Let them know that you unconditionally support them.
Work with them to set realistic goals.
- After emergency hip surgery or a hip replacement, it may take time before your parent is able to return to the activities they enjoyed. Remind them that it’s not a sprint—recovery can be more like a marathon. Once they set more realistic goals, they’ll be encouraged when they reach them. Then, you can work with them to set additional goals.
Talk to us!
- We are on your side. We want to help your parents reach their full potential, and to do so we have to have open and honest communication. This is just one way we can help each other as members of your health care team.
- Often, being reminded of things that you are all grateful for can make a huge difference in putting the current situation in context.
Concentrate on what you can control.
- Your parent may become obsessed with things they can’t do or impatient about their recovery. It’s time to concentrate on things that are within their control, such as doing physical therapy exercises, following their doctor’s directions and practice good health principles as their body heals.
Use their support network.
- Does your parent have a friend whom they trust? Perhaps there is a member of the clergy or a counselor they have talked to in the past. Be sure to take advantage of the network of friends, relatives and other professionals who can help.
Bladen East Offers Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services Near You in Elizabethtown, NC
Often, rehabilitation after an injury can take time and determination to overcome. It’s not unusual for depression to be another aspect of care.
It’s important to be on the lookout for signs of depression in your parents and be ready to show them the support they need.
At Bladen East, we understand that taking care of our residents means caring for both their physical and mental well-being. This is why we take a team approach to our care, providing the best in skilled nursing and rehabilitation.
Plus, we’re family owned and operated. This means we’re members of the community, and not some giant corporate conglomerate.
Contact us to schedule a tour today and see why our residents love living at Bladen East. But hurry, our spaces fill quickly.