Helping Families Face the Inevitable

home healthcareSadly, not all home care patients recover completely and many have to face major changes in their life like being bedridden, wholly or partially immobile, or have difficulty with other motor or bodily functions. Even more awkward, perhaps even distasteful, is the inevitable fact of death. Yet, the reality has to be faced and the best way to do it is with professional help.

No, you don’t have to start planning for the worst yet. There are many ways you can still help a family member with a chronic condition enjoy life, be comfortable, and not fall into clinical depression. Many people with chronic conditions suffer from depression whether temporary or drawn-out. Ordinarily, adults with some form of emotional trauma face the risk of depression; 10% to 25% for women and 5% to 12% among men. Those with chronic conditions have a higher risk for depression: 25% to 33% regardless of gender.

There are warning signs that someone is experiencing sadness and despair and on the brink of a mental health problem.

These signs include:

  • Teary-eyed for over two weeks
  • Desire to be alone, acting withdrawn
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate
  • No interest in fun activities
  • Fatigue

If the family member with the chronic condition is unable to address the situation, even with your help, it’s time to call in a professional or seek intervention. Sometimes, intervention works best when it is non-confrontational. Having a home care nurse visit the house a few times a week will help the family member see beyond the chronic condition.

This professional can help:

  • Assess the condition
  • Talk to the doctors about any medication that may be causing the depression
  • Assist the family member by talking and explaining the condition and offer advice on alternative activities

Nurses with experience know how to handle patients with chronic conditions. They’ve seen first-hand many similar cases and understand the situation. They know when to hold back and how to help a person hurdle physical and mental obstacles. At the same time, by having a professional in the home once in a while, you avoid two common issues; namely, pretending the problem does not exist and assuming the “problem” will go away naturally.

Depression is a Chronic Condition

It is important to understand that it is a myth that depression can cure itself. It is not a sign of mental weakness and is not always treated with medicine. It also has the potential to be fatal but is almost never permanent. It can be treated. People with chronic conditions can live happy and fruitful lives.