UHS: Caregivers Help Fight Depression, Know the signs

UHS: Caregivers Help Fight Depression, Know the signs

It’s natural to feel sadness when bad things happen. It’s important to know, though, depression is not normal part of aging.  Nearly 1 of 10 adults is affected by mood disorders in a given year, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health. Often under-identified and under-treated, depression puts one at risk for other serious health problems. The good news is that help is available and treatment for late-onset mood disorders is effective.

Knowing the signs of depression is useful for broaching the subject with your loved one or acquaintance.

These signs are:

  • Unusually sad mood (not always present)
  • Loss of enjoyment and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of self-worth (worries of being a burden)
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Weight loss
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Increased drug or alcohol use
  • Thinking about death or wishing to be dead.

What can friends, family and caregivers do if they are concerned? The Mental Health First Aid USA course recommends five action steps anyone can take.

The ALGEE action plan includes the following:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies.

Like first aid equips members of the public to help in medical emergencies, Mental Health First Aid provides the knowledge and skills needed to provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health problem while connecting them to the appropriate care.

For more information about Mental Health First Aid visit www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org.

To find out more about United Homecare’s commitment to excellence, please visit homecarepartner.org or call 503-433-8079.