Being diagnosed with an illness or spending years managing a disease can feel heavy and overwhelming. In addition to managing a treatment plan, the stress and worry of coping with a serious illness can lead to depression. For those dealing with long-term illness management or chronic pain, the likelihood of experiencing depression is even greater. Fortunately, recreational therapy programs, premier homecare services, and companion care are options that can support the mental health of a loved one as they pursue treatment and learn to manage their illness.
When adjusting to the demands of an illness, as well as the treatment plan and long-term prognosis, it can be easy to forget about assessing and supporting the person’s mental state. However, since many illnesses affect mobility, energy levels, independence, and self-confidence, it can become difficult to remain positive and not start to feel depressed. While a certain amount of sadness is normal, it is important to watch for signs that your loved one may be falling into a depression.
Any type of illness can trigger depression, but the risk does increase based on the severity of the illness and the level of life disruption it causes. While the overall risk of depression is higher for women than for men, those dealing with chronic illnesses face the highest risk of suffering from depression.
How To Support The Mental Health Of Those Dealing With An Illness
Patients, family members and even caregivers can often overlook the signs of depression, with the assumption that feeling depressed is normal for someone struggling with a serious illness. Symptoms of depression such as loss of appetite, lethargy, sleeping too much or too little, can frequently be masked by other medical conditions or as a result of medication. This tends to result in trying to solve each separate symptom and not realizing that the underlying cause of the symptoms is depression.
Focusing on improving the quality of life of the patient can do quite a lot when it comes to treating depression. Recreational therapy programs are an option that allows the patient to participate in recreational activities they enjoy, such as arts and crafts, games, theatre, sports or general socialization. Programs are uniquely created for each individual and can help improve the following:
- Reduce anxiety.
- Enhance mood and confidence.
- Refocus attention on activities that were previously enjoyed.
- Ability to build and maintain social relationships.
Recreational therapy programs can be found through premier homecare services. Service providers may also offer other programs such as companion care or expressive art, both of which can also support those dealing with depression during an illness. The overarching benefit of these types of programs is encouraging the patient to find joy again and help them build on positive reasons to still enjoy life, despite the challenges their illness may bring.
How To Create A Plan To Support Your Loved One
It can be hard to watch someone you love suffer from an illness, and have their situation worsen once compounded by depression. However, people who get treatment for depression resulting from an illness often experience an improvement in their overall medical condition, a better quality of life, and are more likely to adhere to their treatment plans.
When you’re ready to find the right support for your loved one and help them through their illness or disease, contact iCare Home Health. Our recreational therapy programs, companion care and other support options are customized to support each individual, as we work together to foster positive improvements in everyday life. You can read more about iCare Home Health’s full range of services by visiting our website or by calling (905) 491-6941.