The dementia disease is a complex and challenging process for anyone who has to face it, including family. Depression is becoming a serious problem for carers of those with dementia, as the burden of care, isolation and fatigue are straining many who are seeking to do good.
The reach the process of ageing and disease has on people is not limited.
From children of affected persons to carer staff in residential homes, many individuals in our communities are shoulders tremendous burdens of care.
It is incredibly important that as a sector, a people, a health community that we train our eyes on those who are striving to bring comfort and do life with loved ones and residents with dementia.
Medical experts say that when it comes to the statistics, the most common degenerative disease is dementia.
The scale of families and carers that are serving their loved ones who have the disease is at an all-time high and this trend is showing no signs of diminishing.
Academic studies have sought to give a voice to the carers.
As family members were interviewed, the information being uncovered pointed to the majority of family members feeling their lives were irrevocably changed since their loved one’s diagnosis of dementia.
Scientific studies are increasingly finding that family members who are intimately involved in the caring of their loved one with dementia are developing depression.
An important angle that a 2018 study sought to investigate were the factors that contributed to the development of depression and the severity of that problem.
In uncovering the pertinent factors when it comes to the depression in caregivers, the health sector at large may be equipped with a focus.
In understanding the triggering factors of depression in caregivers, a focus may be established that can help organise resources, and support, for those in our society that powerfully need it.
Of those who participated in the study, a significant proportion was found to be suffering from depression.
Nearly 70% of carers looking after loved ones with dementia were found to exhibit depressive tendencies and scores in the range of depression.
Tellingly it was the specific insights from the study that may have an integral part to play in new carer policy.
It was found that the more advanced dementia in a loved one and the less support from other family members to the primary caregiver in the process of care, the higher the tendency and severity of depression.
Additionally, the study found that the older the primary-aged caregiver was and the lower their educational attainment was, the higher the likelihood of depression developing while in a caregiver role.
The findings from this study not only speak to the role that the health and aged care sector has to play in protecting primary caregivers but also changes that should arguably happen in how we as a society view caring and responsibility.
Regardless of task whether it is caring for a loved one with dementia, parenting, working on a project or studying, humans are not wired to do things alone.
As humans, we thrive on community, support and connection.
How much more so should we be in collaboration with others when it comes to the emotional, loving and complex process of looking after loved ones with dementia.
Everyone needs and deserves support.
As a society at large down to our family units, it is in collective support and community that our carers should have defences against depression.
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