Battling Depression with Home Care

Most people think of Summer as bright, sunny, and pleasant, but someone suffering with a depressive disorder might think of it as dark, dreary, and oppressive.

Depressive disorder, depression, is a serious mental condition most commonly categorized by an acute loss of interest in life and a persistent despondency. Most everyone has incidents in their lives that cause deep sadness, but people who feel extreme sadness and overwhelming despair for an extended period of time are likely clinically depressed. Some factors that contribute to clinical depression include:

  • Chemical imbalances in the brain that adversely alter a person’s temperament.

  • Negative thinking which can increase the risk of depression.  

  • Gender: women experience depression more often than men.

  • Medications which can negatively affect mood and behavior.

  • Genetic predisposition: A family history of depressive behavior can increase the likelihood of developing it.

  • A traumatic life event such as death, divorce, or bankruptcy.

  • Serious illnesses:  cancer, heart disease, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease cause emotional distress that can evolve into depression.

Home health and hospice provide patients and their families with medical and emotional support. Hospice teams in particular routinely deal with depressive disorder stemming from both traumatic life events and serious illness. Hospice teams include social workers, physiologists, and clergy who are trained to recognize and care for patients and family members suffering with depression. 

Remind your referral sources when making your presentations about the advantage of personalized home care for their patients at high risk of developing depression.

Visit TAGwebstore for patient education materials on specific conditions that contribute to clinical depression.

 

Resources:

ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

Mental Health America

National Institute of Mental Health

3 Minute Depression Test

Accepting the Reality: Social Work and Hospice

Social workers are compassionate professionals who improve the lives of others through guidance, encouragement, and support. Hospice care teams rely on social workers to console and counsel terminal patients and their families.

Hospice promotes quality end-of life care by focusing on patient comfort and emotional support throughout the stages of dying. The hospice social worker helps patients accept the reality of their condition. It’s common for terminally ill patients to suffer from anxiety, grief and depression. Social workers are trained to recognize these conditions and work to alleviate as much mental and emotional anguish for them as possible, there-by enabling the best quality of life in the time they have left.

Hospice social workers help terminal patients:

  • Cope with fear

  • Redirect their anger

  • Work through regret and guilt

  • Process grief

  • Manage anxiety and depression

  • Find peace

Social workers provide support for family members as well. They offer advance planning resources, a shoulder to cry on, and counseling to ease the anxiety that accompanies losing a loved one. They also provide long-term bereavement support through group sessions and individual counseling. Most hospice agencies provide free grief support to family members for a year after their loved has passed.

Do your part this March during National Social Work Month to recognize the invaluable services the social workers in your agency provide every day. Acknowledge the dedication of these professionals committed to helping others be all they can be.

  • Highlight the social workers in your agency throughout the month of March on your social media outlets.

  • Ask a social worker on your staff to write a guest blog for your website about social work and Hospice care.

  • Send Social Work Month greeting cards to the social work professionals who work for and with your agency every day.

  • Provide hospitals in your area with hospice discharge planner brochures to highlight the work of your agency’s social work professionals as you show your support for National Social Work Month.

Visit TAGwebstore.com for all your hospice and home health print media.