Undergoing heart surgery can be a life-changing experience for your aging parent. While it can address health issues, improve their well-being, and even lengthen their life, it is also a major medical procedure that can have a tremendous impact on your parent beyond just the physical needs. One way that you may find that this surgery has influenced your parent is that they are experiencing depression following the procedure. This is not uncommon. In fact, approximately 25 percent of those who undergo heart surgery will experience depression during their recovery. Recognizing this depression is important for allowing you to make changes in your care routine so that you can address this depression and support your parent in enjoying better quality of life during their recovery.
Signs of depression can include withdrawing from friends and family, sadness, hopelessness, not wanting to get out of the house, not wanting to participate in activities, not caring about following through with their care or recovery, crying, and mood swings.
If your parent is going through depression, use these tips to help your parent deal with it effectively:
- Be open with your parent and willing to talk about their emotions. Let them know that you are there for them and want to help and support them.
- Talk to your parent about their fears, worries, and why they are feeling sad and work to address each of these in meaningful and effective ways.
- Talk about your parent’s expectations for their recovery and for their life after surgery, and then work with their doctor to temper these expectations so that your parent truly knows what is possible and what is normal.
- Reassure your parent that it is normal to not immediately bounce back after surgery and that recovery takes time.
- Be supportive and encouraging of your parent and celebrate little milestones and achievements with them.
- Make plans with your parent so that they have something wonderful to look forward to following their recovery.
- Spend quality time with them that is not only focused on care efforts. Continue to nurture your relationship and bond, and make memories that both of you can cherish.
If your aging parent has been living with challenges and limitations, their needs have increased, or your schedule has changed to the point that you do not feel as though you can fulfill their needs effectively, now may be the ideal time for you to start home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be an exceptional source of support in your care routine for your parent, filling care gaps and ensuring that your parent has everything that they need both when you are with them and when you are not. As a family caregiver this can give you peace of mind that your parent will be in good hands and have the level of support and assistance that they need and deserve, while also allowing you the time, energy, and resources to manage the other obligations and responsibilities in your life as well.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from home care in LaFayette, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.