A person with dementia may feel depressed because: –
If they are in the early stages and have only recently been
diagnosed they will worried about how the condition will affect them in the
future, and may feel that their life has been taken from them.
Depression can be caused because the person feels they have no
control over their future
They can feel depressed through isolation, not getting help when
needed or the support they need.
Depression is often
associated with loss of personal independence, not being able to drive or leave
their house on their own
Depression is also caused by the way the person is treat by
others, especially family, as family can be to be too caring and attempt to
wrap the person up in cotton wool. Stopping them from doing things, from taking
risks, from making decisions, and by not consulting the individual in their
future care plans.Depression can affect someone’s life, it can lead to self-harm,
and thoughts of suicide, to taking your own life.Due to depression mimicking signs and symptoms of dementia, it
can be wrongly thought that the dementia is getting worse, and the wrong
medication be given. Depression can lead to someone being withdrawn and isolation, it
can stop someone from socialising and engaging in stimulating activities, or
taking medication which can help slow down the onset of dementia.
It is important that the root cause of depression is found to
help give the person the correct treatment to alleviate the symptoms. As unlike
dementia depression can be cured through medication, cognitive therapy and/or counselling.One-way staff can help support a person with depression is to be
patient, to allow the person to talk when they are ready to talk. Basic non-judgemental
human contact, such as holding a hand, smiling and being available to listen, is
important, never saying “things like pull yourself together,” Staff should listen to what the person describes without being
critical or thinking they are weak. Staff should never give advice such as
‘just cheer up’ or ‘pull yourself together’. Staff should avoid getting into an
argument with the person.People with depression sometimes feel so overwhelmed and
helpless about their life, the future appears hopeless.Staff should engage the person in conversation about how they
are feeling and let them describe why they are feeling this way.Staff should ask the person if they are having thoughts of
suicide. If they are, find out if they have a plan for suicide. This is not a
bad question to ask someone who is suffering from depression. It is important
to find out if he/she is having these thoughts to refer him/her for help Staff can give encouragement to get involved in gentle exercise
can release positive endorphins to help them feel better.Staff can help by encouraging a client to change their
environment, either by going outside and getting fresh air, or encouraging
participation in social events, Staff should provide hope for the person and talk about a good
outcome for that person.
Staff can tell the person that he/she has an illness that can be
treated, let them know that you want to help, and encourage the person to get appropriate professional help.