September 20th is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
It’s hard to think about the thousands of military members who never made it home. According to the National League of POW/MIA Families, 1,587 military members never returned. No one knows if they’re still alive somewhere. Others who were held as prisoners of war have mental scars that are hard to overcome.
If your dad was in the war and knew soldiers who never returned or was a POW, he’s going to have emotional needs that require special handling. When arranging elder care services, you need to consider these factors.
Know the Signs of Depression
You need to know the signs of depression in the elderly. Older men are likely to be depressed for several reasons. Declining health is one of the reasons. When your dad is also haunted by his past, it can worsen things.
Some of the signs of depression are mood swings, a lack of enthusiasm in things one used to enjoy, physical pain, and sleep issues. You may notice your dad goes to be very early and stays in bed until late morning. He may not get out of bed at all. Confusion, agitation, and a reliance on alcohol, food, or illegal drugs are also signs of depression.
If you suspect your dad is depressed, he may deny it. You need to advocate for him. Talk to a doctor. If medications are the first course of action, it’s your right to ask for other opinions. While medications work for some, counseling with an expert in elderly depression may be the best step for your dad. You know him best, so don’t be afraid to demand more than a quick prescription.
Address His Emotional Distress When Planning Care
When you talk to an elder care agency about your dad’s need for elder care services, talk about his past and emotional struggles. Ask if he can be part of the selection process. If he’s able to talk to different caregivers, he’ll be able to tell you when he feels a better connection with one caregiver over another.
Stay involved in his care. Stop by and check on your dad. If you feel something is amiss, address it sooner rather than later. Work with your dad’s caregivers. Teamwork can make a big difference to him.
Remember that he’ll have good days and bad days. For the bad days, see if something triggered it. He may have seen a movie that brought back memories. Let him talk openly when he wants and don’t push it if he’d rather reflect on his own.
With companionship services, your dad may start opening up. This can be the best way to help handle depression. The more he talks, the less alone he’ll feel. Call an elder care agency to arrange services and discuss prices.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Beverly Hills, MI, please contact the caring staff at Alliance Senior Care today.
Call (248) 274-2170.