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Caregiving is difficult work which can often lead to feelings of stress, frustration, guilt, and even depression. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “a conservative estimate reports that 20% of family caregivers suffer from depression, twice the rate of the general population.” 

Some signs and symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness, disturbed sleep, becoming easily irritated loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, and changes in weight or appetite. In our role of “caring for caregivers,” Spectrum Generations Family Caregiver support staff often recognize these symptoms in the caregivers they work with and encourage them not to ignore them. 

Unfortunately, some people see depression as a sign of weakness or failure. Depression deserves to be treated as any other illness that a person would seek medical attention for. Frequently, counseling is recommended, but sometimes anti-depressant medication can be useful. Speaking with a doctor to determine the course of treatment is usually the best first step in seeking help. It’s also important to keep in mind that caregivers can play an active role in preventing depression in the ones they care for as well.

Some methods to avoid or decrease depression include:

  • Ask for help. Remember that people like to help, so try not to feel guilty about asking. 
  • Take a break. Use respite services, such as an adult day care program, to get some time away. 
  • Get educated. Knowledge is power. 
  • Get support. Attend a caregiver support group to address the emotional side of caregiving in a safe and understanding environment. 
  • Be active. Physical activity can help reduce stress. 
  • Stay positive. Focus on the enjoyable aspects of caregiving and try to find humor in otherwise overwhelming situations. 

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Augusta, ME 04330
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Home Office
One Weston Court
Augusta, ME 04330
(800) 639-1553

Northern Kennebec County

Muskie Community Center
38 Gold Street
Waterville, ME 04901
(207) 873-4745

Lincoln County

Lincoln County Regional Center
767 Main Street, Suite 3
Damariscotta, ME 04543
(207) 563-1363

Waldo County

Waldo Community Center
18 Merriam Road
Belfast, ME 04915
(207) 338-1190

Somerset County

Somerset Community Center
30 Leavitt Street
Skowhegan, ME 04976
(207) 474-8552

Southern Kennebec County

Cohen Community Center
22 Town Farm Road
Hallowell, ME 04347
(207) 626-7777

Sagadahoc County

Midcoast Regional Center
35 Union Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 729-0475

Knox County

Knox Resource Office
87 Elm Street
Suite 204A
Camden, ME 04843


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