Home Health Care For Patients With Mental Illnesses

One of the most challenging moments for anyone is finding out that their loved one has a mental illness. Their lives change significantly. Here, home health care providers say you must be ready to face that challenge. Let’s explore how you can do this and give your loved one the best care. 

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The Challenges Of Caring For Patients With Mental Illnesses

As it is, the varying nature of mental illnesses means that there is no single way to care for them. Thus, each caregiving experience often differs. But there are several general challenges that you will encounter.

Communication Challenges

Depending on the patient’s illness, their ability to interact with others can vary greatly. Those with mild cases might just talk with you in a different manner. Severe conditions like dementia and schizophrenia will often be unable to communicate properly altogether. 

This difficulty in communication undermines the caregiving process. Patients will have a hard time telling you exactly how they are feeling. On the other hand, you will have a lot of difficulties giving them instructions. 

The Challenge Of Time

People with mental illnesses often have to depend on someone else for even their basic needs. You will also need to monitor them regularly to ensure their well-being. That can often be difficult when you attend to other matters. 

Here, you might often find yourself sacrificing some things to accommodate them into your schedule. That can affect your own life significantly.  It can also cause conflict between family members, as everyone tries to find the best arrangement for the patient. 

Dealing With Costs

As is with caring for other patients, caregiving for those who are mentally ill will require a lot of funding. Besides the needed medication, you will have to provide for other requirements. Depending on their situation, they might also have special requirements. As these conditions progress, these costs can rise further. 

The Effects On Your Mental Health

While the above challenges are already obvious, caring for a patient with mental illness can also affect the caregiver’s mental health. The stress of all the things they need to do can overwhelm them. That could potentially lead to issues of their own. 

Furthermore, external factors can affect your emotional and mental well-being when caring for your loved ones. For instance, commentary coming from other people about the condition of your loved one can affect your thoughts about it. Dealing with such situations can often be tedious for you and your loved ones. 

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Understanding The Mental Illness Affecting Your Loved Ones

To overcome the above challenges, you need a good grasp of the mental illnesses that your loved one has. Here, it is essential to note that the term “mental illness” is a broad one. Also, each patient can manifest their illnesses differently. That means there is often no single way to approach a given illness. 

Nevertheless, knowing the general types will help you better approach the situation and provide the care that your loved ones need. The following are some of the common types that might affect patients. 

Anxiety Disorders

This first type of mental illness is characterized by overwhelming fear. The class includes diverse conditions like phobias, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Such fears can lead them to withdraw from social activities. If left untreated, patients can have difficulties in their everyday lives. 

Mood Disorders

As their name implies, mood disorders result in sudden shifts in the patient’s mood. These shifts can often come erratically, making it hard for them to keep their emotions in check. Common examples of this type are bipolar disorders and depression.

Personality Disorders

This third type refers to illnesses that manifest as a significant change in a person’s thinking, functioning, and behavior. Such changes can ultimately alter their personality, hence the term. Examples of this type include dissociative personality disorders and amnesia. 

Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders are the class most often associated with the term “mental illness”. They are characterized by a disconnect from reality, leading patients to act irrationally. Schizophrenia is one of the most well-known examples of this type. 

Eating Disorders

This is a specific type of behavioral disorder characterized by unnatural eating habits. As they affect a vital bodily function, such diseases can physically impact the patient significantly. Some common examples are bulimia and anorexia.

Coming To Terms With The Diagnosis

The first time you learn that your loved one suffers from a mental illness can be difficult. Here, you might find yourself feeling various emotions, including: 

  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Confusion
  • Uncertainty

These are normal responses. However, you should steady yourself after the initial emotions. Talk to doctors to have a better grasp of the situation. This will also help you put those emotions in control.

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Preparing Your Home For Your Loved Ones

While sending your loved one to a mental health care facility is an option, home health care can often be a more suitable choice. That is because your loved one stays in an environment that is familiar to them. This can help in their treatment or in alleviating their symptoms. But you should make the preparations. 

Creating The Right Home Environment

Here, the most important thing you need is the right environment. Begin  by creating spaces where they can relax and clear their minds. For instance, you can designate a spot in the living room for them to sit down and relax. Make that a space where you can talk with them. 

You would also want to make your home clutter-free. That is not only to protect them from accidents. A clutter-free environment also helps them keep their focus and avoid potential triggers for their symptoms. 

Setting Up The Support They Need

You and the entire family also need to support your relative as they make their way through recovery or in dealing with their condition. Bring everyone in so that they have a clear understanding of the situation. 

Here, everyone needs to know what their role would be. Talk to each member to know what they feel about such a role. You would also want to understand their concerns and help them better adapt to their task. 

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Getting The Best Home Health Care For A Mentally-Ill Relative

But as it is, you can’t do it alone. You need the help of experts who can give your loved ones proper attention. We at Amavi are ready to provide you with that home healthcare service. When you sign up with us, you can work with expert caregivers who understand how to best reach out to these patients. So, give us a call today, and let us help you and your loved one get back to their feet. 


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