Bipolar disorder affects everyone slightly differently. With the right healthcare considerations, medications and lifestyle changes, many people with bipolar disorder can manage to live successfully and independently. For some people, however, seeking home care services is a helpful step that helps keep their lives on track and running smoothly. Personal care services for individuals with bipolar disorder can range from emotional guidance to helping with medications, offering a support system to allow for greater balance and avoid unwanted complications. Professional home care is an especially useful option for people who do not have constant support, such as spouses or family members who live with them.
Bipolar disorder typically manifests as extreme mood changes. Instead of experiencing the moderate and situational mood swings of the average person, individuals with bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, experience uncontrollable and extreme
changes in mood. During manic phases, the person is often impulsive, restless, unusually extroverted and confident, unable to focus on one thought for long and typically engages in risky behavior, such as promiscuous sexual encounters or spending sprees beyond his or her budget. During depressive phases, the person displays the opposite characteristics. He or she will usually be sad, lethargic, irritable and uninterested in daily life and activities. Sometimes, the bipolar person will experience a phase with mixed characteristics of both mania and depression.
During both the depressed and manic stages, bipolar people often put themselves at risk. Without supervision, medication and other treatment options, mania can lead to impulsive and dangerous decisions. The person's delusions of grandeur can result in harmful actions that continue to affect the person's life negatively, even after the manic episode has passed. During the depressive phase, some bipolar people may contemplate suicide.
With these considerations in mind, the need for a professional, understanding home care provider can be a lifesaver for a bipolar person. In the midst of emotional crises, a caregiver should help the bipolar person remember to take medications and help the
individual engage in other treatment options prescribed by medical professionals, such as therapy or exercise. The well-prepared caregiver will know how to deal compassionately and effectively with both manic and depressive phases. Since dealing with a bipolar partner or family member can be draining for someone who is not prepared to face the challenges, personal care services can be a help for the family caregivers as well as the patient. Working with a professional caregiver can help relieve the stress of dealing with the more intense episodes of manic depression.
Since every person with bipolar disorder is slightly different and has slightly different needs, home care services also vary. The most important consideration for any caregiver is to become fully educated about the mental illness and maintain a respectful, professional attitude towards the person, even during severe manic or depressive phases. Remember that during manic episodes, limits need to be set to avoid overly risky behavior. During depression, every sign or mention of suicidal ideation should be taken seriously. By offering important home care services, personal care providers help bipolar sufferers live happier, healthier lives.