Depression after a stroke is common, affecting approximately two-thirds of stroke patients. Stroke sufferers face not only many immediate physical challenges, but their emotional well-being is also at risk. As a caregiver, paying attention to depression and anxiety after your loved one’s stroke is important and can play a significant role in the patient’s recovery.
Stroke Allows No Time for Preparation
Unlike other chronic conditions that affect the brain, with stroke there is no time for adjustment. A stroke happens suddenly without a gradual progression that allows time for coping and grieving. One day your loved one is normal, and the next day they are not.
How Is Depression After a Stroke Addressed?
Your loved one should see their primary care medical provider as soon as possible. Issues affecting recovery include elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as depression and anxiety. The stroke patient may be referred to an outpatient stroke clinic where recovery therapies for physical issues and depression are available. As a caregiver, here is some guidance to help you:
Take Care of Yourself
You may naturally feel that you should do everything you can for your loved one. However, it’s also essential to set aside time for yourself to avoid feeling isolated and overwhelmed, which puts you at risk for depression. You won’t provide good care if you aren’t in a good place yourself. Reach out to family members and friends for help and look for local support groups and respite care services.
Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about stroke and your loved one’s prognosis. The more you understand about depression after a stroke, the better you’ll be able to help your loved one’s mood.
Participate in Rehab
Most improvements happen during the first six months following a stroke. So, make sure that your loved one’s rehab begins as soon as possible. Going with them to therapy sessions can provide support. Also, work with the therapist on ways to continue rehab at home.
Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
A stroke can uncover underlying health issues. Getting your loved one on a healthier track can make the difference between a relapse and a healthy future. Make sure your loved one eats a healthy, low-fat diet and limits alcohol intake. Work with your health care team to build a doable workout routine. If your loved one is a smoker, help them to quit as smoking doubles their risk of having another stroke.
Depression After a Stroke: Get Some Help
Caregiving support after a stroke is crucial, but it comes with many new responsibilities. If you are overwhelmed, you may end up suffering depression yourself. Being a good caregiver does not mean giving up your life. Balancing your own needs and your loved one’s needs is possible with some help.
Help for Stroke Patients in Columbia, SC
If you need help with your loved one’s depression after a stroke, Caring Healthcare can assist you. We can help with routine tasks to take some of the care burden away from you. If your loved one needs in-home nursing care following a stroke, we have licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) available to you. Why not give us a call and discuss your needs with us.