Helping Seniors Overcome Depression After Stroke

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It’s not unusual for seniors to become depressed following a stroke, especially if side effects include partial or full paralysis, difficulty speaking and eating, and/or other motor issues associated with stroke. In fact, the Heart and Stroke Association of Canada estimates that nearly half of all stroke survivors will experience some level of depression during recovery and rehabilitation, making the issue one that should not be taken lightly by family members and caregivers. The following stroke tips, presented by Caledon Home Care Assistance, can help to ensure that your aging parent or loved one maintains a positive outlook as they begin this new stage of life.

Look for Warning Signs of Depression

After a senior loved one has had a stroke, take some time to look for signs of depression. Realize that certain medications prescribed to stroke survivors can sometimes make it difficult to determine emotional state, specifically when medications are to help with paralysis of facial muscles. Additional signs of depression to look for include:

  • A general loss of interest in life
  • Increased agitation and mood swings
  • Frequent bouts of crying and sadness

Offer Support and Encouragement

Seniors who have never suffered serious depression prior to their stroke may not be willing to be tested or participate in treatment. One way to get around this initial resistance is to offer support and encouragement as they undergo further testing and treatment for depression while reassuring them that there is no need to feel embarrassed. Consider a support group where they can interact with other stroke survivors.

Other options for support and encouragement can be found through in-home care providers. Home care providers often offer both hourly and live-in care in Caledon, where highly trained caregivers can provide assistance to stroke survivors on a regular basis. By helping with daily activities, caregivers can not only help to ensure safety, but can also provide companionship, support and encouragement as your loved one recovers.

Encourage Activities and Participation

Keep things as normal as possible by engaging in daily conversations, planning family activities together and returning to a structured routine as much as possible. With doctor approval, some stroke survivors may be able to participate in light or moderate exercise, which can give them something positive to focus on rather than dwelling on their condition.

Depression following a stroke can have a noticeable impact on a senior’s recovery, so it’s important to make sure that your loved one has all of the support available, from both family and friends, as well as peers and professional caregivers. To learn more about supporting a senior after a stroke, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a premier home care provider that specializes in stroke care in Caledon. Simply dial 905-951-8885 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.

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