Sadly, depression is common among stroke survivors. When it is left untreated, it can hinder one’s recovery. Feelings of prolonged sadness and feelings of depression often occur due to biochemical reactions in an injured brain, as well as from difficulty adjusting to declines in abilities and changes in lifestyle. Preventing depression is an important aspect of every post-stroke recovery plan.
Not sure where to begin when developing a care plan for an aging parent, grandparent or loved one who has suffered a stroke? For everyone involved, the process can be daunting and emotional. Learn more about professional hourly and live-in care in Annapolis – tailored specifically to the needs of stroke survivors – and continue reading for strategies that will help you and your family implement a successful and effective post-stroke care plan.
Recognize the Signs of Depression
Stroke survivors tend to express depression in different ways depending upon the location of the stroke/insult to the brain and their individual temperament pre-stroke. Too often, depression is attributed to apathy and accepted as another lingering side effect of having a stroke. Any of the following signs warrant further investigation by a stroke survivor’s medical team.
- Feelings of hopelessness or guilt
- Prolonged sadness
- Lack of interest in normal activities
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Increased fatigue
Explore New Ways to Enjoy Favorite Activities
After a stroke, it is normal for a survivor to feel a sense of loss at no longer being able to enjoy their former activities. Finding new ways to enjoy a person’s favorite pastimes with modifications can help to restore a positive outlook. For example, a stroke survivor who struggles with reading may still enjoy listening to stories on an audiobook. Alternatively, those who struggle with mobility will find that using an assistive device can allow them to continue and enjoy their daily walk – an activity we encourage all our patients to participate in as it has proven helpful in preventing stroke recurrence!
Join a Support Group
Loneliness and isolation can contribute to depression which is a serious concern for caregivers and stroke survivors. Joining a support group can provide a social element to your loved one’s recovery that will allow them to understand how others are coping with their condition. Not only will your loved one be able to cultivate new relationships, but caregivers also can use this time to listen to similar situations, bettering their ability to provide optimal stroke care in Annapolis.
By being aware that depression is common following a stroke and taking proactive measures to relieve feelings of isolation and sadness, stroke survivors can ensure their emotional well-being so that they can have a better outcome for their physical recovery. Not sure if you can handle care alone? You don’t have to. Contact Home Care Assistance of Annapolis at 443-302-2771 and speak with a Care Manager about our Annapolis senior care and respite options. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and look forward to hearing from you.