Research shows post-stroke depression is a common occurrence among stroke survivors. It’s not unusual for a senior to feel frustrated, angry, and anxious after a stroke, but these feelings can have a significant effect on rehabilitation and recovery. If you’re a caregiver looking after a senior loved one recovering from a stroke, it’s important to understand how strokes can lead to depression, what to look out for, and what you can do to help.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Why Depression Occurs & Signs to Watch Out For
Strokes can result in depression for numerous reasons, whether it’s due to damage in a specific area of the brain, a chemical imbalance, or simply the loss of independence. Seniors may exhibit a few or all of the following symptoms associated with depression after a stroke:
- Weight change, either gain or loss
- Low energy
- Low self-esteem
- Persistent feelings of sadness
- Withdrawal from family or friends
- Irritability or agitation
- Suicidal thoughts
Post-stroke depression can negatively affect the quality of recovery and contribute to additional health concerns. It’s important to keep in mind that these depressive periods can happen at any time, even years after the initial event. Seniors who experience symptoms for more than two weeks should be evaluated by their physicians as soon as possible.
A home caregiver can help you closely monitor your loved one for signs of depression while he or she is recovering after a stroke. Families looking for top-rated Jefferson County senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
What to Do if Your Loved One Appears Depressed
There are several treatment options available for seniors who experience depression while recovering from strokes:
- Medication, such as antidepressants
- Therapy or counseling
- Secondary treatment, such as speech or occupational therapy
- In-home stroke care and assistance
Seniors recovering from strokes may benefit from antidepressant medications, such as Prozac. Additionally, combining medication with mental health care such as counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy may also be helpful. Finally, secondary treatments such as speech therapy may alleviate stress and frustration that add to your loved one’s feelings of anxiety and depression.
Although post-stroke depression is very common, it’s often undiagnosed and untreated. For this reason, it’s important that family caregivers reach out to medical professionals for assistance. Properly identifying and treating post-stroke depression is vital for better recovery outcomes.
The recovery period following a stroke may at times become physically and emotionally overwhelming for you and your loved one. Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Jefferson County, CO, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (303) 987-5992 to learn more about our customized care plans.