Tips for Combating Depression in Senior Stroke Survivors

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According to the National Stroke Association, more than a third of all stroke survivors experience symptoms of depression. However, the feelings of sadness, anger, and hopelessness that lead to depression can be alleviated. Take a look at the following strategies to help your senior loved one combat post-stroke depression. 

Reach Out for Support

In 2014, Hebei North University conducted a study to investigate the effects loneliness has on depression. Using a study pool of 320 seniors, researchers found social support partially mediates loneliness and depression. Your loved one can find the support he or she needs by joining a stroke survivor’s group, reaching out to friends and family, and speaking with a counselor.

A home caregiver can provide much-needed companionship and closely monitor your loved one for signs of depression while he or she is recovering after a stroke. Families looking for top-rated in-home care providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. 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.

Set Goals

Keeping their minds occupied can help post-stroke survivors regain a sense of purpose in life. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance recommends setting attainable goals to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Though setting and achieving goals can be an excellent way to manage depression, your loved one shouldn’t overdo it. Setting too many goals can lead to stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate symptoms of depression. The key to stroke recovery is to take it one step at a time. 

Eat Well

Alcohol and drugs are known for their mind-altering effects, but some foods also have the ability to affect mood. A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered people who consume too many sweetened beverages, refined foods, and pastries may have an increased risk of depression. To combat symptoms of post-stroke depression, limit your loved one’s intake of processed foods. Instead, encourage a diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of protein, and plenty of whole grains. 

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Potomac home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help.

Exercise

A stagnant body is just as unhealthy as a stagnant mind. A lack of physical activity is one of the leading causes of stroke and can continue to negatively affect your loved one’s emotional health during recovery. Fortunately, regular exercise doesn’t have to be stressful. Just 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week is enough to keep endorphins flowing from the brain to fight depression. 

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. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Potomac, MD, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call at (301) 363-2580 today.