Quebec City Adult daughters caring for a parent recovering from stroke are more prone to depression than sons, Marina Bastawrous today told the Canadian Stroke Congress, co-hosted by the Canadian Stroke Network, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Canadian Stroke Consortium.
Caring for a parent who has experienced a stroke results in a dramatic shift from the usual parent-child relationship. "Stroke can be particularly challenging for families," says Bastawrous, a masters candidate at the University of Toronto. "Taking care of elderly parents can bring out family strengths and family weaknesses."
The adult child-to-parent bond can result in excellent care when a senior has a stroke. But not always, she says.
The study found that close and secure relationships with parents predicted better mental health and greater satisfaction in adult child caregivers.
"But strained relationships before or following the stroke increases depression in daughters," she says. "If the relationship between a parent and adult daughter is already strained, a stroke can make things even worse."
The quality of relationships both before and after the stroke had an equally important influence on wellbeing.
The study found that adult daughters placed greater importance on family relationships than sons and, in turn, were more negatively impacted by poor relationships with their parent.
"When a parent has a stroke, adult children often become their primary caregivers," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Michael Hill. "It's important that as part of the recovery process we examine their experiences because they are obviously vital to the ongoing care of the stroke patient."
Sandwich generation spread too thin
Study co-author Dr. Jill Cameron says adult children providing stroke care for their parents need help and they need it now.
"Adult children are stroke care'
|Contact: Jane-Diane Fraser|
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada