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Stroke caregivers are at risk for depression
Date:7/20/2012

e burden of caring for a stroke victim increases the risk of depressive symptoms and stress. This burden can include financial strain, home confinement, changes in the relationship with the care recipient, noncompliance of the stroke survivor, demands of caring for the stroke victim and having little personal time for oneself. Those who had high symptoms of depression also had decreasing levels of cortisol during the day while women with fewer symptoms of depression had higher levels. Authors suggest that lower cortisol levels may contribute to an increased risk of depression.

Another Loyola study published in a recent issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing found that female caregivers of stroke survivors grieve the life that they once shared with the stroke survivor and struggle to cope with multiple family and work demands while trying their best to interact with health-care providers to attain the best possible care for their loved one. The study also found that health-care providers can assist caregivers in identifying their needs and referring them to appropriate resources related to assistance with care, transportation, nutrition and ongoing education.

"This was one of the first studies to look at the unique needs of women caring for stroke survivors," Saban said. "Recognizing the challenges of these caregivers may help health-care professionals better support these women."


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Contact: Nora Dudley
nodudley@lumc.edu
708-216-6268
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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