There are many studies on stroke victims and their recovery. However, it is important to keep in mind their primary caregivers – mainly their spouses. Being a caretaker of a stroke victim can be very stressful and require a large amount of time, energy and devotion. We must remember that the spouses of these stroke victims are also elderly with their own health issues and find it difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to cope with these stressors. And, this problem often exacerbates whatever illnesses they have.
A study from the American Heart Association Journal Stroke, evaluated the mental and physical health of spouses of stroke victims. The goal was to determine the long-term effects of the stresses associated with caring for stroke victims. This study demonstrates the importance of understanding the effects of a stroke on the spouses, as well as the stroke victims themselves.
Swedish researchers examined 248 stroke survivors. Their spouses were evaluated and compared to 245 non-stroke caregiver spouses over the course of 7 years. Researchers examined several mental and physical aspects of life for the spouses of stroke victims. Overall, the spouses experienced more health issues, less vitality and decreased socialization functions than the control subjects.
Depending on the severity of the stroke and needs of the affected spouse, caring for the stroke survivor can be a full-time job. Furthermore, it can also increase the caregivers’ stress level, preventing them from getting regular physical activity or discouraging them from getting out to socialize with friends and family. Caring for a loved one may mean a spouse has to quit their job, placing additional financial stress on the family.
Many spouses feel a responsibility to their loved ones and are hesitant to reach out for help, even when that undertaking becomes too much to handle alone. However, as this study reveals, the burden of caring for a spouse after a stroke can take huge tolls on the mental and physical health of the caretaker. The best way to ensure the health of both the stroke survivor and their spouse is often to enlist the help of a home health aide.
At David York Agency, we understand how difficult and life-changing a stroke can be, not only for the survivor, but for their spouse as well. Life as you’ve known it has changed and it is okay to ask for help. Our experienced home healthcare professionals can provide the compassionate and personalized care that your loved one needs, allowing you the time to nurture your own mental and physical wellness.
For more information on David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. For additional information about stroke risks or about arranging care for a loved one who has suffered from a stroke, contact us today.