According to the National Stroke Association, more than one third of all stroke survivors experience symptoms of depression. However, the feelings of sadness, anger, and hopelessness that lead to depression can be alleviated. Fort Myers stroke care professionals suggest 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 or a part-time or 24-hour caregiver in Fort Myers.
Keeping an occupied mind can help post-stroke survivors regain a sense of purpose in life. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance recommends setting attainable goals to help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Though setting and achieving goals can be an excellent way to manage depression, your loved one should not 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.
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 fatty foods. Instead, encourage a diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of protein, and plenty of whole grains.
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.
To ensure your loved one has the support he or she needs after a stroke, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide emotional support and mental stimulation, prepare nutritious meals, assist with exercise, and help with a wide array of other tasks. For more information on the in-home elder care Fort Myers families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 239.449.4701 to schedule a complimentary consultation.