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Emotional Changes Seniors Can Expect Post-Stroke

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

As a leading provider of home care in the Lehigh Valley, we’ve worked with many senior adults and their families who are surprised at the emotional changes that happen in the wake of a stroke. These emotional changes can be attributed to both physical damage caused in the brain and the normal reaction to a traumatic event. While some side effects may fade in time, others may require treatment. If your elderly loved one has recently had a stroke, here are the most common emotions that may emerge during and after recovery.

Anxiety

Having a stroke is often a reminder of a person’s mortality. Anxiety also frequently arises from a stressful event. Your loved one may worry about having another health crisis, or he or she may worry about being a burden on others. Offer your loved one reassurance during this time, and seek professional help if anxiety interferes with normal activities.

Emotional Lability

Extreme bouts of laughing or crying that may not always be appropriate to the situation that is occurring are another emotional change one can expect after a stroke. This is due to neurological changes in the brain, and it often resolves as the lesion begins to heal. During this time, you can offer distractions that may reduce the severity of the reaction and continue conversations as normal while offering a gentle touch on the arm or hug if needed.

Anger

Stroke survivors often experience anger that may stem from the frustration that occurs when they struggle with daily tasks, and it can have a physical cause depending upon where the stroke occurred in the brain. As a post-stroke caregiver, you can help alleviate anger by arranging for help during parts of their daily routine that may be difficult such as personal hygiene and meal preparation.

Depression

Feelings of sadness and despair are normal after any life-changing event. Stroke survivors may also feel isolated during their recovery, and this is especially true for those who experienced physical changes that limit their abilities to carry out their normal routine. Make sure your loved one has plenty of social contact with friends, family, and other caregivers who can alleviate the worst symptoms with conversation and activities that will remind them they still play a vital role in life.

When you have the right support, meeting your loved one’s care needs after a stroke feels much more manageable. Reach out to Home Care Assistance to learn about our comprehensive care services and customized care schedules, ideal for seniors recovering from a stroke in the comfort of home. In addition to stroke care, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s home care in the Lehigh Valley for seniors with advanced conditions. Call an experienced Care Manager at 484-350-3874 and request a free consultation today.