Surprising Stress for Caregivers

Northwestern.edu

Family and friends may cause most tension for caregivers of stroke survivors

The biggest cause of stress for people who care for loved ones after a stroke may not be worrying about the affected family member.

Rather, surprising new research from Northwestern Medicine shows that a lack of understanding and help from friends and relatives causes the most stress and the greatest threat to a caregiver’s own health and well-being.

These and other stressors, like simply trying to take care of themselves and their families along with the demands of caregiving can cause caregivers to report signs of anxiety and depression.

The findings will be presented at the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses annual educational conference Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 in Orlando, FL.

The study of 58 caregivers of stroke survivors, identified 15 types of common problems caregivers face. The most stressful problems concerned friends and family who criticize, ignore or don’t help caregivers.

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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.