Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Date:
September 30, 2010
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
New research shows that unhelpful friends and family cause caregivers of stroke survivors to stress out.

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

Related Articles


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.

"Often families aren't really understanding, or families might blame a caregiver for not doing more than they're doing," said Rosemarie King, the study's lead investigator and research professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "We had one caregiver in our study ask if we could send her a write-up that she could just hand to family members to explain how harassed and stressed caregivers are."

The next most stressful problem category was the difficulty caregivers experienced in trying to sustain themselves and their families. Social isolation and changes in their relationship with the stroke survivor also top caregivers' concerns.

"Caregivers face much anxiety about managing their own finances and taking care of their own emotions during such a difficult time," King said. "The least stressful area was patient-related problems. Not that those problems aren't stressful, they were just not as stressful for this group of caregivers."

The study suggests that these often-overlooked concerns for caregivers are a major source of stress. The results are critical, King noted, because other studies, mostly of Alzheimer's caregivers, show stress and depression seem to be associated with increased mortality.

King offers a few tips for friends and family that may ease caregiver stress:

  • Encourage online or in-person caregiver support groups.
  • Invite the caregiver to join you at a social event.
  • Ask the caregiver how she is doing and express concern for her well-being.
  • Be a sounding board; let the caregiver bounce ideas off of you.
  • Stay with the patient for a few hours, so the caregiver can get out of the house.
  • Offer to help with specific everyday tasks, such as shopping for groceries for the caregiver or bringing prepared meals to the home.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Family and friends may cause most tension for caregivers of stroke survivors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930093233.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2010, September 30). Family and friends may cause most tension for caregivers of stroke survivors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930093233.htm
Northwestern University. "Family and friends may cause most tension for caregivers of stroke survivors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930093233.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins