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Do Strokes Cause Senior Depression?

By Manpreet Dhalla, 9:00 am on

Clinical depression in seniors is very common and affects up to 10 percent of seniors living in nursing homes. While seniors face numerous physical challenges post-stroke, they may also experience some emotional drawbacks that caregivers in Ft. Lauderdale need to prepare for. Recent studies show that strokes may actually cause depression among seniors, but the question is how? 

Depression after Strokes

Around 40 percent of stroke survivors will go on to develop clinical depression. This estimate is likely to be low because it can be difficult to assess seniors with stroke-related impairments, such as difficulty speaking, for depressive behavior. However, special tools have recently been developed to screen for depression among seniors after a stroke. 

Do Strokes Cause Depression?

It is unclear if strokes cause depression or if depression causes strokes because both may be true. Around 30 percent of those who have strokes are on antidepressants before their incidents and many studies suggest that being clinically depressed increases an individual’s risk of experiencing a stroke. However, one study composed of 1134 stroke survivors two years after the event controlled for the presence of pre-stroke depression and found that compared to individuals of a similar age, stroke survivors were at six-fold higher risk of developing clinical depression post-stroke. This clearly indicates that strokes can cause depression.

Implications

Immediately after a stroke, most people temporarily experience feelings of depression. However, those who do not develop clinical depression soon regain feelings of hope for the future. Depressed stroke survivors appear to recover less efficiently and encounter more limitations to perform activities of daily living than those without depression. Therefore, identifying and treating depression in stroke survivors may lead to clinical health benefits. Additionally, if depression is a risk factor for strokes, depressed stroke survivors may be at high risk of experiencing more strokes in the future.

After a stroke, seniors often require help with mobility assistance, personal care, and medication reminders. With help from Ft. Lauderdale Home Care Assistance, seniors receive the compassionate and comprehensive care they need to efficiently recover from a stroke in the comfort of home. Our expertly trained caregivers promote self-esteem and wellbeing to ensure seniors recover safely and effectively after their stay in the hospital. To learn more about our comprehensive post-stroke care, contact us at (954) 909-0370 and schedule a free in-home consultation with an experienced Care Manager.