May I ask you a question?

imagesI am on a number of Blog boards where I get information on people who had strokes and want information.  This person had a stroke 5 days ago and is looking for some hope:

hi everyone.  I recently had a stroke and I am having so much frustration and difficulty with family trying to understand what are some great things I can give them to help them understand me and my emotions. They seem just as frustrated as I am and it is hard to tell them what is going on with words. I find the more I talk, the slower my speech becomes. Is this normal?

Getting this lets me know I am on the right track.  I wrote back:

Just take each day as It comes…and be greatful you are alive! Your other side will come back; it just takes time.  My stroke was 7 years ago.  I couldn’t move my right fingers for 4 years and I still have my issues with speech. But I wake each day, kiss my beautiful wife and am blessed to have one more day. Just relax and know that your friends are with you.

Did this make sense? I think it was positive, but I want YOUR opinion.

Women Caregivers Are More At Risk

 

Posted by Teresa Bitler

According to a study released at the International Stroke Conference, gender plays a role in a caregiver’s health. The study revealed that women, especially those caring for their spouses, were much more likely to develop serious health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Women Are More At Risk

Stressed woman illustration.In general, female caregivers are more at risk for serious health conditions than their male counterparts. They report higher incidences of depression and anxiety and lower levels of well-being and life satisfaction. Female caregivers are also more likely to experience chronic disease, an increased risk of cancer, diminished immune system, and physical ailments such as acid reflux and headaches.

Studies indicate that the increased health risks may be associated with how women are wired. Female caregivers tend to have more of an emotional attachment to caregiving than their male counterparts.

Marriage Impacts Stress And Health

Providing care for your spouse can also put you at a higher risk for developing serious and chronic health conditions. The study released at the International Stroke Conference found that spousal caregivers and caregivers of the opposite sex of those they were providing for tended to experience a greater decline in health.

Spouses are particularly prone to burnout and health risks because caregiving can cause significant changes in the dynamics of the marital relationship. Plus, since you live together, you don’t get breaks from caregiving.

The study also indicated that the women who cared for their spouses tended to be at greater risk than men who cared for theirs.

Other Factors Compound The Risk

Some female caregivers are more susceptible to developing health issues than others. The study found other factors influenced the risk, including:
• Length of caregiving
• Difficulty of caregiving tasks
• Perceived impact on caregiver’s life

What You Can Do

Although female caregivers are at greater risk for developing health issues, providing care for a stroke survivor can have an impact on men, too. The National Alliance for Caregiving states that nearly half of the caregivers they surveyed indicate that their health has gotten worse as a result of caregiving.
Take these steps to alleviate stress and protect your health:

• Ask for help from family and friends
• Join a support group
• Take time for yourself to visit with friends or enjoy a hobby
• Arrange for respite care
• If married, focus on the positive aspects of caregiving on relationship
• Schedule regular physical check-ups for yourself
• Exercise and meditate