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Do Strokes Cause Depression Among the Elderly?

There is some debate within the medical community and Sacramento in-home stroke care providers about causation involving depression and strokes among the elderly. Yet one fact remains clear-cut: strokes sometimes produce physical limitations and lifestyle changes which, in turn, contribute to depression in stroke patients.

What Causes Strokes?

Strokes essentially result when abnormal cerebrovascular incidents cause a sudden, unexpected interruption or change in blood flow. For example, a heart patient may develop a clot, which enters the circulatory system and blocks blood flow to the brain. In some cases, strokes occur within small yet critical vessels. They may impair a senior’s ability to engage in normal physical activities. One side of the body may display stroke symptoms, for instance. Some strokes even impair mental functioning and cause chemical imbalances. The impacts of strokes vary widely from case to case, and sometimes a transient cerebrovascular incident may go unnoticed. Conversely, others cause much more noticeable physical and emotional effects. 

Do Strokes Cause Depression?

Many observers have noted a strong correlation between those who have strokes and bouts of clinical depression. In many cases, a stroke severely curtails an elderly person’s quality of life. For example, someone who has always appreciated independence may suddenly not be able to walk, speak, or write without help from a Sacramento caregiver. The loss of independence, in combination with damage sustained to the brain, often contributes to post-stroke depression.

Does Depression Cause Stroke?

There are some that believe strokes may be brought on by depression. This may be due to the fact that some antidepressants use serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which can cause the brain to bleed. This event is known as a bleeding stroke or brain hemorrhage and is particularly dangerous because the procedure to stop the bleeding involved invasive surgery. If your loved one is already on antidepressants, consult a physician to ensure he or she isn’t at risk for stroke.

If your senior loved one has recently had a stroke and is showing signs of depression, turn to Home Care Assistance of Sacramento.  We provide compassionate stroke care for Sacramento seniors to ensure a safe and efficient recovery in the comfort of home. Our caregivers promote wellbeing and comfort by offering mobility assistance, physical therapy, and emotional support to help seniors recover from stroke. Call us today at 916.706.0169 to learn more about our post-stroke care and schedule a free in-home consultation.