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Active And Confident Caregivers Are The Happiest

Update Date: Mar 22, 2014 08:46 PM EDT
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Stroke caregivers are happier when they enjoy their own hobbies and interests, a new research has found. 

As subjects, around 399 family members caring for a love who survived a stroke, were considered and were assessed using several questionnaires . The caregivers who participated were mostly women and married to the person they were caring for. 

Other than these findings, researchers also found that caregivers were older with average age 58 and were better in physical health. The caregivers were caring for someone with less cognitive impairment, memory problems and depression. 

"I was most surprised that caregivers were happier when caring for a family member who survived a more severe stroke," said Jill Cameron, Ph.D., lead author of the study and an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Toronto, in the press release. 

"But when a stroke is labeled mild, expectations are high and the issues are more subtle. That can cause more frustration because survivors of a mild stroke still have problems."

Stroke being a sudden event, it gives survivors little time to shift to hospitals and hence providing family caregiver also very little time to prepare.

"That might be one reason older caregivers are the most content," Cameron said. 

"They're more likely to be retired and less likely to have to juggle responsibilities of a job and children along with providing post-stroke care."

On the other side, depression, cognitive issues and memory problems were seen to affect badly on the well-being of the caregiver. 

"If the family is doing better, that helps the patient do better," Cameron added in the press release.

The research has been published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke

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