Daughters who care for a parent recovering from a stroke are more prone to depression than sons according to a new study by the Canadian Stroke Network.
Caring for a parent can bring out "family strengths and family weaknesses" said Marina Bastawrous, a masters candidate at the University of Toronto. Adult children can sometimes give their parents excellent care when a senior has a stroke. That care is often dictated by the prior relationship the person had with their parent. Close and secure relationships predicted better mental health and greater satisfaction for the adult child caregivers according to the study.
Because daughters tend to put greater importance on family relations than sons the study found that daughters were more negatively impacted by a poor relationship with their parent.
"But strained relationships before or following the stroke increases depression in daughters," Bastawrous said in a press release obtained by Digital Journal. "If the relationship between a parent and adult daughter is already strained, a stroke can make things even worse."
Study co-author Dr. Jill Cameron said that adult children of stroke patients are the forgotten generation. While sixty-two percent of stroke caregivers are the adult children most stroke care plans are designed for spouses. Cameron says this needs to be addressed. She believes that work environments need to factor in support for family members caring for stroke survivors, training by medical staff for those who will give care to their parents after a stroke and recognize the special needs of adult children who give that care.
"Family caregivers are critical to stroke recovery and typically assume major care roles that are frequently costly to their financial, social, and emotional well-being," says Dr. Antoine Hakim, spokesperson for the Canadian Stroke Network. "Innovative new ideas to support their balance and quality of life is essential."