Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More support needed for women caring for elderly men at home after stroke

08.05.2012
The hardest aspect of looking after your partner after stroke is not the physical disability but personality changes and a lack of support from society. This has been highlighted in a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Previous research has found that around 70% of elderly stroke patients are dependent on help from their partner. Most of this informal care is provided by elderly women.

In a study at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy, researcher Gunilla Gosman Hedström made a qualitative study in elderly women whose partner had stroke. Her study shows that many experience a serious lack of support and information from society.

Like “living with another man”
Initial support focuses on practical devices to make home-based care possible – but everyday life then throws up some very different problems. In Gunilla Gosman Hedström’s study, women reported frustration that they no longer recognised the man to whom they may have been married for as many as 50 years.
“Many stroke patients suffer from concentration problems, fatigue, irritation and difficulties communicating,” says Gosman-Hedström. “This means that the couple lose the intimacy and closeness that they once shared, which causes considerable sorrow. The women find that it’s like ‘living with another man’.”

Fear and guilt
In the present qualitative study, recently published in the Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 16 elderly women (median age 74) discussed their experience in focus groups. The results show that many live in constant fear of their partner suffering another stroke, and that they also feel guilty about any feelings of irritation they might have.

“The women saw their partners more as patients than as husbands,” Gunilla Gosman Hedström explains. “They felt tied down with little time to devote to their own needs, and the partner's altered personality meant that many had cut down on socialising.

“Many have little time to themselves. They try to create time to carry out everyday activities, but the men struggle to be by themselves. For many women, the only chance of some ‘own time’ was to silent get out of bed once their partner was asleep for the night.”

Despite the negative aspects, the women in the study wanted to continue to care for their husbands at home. However, they did call for more support, such as dayrehabilitation, longer periods of respite care, and greater consideration from health care- and social services. The researchers’ conclusion is that relatives should be offered special educational and training programmes, support groups of women in the same situation, and greater scope for individualized long-term action plans as different problems arise.

“If relatives did not provide this care, the health care- and social services would face a huge need for new care places at a cost far in excess of that of providing more support for informal carers,” says Gunilla Gosman-Hedström. “These women find that their help and support are taken for granted – in many cases they’re not even asked at discharge whether they’re actually able and willing to take care of their partner.”

The article “Mastering an unpredictable everyday life after stroke” was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences in February 2012.

STROKE
Stroke is an umbrella term for cerebral infarction and cerebral haemorrhage and one of the most costly diseases in Sweden. Around 30,000 people suffer from strokes each year in Sweden , the majority of them over the age of 70. Around 100,000 people in Sweden currently live with some form of stroke-related disability.

Bibliographic data:
Title: “Mastering an unpredictable everyday life after stroke”
Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences in February 2012.
Link to article: http://bit.ly/HkzoC7
Authors: Gunilla Gosman-Hedström PhD Associate Professor, Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff PhD Professor

For more information, please contact:
Gunilla Gosman-Hedström, Associate Professor and Reg. Occupational Therapist, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Telephone: +46 (0)31 786 5727
E-mail: Gunilla.Gosman-Hedstrom@neuro.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://bit.ly/HkzoC7

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

Im Focus: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning

The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.

“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Strong carbon fiber artificial muscles can lift 12,600 times their own weight

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Polymer-graphene nanocarpets to electrify smart fabrics

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>