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 Deep Brain Stimulation Provides Sustained Relief for Severe Depression
19.03.2019 | Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

nachricht AI study of risk factors in type 1 diabetes
06.03.2019 | University of Gothenburg

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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>