Supporting Someone Who Has Had a Stroke
When someone has a stroke, their life often changes overnight. Along with physical effects, they may face emotional and behavioural changes as well. Post-stroke complications can make it difficult for individuals to carry out daily activities and manage their health and wellbeing. Whether you are a caregiver, family member, or friend, there are a few important things you should know that can help you support someone who has had a stroke.
- Educate Yourself – Although it is important for you to understand how a stroke can affect the body, every stroke is different and therefore it is essential that you find out as much as you can about your loved one’s condition. Attend doctor or hospital visits with them, ask questions, take notes, and become familiar with their treatment plan. Ensure you know about your loved one’s medications and possible side effects.
- Help Reduce Risks – Stroke survivors are at a high risk of having another stroke. Help your loved one reduce risks by encouraging them to eat a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, take medications as prescribed, and visit their healthcare provider frequently.
- Monitor Changes – Take note of any changes in behaviour or attitude. Contact a healthcare provider to develop a plan of action if you notice your loved one is having a difficult time controlling their emotions. Be aware of the symptoms of a stroke (face drooping, arm drifting downwards, slurred or strange speech) so you are ready in case of an emergency.
- Provide Emotional Support – Depression among stroke survivors is very common and can hinder a patient’s recovery, both physically and emotionally. Ensure your loved one knows that their thoughts and feelings are valid and they are not alone. Help them find a support group, psychologist or other supportive resources so they can express their emotions and learn about different coping approaches.
- Know When to Seek Help & Build a Team – Get to know your loved one’s care team. Having a good relationship with their doctors will help ensure you are all on the same team about what kind of support is needed and allow you to make decisions together. If you are your loved one’s primary support person or caregiver, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself as well and seek additional help when you need to.
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15 Things Caregivers Should Know After a Loved One Has Had a Stroke. (n.d.). Www.Stroke.Org. Retrieved January 2, 2021, from https://www.stroke.org/en/help-and-support/for-family-caregivers/15-things-caregivers-should-know-after-a-loved-one-has-had-a-stroke
Tips for a Caregiver of Someone Who’s Had a Stroke. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/caregiver-tips-stroke#1