Stroke recovery can be a difficult process. Regaining independence often requires constant, dedicated work that can be physically and emotionally draining. That’s why it’s so important for stroke survivors to have a loved one to guide them through the ups and downs of recovery.
As a family member or friend, you may be wondering how best to help someone who has had a stroke. In this article, we’ll show you some ways you can help your loved one ease the recovery process.
Tips for helping with a stroke
Caring for people who have had a stroke can be overwhelming and psychologically stressful, especially early in recovery. Below are 7 tips to help you provide additional support.
1. Learn about stroke
The first step to helping someone who has had a stroke is to learn more about their specific condition. Having a basic understanding and pushing to learn more can be very helpful.
A stroke occurs when an artery that supplies blood to the brain becomes completely blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or burst (hemorrhagic stroke). These 2 processes can lead to brain cells death.
Since no two people are the same, no two strokes are the same. Your loved one’s experience will be unique, and they won’t experience the same stroke side effects as someone else even though there are still some general symptoms that may be common people who has had stroke.
The location, size, and duration of the stroke can predict the chances of recovery. Therefore, it makes sense to ask your loved one’s doctor about the extent and location of the stroke . This will help you ensure the best possible care.
2. Don’t do everything
While it may be tempting for caregivers to help the stroke victim with everything, doing so can slow down the recovery process. This includes daily activities, chores, eating and also wearing their clothes.
During stroke recovery, your loved one works to rebuild the neural pathways in their brain. By rebuilding these pathways, they can regain the lost abilities. This process is called neuroplasticity . This is how the brain heals from injuries such as a stroke.
However, in order to activate neuroplasticity, the person must engage in a repetitive activity. For example, to relearn how to use their hands, they need to perform activities with their hands.
So if you’re constantly doing everything for them, their brains aren’t getting the stimulation they need and their recovery can be hindered or slowed.
3. Encouraging rehab exercises
As a caregivers, you may need to encourage your loved one to participate in therapy. For example, guide him to do his exercises every day.
Stroke survivors who have suffered a frontal lobe stroke often have difficulty planning ahead and staying on task. As a result, they may not take the initiative and conduct therapy independently.
With enough practice, the person can learn to initiate activities, but until then, they will need your help.
4. Understand the invisible side of stroke
When most people think of the side effects of a stroke, physical consequences such as paralysis or slurred speech immediately come to mind.
However, many stroke symptoms are not that easy to spot. So it can be tempting to think the person is fine when they aren’t. This is because some subtle symptoms may be neglected if caregivers aren’t aware of them.
Fatigue , depression, anxiety, and lack of attention are all effects of a stroke that can manifest in subtle ways. Your loved one might seem reckless when in reality they are just confused.
Learning about the various cognitive side effects of stroke can help you better understand the behavior of people who have had a stroke.
5. Provide emotional support
Many stroke survivors face devastating losses that can interfere with their sense of freedom. This could explain why more than 50% of stroke victims experience depression within a year of their stroke .
Your loved one can express their grief in different ways. For example, they may withdraw from others or become irritable and frustrated. To give them the support they need, you should understand that these feelings are a normal part of the healing process. Don’t expect them to feel or behave happy. Instead, help them by just being there, listening to them and also encouraging them when necessary.
You may consider taking them to a stroke support group where they can connect with others and vent their frustration.
Support groups for caregivers can also be a good option for family members and friends. Not only can you find helpful advice on how to care for a stroke victim, you can also meet like-minded people who can give you advice and emotional support for your own heartache. This is an important way to avoid nurse burnout.
6. Overcome communication barriers
Disorders such as aphasia or dysarthria that impair the ability to speak can sometimes occur after a stroke. Depending on the severity of the aphasia, the stroke survivor may have trouble finding the right words or understanding what you are saying.
Aphasia does not mean that a stroke survivor has lost their intelligence. Rather, they have lost the ability to produce the right words. If you can remember this, your interactions can be more successful.
Be patient. If your survivor is having trouble understanding you, there is no need to shout. He can hear you, he just has trouble processing the words as quickly as he used to.
Just repeat what you usually said and both parties will feel respected
7. Maintain social relationships
Stroke survivors often face isolation, either due to immobility or post-stroke depression. It is important that they stay connected to their community. When someone is going through a difficult time, the presence of close friends and family can provide the support they need.
Support your loved one with the best gift you can give them: your relationship. There is power in your presence
7 HACK YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT CARE FOR STROKE PATIENTS.