Caring for a stroke survivor

February 22, 2022 Stroke care

Caring for a stroke survivor

Caring for someone who has had a stroke can be extremely challenging. Whilst some people may recover quickly, many people who have had a stroke will need long-term help and support after they return from the hospital. It is often a family member or partner who takes the main responsibility for supporting someone after a stroke. Before they leave the hospital, the stroke team will work with family and professionals to create a plan for the care they need when they leave and assess long-term needs.

Here are some helpful ideas for improving the care you provide:

Encourage daily rehabilitation exercise

Your loved one may struggle with motor impairments after a stroke. You can help assist with their recovery by encouraging daily rehabilitation exercises to help rewire the brain. Regular movement is the best remedy for stroke.

Be helpful – but not overbearing

If you see your loved one struggling to do something, it is completely normal to want to help as much as possible. You should only help if they ask or if necessary. By allowing them to do stuff on their own, they will continue to keep getting better. Small accomplishments will help your loved one become more self-reliant and confident.

Keep a record of side effects from medication

All medications come with different side effects that should be carefully monitored. A useful tip is to keep a log of your loved one’s behaviour and symptoms and keep track of any changes or problems.

Adapting their home

Your loved one may struggle with communication, memory, or mobility which may mean you need to make some changes to their home. An occupational therapist can help assist with aids and equipment that may be needed, including wheelchairs and grab rails. They can also advise on other house modification recommendations to help improve your loved one’s safety.

Look out for any new stroke side effects

Sometimes new stroke side effects can happen months after discharge. It is important to consult with their doctor as soon as possible if you notice something unusual or different.

Consider home care support

Many people who have suffered from a stroke will want to remain at home. Care assistants can help assist with day to day activities including washing, dressing, preparing food, managing medication and other needs. This can allow you to keep your relationship as your loved one’s friend or relative, rather than becoming their carer.

Read here for more helpful advice:

Important general advice

  • Remember that stroke recovery is not linear and it is common for stroke patients to take two steps forward and one step back during the recovery process.
  • Stroke and brain injury rehabilitation specialist, April Pruski, M.D., says “The first three months after a stroke is the most important for recovery and when patients will see the most improvement.” Many stroke survivors may suffer a plateau after the first three months of recovery however this is not a sign of recovery is stopping.
  • Make sure you are taking care of yourself. Looking after someone who has had a stroke can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Remember to take regular breaks and have some time for yourself each day. Look at joining local and national stroke and carer support groups who will understand what you are going through. It is important to talk to others about how you are feeling.

How can Cavendish Homecare help?

At Cavendish Homecare, providing home care for stroke sufferers is one of the specialist services we offer.  We understand that recovery periods after a stroke, or Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), vary greatly and that rehabilitation needs to be tailored to each individual’s needs.  We can offer the level of assistance needed and we can adjust the amount of support offered as the patient recovers.