The Caregiver Role after Stroke

Caring for one who has had a stroke can be very difficult both physically and emotionally. Remembering a few things and sharing what you have learned with others will help.

A stroke is not just a patient affair, it is a family affair. A stroke is often as hard on the family and the ones who love the individual as it is on the one who is suffering the stroke.

One of the best ways to overcome some of the stress of this time is to communicate with one another and to communicate clearly with the patient. Here are some pointers that will help: 

  1. Always include the patient. Often the person who has had a stroke cannot communicate as easily, but that does not mean that he or she does not understand. The patient needs to maintain all the independence that is possible.
  2. Always ask the patient if he or she needs help, do not assume or just do for the individual. The more the individual does for himself or herself the more self-reliant he or she will become.
  3. Take care of yourself. This is one of the more difficult things to remember. During this time, due to stress and loss of sleep, many individuals find themselves exhausted. Once this occurs it is very hard to stay physically and mentally sharp. To truly help the one you love you have to take care of your needs as well. Allow others to help you if able.
  4. Ask questions. Education about one's care is the best tool you have. Use the resources around you. You will be exposed to many different healthcare professionals who can answer your questions and give you helpful insight.