When a loved one suffers a stroke and they need your help to recover, so much seems to be up in the air. What do you need to know about recovery? How do you find the balance necessary to take care of yourself as well as your loved one? As stroke recovery care specialists, we know that it can be overwhelming.
But you will get through it.
Knowing what to expect as you and your loved one make this journey together can help. Here are five things to know.
Reduce Risks Before Stroke Happens Again
The first thing to know about strokes is that if you don’t reduce the risk factors that caused the first one, it is increasingly likely to happen again. Some things to consider changing include diet and frequency of exercise. You should also make sure your loved one takes their medication as prescribed. Talk to your loved one’s doctor to learn about what you can be doing to lessen the chances of a second stroke.
Recovery Can Be Quick or Take Time
One of the things that you might be wondering as you begin to take care of your loved one is how long recovery will take. This is a tricky question to answer because recovery is not the same for every patient. Sometimes stroke survivors regain function relatively quickly in the first few months. Sometimes the gains stroke survivors experience happen years after the stroke happened.
Many different factors can influence the rate of recovery your loved one experiences—where the stroke occurred in the brain, how healthy your loved one was before the stroke, how motivated your loved one is to recover, the quality of stroke recovery care your loved one receives, and so on. What’s important is that you don’t compare your loved one’s recovery to that of other survivors.
Support Can Be Invaluable
You’d be surprised how much support you can find in your community. Support groups for both you and your loved one can help you both cope with the changes that you’re dealing with. Stroke recovery care from a professional caregiver can help with recovery, too, no matter whether you need long-term care or respite care. Giving and receiving care can feel isolating, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of the resources available to you.
Take Care of Yourself, Too
Speaking of support, you should be sure to enlist help when you, the caregiver, feel overwhelmed. Whether that means asking a sibling to help out for a while or hiring in-home care services, the important thing is that you take care of your own physical and mental health when you need to.
Be Aware in Emotional Changes
If your loved one experiences significant emotional changes, it’s critical to note them and seek the help of an expert. Depression is common for stroke survivors, as well as emotional lability (when a stroke survivor has trouble controlling changes in emotion), so consult with a physician if you notice any prolonged or drastic changes in mood or behavior.
Our Stroke Recovery Care Specialists Are at Your Service
Get in touch with us if you need help caring for a loved one who is recovering from a stroke. We are here to help you and your loved one with as much or as little as you need.