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Helping a loved one having or recovering from a stroke

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Following a stroke, rehabilitation and recovery can be one of the hardest periods somebody may have to go through. By supporting a loved one through their recovery, however, you can make a world of difference to them.

A stroke can do permanent damage to a person both mentally and physically, depending on how they’ve been affected and what treatment they’ve received. Recovery or recuperation taking a long time to complete, with many patients never fully being restored to the state they were in before their stroke.

Because of this, someone who has had a stroke may require a bit of extra support on a regular basis to help them re-adjust. This could be assistance to carry out certain daily activities or long-term professional care following reablement services.

Here we take a look at how you can help a loved one dealing with the condition and its after effects.

Recognising the symptoms

It’s not always immediately obvious when someone may be having a stroke. By remembering the FAST method, you can identify the problem if it occurs and act quickly:

  • Face: Has the person’s face dropped on one side? Are they able to smile, or has their mouth dropped?
  • Arms: Is the person able to lift both arms and keep them elevated? Is there weakness or numbness in one arm?
  • Speech: Is the person’s speech slurred or can they not speak at all? Are they having difficulty understanding anything you say to them?
  • Time: If the person appears to be affected by the above points, it’s time to call 999 as soon as possible. The sooner you seek urgent medical treatment, the better.

Once the patient’s symptoms have been assessed, the most appropriate treatment will be given depending on the type and severity of the stroke. Following their initial treatment, they may require a great deal of support to help them in their recovery.

Assisting with recovery

It will often involve a long period of rehabilitation for a stroke patient to reclaim a sense of independence. Even then, they might never completely return to the way they were before their stroke, as certain physical or mental damage can end up being permanent.

Because of this, a loved one may require a bit of extra support from family, friends and care workers to re-adjust after such a life-altering condition. Helping someone to recover from a stroke can be a challenging experience, but it’s vital to understand the issues they will face as part of the process.

Whether your loved one needs to relearn skills around the home or rely on an extra pair of hands for difficult tasks, assisting a stroke survivor can be an intensive job and can continue for months and years in some cases. Since it can be a long struggle, it may help to keep a progress record to celebrate reaching certain goals.

The days and weeks following a stroke can be the toughest time for rehabilitation, as the patient may not have the strength to do much. Over time, positive encouragement and motivation can help them to get better. For example, setting small milestones can give them a sense of great achievement along the road to recovery.

Longer-term care

Depending on the severity of the condition and the level of treatment received, it can become a significant struggle to care for a loved one on your own. You may feel it necessary to enlist support from other friends and family or even seek out professional care for support on an ongoing basis.

At SureCare, we can tailor care packages to meet an individual’s unique needs. Whether that involves short visits from a care worker to assist with a few domestic tasks or full-time live-in care for round-the-clock support, our flexible care teams around the country can provide the help that you and your loved ones require.

To find out more about how SureCare can provide assistance for your loved one following a stroke, speak to your local SureCare team today. Find your local branch here.