How to Care for a Person Who Has Had a Stroke
Every year in the UK over 130,000 people in the UK have a Stroke. If this has happened to someone you are close to it can have a massive impact on your family and lifestyle. The following tips can help you to care for your loved one more safely and easily at home.
• A stroke can affect a person’s mobility, swallowing, communication, continence, memory, vision and emotions as well as other areas such as taste, balance and concentration. It is important to be patient with the recovery – some people will recover quickly whilst others will takes weeks, months or even longer.
• Try to get into a routine as quickly as possible and it you are able give the person who has had the stroke a responsibility in the family to help with their self esteem.
• Relearning old skills after a stroke, such as dressing, can be made easier with the introduction of various aids and equipment such as sock aids, reachers and dressing sticks.
• After a stroke there may be many different professionals visiting your house and it can get confusing about what they all do – try to keep a record of who visited you, their contact details and what their role in the rehabilitation of the stroke victim is.
• A stroke can affect a person’s memory so some people may benefit from reminders – electronic reminders can be set to remind a person of medication, appointments, meals times and other important events. You may like to make sure a large clock and calendar is visable.
• If the stroke has disabled one side of the person’s upper body there are gadgets which can assist. The use of one handed can openers, cutlery and trays may help. Non-slip mats and spreader boards can enable a person to relearn some basic kitchen skills. A plate guard will help someone scoop their food without being embarrassed about making a mess.
• A physiotherapist may visit you to help prescribe suitable walking aids and exercises to improve balance, mobility and movement.
• It is importable that carers look after their backs – the use of the correct moving and handling equipment can be important, an Occupational Therapist should be able to advise you on this.
• It is important to get out and about and get support from other people who have gone through a similar experience to yourselves. A portable ramp can help with wheelchair access and a turning aid can help a person to get in and out of a car.
• If your house has stairs a physiotherapist will usually practice these and let you know when the person who has had a stroke is ready to go up and down them. They may recommend an additional stair rail or other adaptations.
• If you have had to give up work to become a carer this may have had an impact on your financial situation – the local Citizens Advice Centre or Job Centre Plus will be able to give you advice on benefits you may be entitled to.
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- April 2nd 2019