Preparing To Care For A Stroke Survivor

Before your loved one is discharged from the hospital, make sure you understand his or her safety, physical, and emotional needs so you will be available to provide the necessary care.

Since every stroke is different, stroke survivors need different types of help from caregivers. Here are some of the things caregivers may do:

  • Keep notes on discharge plans and ask about anything that isn’t clear.
  • Help make sure that your loved one takes all prescribed medicines and follows suggestions about diet, exercise, rest, and other health practices.
  • Encourage and help your loved one practice skills learned in rehabilitation.
  • Help your loved one solve problems and discover new ways to do things.
  • Help him or her with activities performed before the stroke. These could include using tools, buttoning a shirt, household tasks, and leisure or social activities.
  • Help with personal care, if your loved one cannot manage alone.
  • Help with communication, if he or she has speech problems. Include him or her in conversations even when he or she cannot actively participate.
  • Arrange for needed community services.
  • Stand up for your loved one’s rights.

If you expect to be a caregiver, think carefully about this role ahead of time. Are you prepared to work with your loved one on stroke recovery? Talk it over with other people who will share the caregiving job with you. What are your loved one’s needs? Who can best help meet each of them? Does caregiving need to be scheduled around your job or other activities? There is time during discharge planning to talk with program staff about caregiving and to develop a workable plan.

© Copyright FamilyCare America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Adapted from Recovering After a Stroke, AHCPR Publication No. 95-0664, prepared by the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research.

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