Recent statistics show that today in the United States there are over six million people who have survived a stroke. Of those six million people, over four million are trying to cope with the after effects.
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. today.
As a family caregiver, you know that dealing with the aftermath of a stroke can be overwhelming. Multiple changes can take place in your loved one after a stroke, including physical changes:
- difficulty with speech (aphasia)
- weakness of one side of the body (hemiplegia)
- trouble with memory and problem solving
and emotional or behavioral changes:
- changes in personality
- depression or apathy
- irritability, anger, and anxiety
- forgetfulness and confusion
While the effects of stroke are different for each individual, any and all of the after effects associated with the disease can be hard to handle, for both survivors and their family members. However, many of the physical disabilities and detrimental emotional changes can improve over time. There are many things that you, as a family member and caregiver, can do to help:
- remind your loved one they are wanted and important
- encourage independence
- motivate participation in leisure activities
- inspire and support social activities
- allow the survivor to make decisions
Rehabilitation cannot completely reverse the effects of stroke, but it is incredibly important for helping your loved one regain strength and confidence for everyday living. It is also important to know that once your loved one has had a stroke, the chances of them having another are increased. In order to lessen the risk, your affected family member should be encouraged to do a number of things:
- include at least 30 minutes of exercise to their daily routine, such as low-impact water therapy for improved coordination and strength.
- make healthy eating choices, including low-sodium and low-fat diets
- discontinue smoking and limit alcohol consumption
- monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Here at SYNERGY HomeCare, our skilled caregivers are always ready to help your loved one in all of these ways, as well as many more. We know that the aftermath of stroke doesn’t just affect your survivor—it affects you too, as a family member that now feels the pressure of family care giving. Providing care for your loved can can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be stressful when the demands of caregiving begin to push up against the rest of life’s demands.
To find out how our caregivers at SYNERGY Home Care can help in the rehabilitation of your beloved survivor, visit our Stroke Rehabilitation Care at Home page.
By Chantel Heister
 © 2011 National Stoke Association