American Stroke Association Provides Tips for Caregivers as Part of Stroke Month in May
What medications have been prescribed? What side effects should you watch for? Does your home need to be modified to meet the needs of the stroke survivor?
To help answer common questions, the American Stroke Association has released a list of 15 tips to help family members cope with their new role as stroke caregivers.
The list, created as part of American Stroke Month in May, runs the gamut from recovery expectations and therapy to resources and preventing secondary stroke.
“There’s a complicated series of paths that one must navigate after a stroke has occurred,” said
“The things she did and said — I didn’t understand why,” said Sessler, 43, of
The list also covers the possible changes in emotion and behavior in stroke survivors. Post-stroke depression is common, with as many as 30 percent to 50 percent of stroke survivors developing depression in the early or later phases after their stroke. An estimated 5.8 million stroke survivors are alive today. Annually, an estimated 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
“My reality was a lonely, dark, empty place,” Morgan said. “Stroke alters a mind in many different ways, so I cried often and lashed out at those around me.”
But time and treatment have made a difference in her recovery.
“There will always be questions, no matter what stage the survivor or caregiver is in,” Sullivan said. “Each stage after the stroke requires adjustment as both the survivor and the caregiver negotiate the road to recovery. Recovery begins the day after stroke, but questions will change as the stroke survivor passes through the hospital phase through return to a healthy and active community life.”
Sessler said it’s also important for caregivers to take care of their health — as the committee recommends.
“I know it’s hard to give yourself a day, but you need to do it,” Sessler said. “Don’t take what your loved one is saying too personally. As their caretaker, you take the brunt of everything. Remember that person you love is still in there.”
Stroke is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 immediately to receive medical attention for stroke. For tips, tools and support, visit www.strokeassociation.org/caregivers.
About the American Stroke Association
Created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association works to improve stroke prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke — America’s No. 3 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. To do this, we fund scientific research, help people better understand and avoid stroke, encourage government support, guide healthcare professionals, and provide information to stroke survivors and their caregivers to enhance their quality of life. To learn more, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org.
SOURCE American Stroke Association