Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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How to Help a Family Member Recovering From a Stroke

A stroke can be one of the most traumatizing things in one’s life. Every case is different, and so is the recovery process for each individual. The rate at which patients recover is dependent on their individual cases. If your loved one is recovering from a stroke, you can use the guidelines below to help the process to be more effective:

Research about their medications and other needs

When your loved one suffers a stroke, you need to find out what medication they are taking. Find all the information you can get on the drugs, including when and to administer them, their purpose, and the possible side effects, if any. Also, inquire if they need extra care, for instance, if you need to modify your house to help with their stroke recovery process.

Try to counter the risk of another stroke

Even after healing from a stroke, survivors still have a high chance of suffering from a second one. Find out everything you need to do from their doctor to avoid another occurrence. Find out what diet they should be taking and ensure they follow it strictly. Remind them to take all their medication as the doctor prescribed and go for frequent checkups.

Give emotional support

Most stroke survivors end up frustrated from the trauma and may become irritable and withdrawn. It is normal for them to act out during their healing process. More than half of stroke victims often have anxiety and depression after their incident, and they will express their emotions differently. As their family, you need to provide your emotional and moral support to make them see that someone cares. You can take them to a therapist and find them a support group for additional support.

Find apps to help with speech therapy

Stroke affects the brain, and most survivors usually develop speech problems after their stroke. Depending on which side of the brain the stroke hits, the patient may develop different forms of difficulty. Seeing a speech therapist helps diagnose the type of aphasia they have and helps with their recovery, but you need to do more beyond the weekly visits. You can find apps online that help with speech therapy at little to no cost.

Constantly evaluate their healing progress

During the healing process, you want to make sure the stroke survivor makes tangible progress. Document the little improvements they make and constantly contact their doctor to help speed up their recovery. Regressions during healing occur due to various factors such as complications. Discuss these with their doctor or therapist to ensure you are doing everything right to facilitate progress.

Encourage them to do repetitive activities and exercise

A stroke makes survivors lose critical skills such as walking and moving some body parts. You need to help them retrain their brain on how to do these activities so they can recover. Neuroplasticity helps the brain relearn how to perform tasks, and you activate it by performing repetitive tasks frequently. You need to help them do repetitive exercises to increase their brain’s ability to perform tasks with the parts affected. Leg exercises and walking play a critical role in healing and recovery. You can also help them do some core workouts that the doctor recommends.

Encourage them to interact with other people

People who suffer from stroke often get isolated due to the inability to move or mental problems like depression. It is important for you as their family member to encourage social interactions with people to help with their recovery process. During such a trying time, they need to interact with their friends and family to feel like they belong.

Find a way to communicate with them

Stroke survivors often experience conditions such as dysarthria or aphasia that make them have difficulty talking. The level of aphasia varies from person to person, and the patient may often struggle to understand or communicate with you. Despite their difficulty in communicating, they are still intelligent, and you need to find ways to work around the communication barriers. Understand that they may have difficulty processing information and be patient with them.

A stroke is a traumatic event and recovery may take weeks, months, or even years. During this time, you need to show your full support to help them with their healing process.

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