These tips for caregivers of stroke patients can make your work easier. When you have a sort of road map to follow, you’ll feel more confident that you are moving in the right direction.
Exercise and Medication
Encourage daily rehabilitation exercises
Many stroke patients struggle with motor impairments after stroke because the parts of the brain that control these movements was damaged. By making sure that your loved one does daily rehabilitation exercises, you will be helping him to rewire his brain.
Don’t ignore falls
Falls after stroke are common. They can lead to complications like hip fractures. Remember that a fall can be serious. If you notice that your loved one is in pain or has bruising or bleeding, take him to the emergency room.
Help without taking over
When you see the person you are caring for struggling to do something, don’t jump in to help. Stroke patients will benefit from seeing that they can do things on their own. If you see that he isn’t managing, then move in to help.
Side effects of medication
Most stroke survivors are put on several types of medication. They may need blood thinners, cholesterol control and other medications. Since all medications have some side effects, keep a log your loved one’s behavior and symptoms so that you can spot and deal with any problems.
Emotional healing after stroke
You can expect to see many emotional changes after stroke. You may notice sudden outbursts of crying or laughter. These are a common and can be treated with positive psychology or medication. Sometimes stroke patients may feel anxious. Some patients may grieve the memory loss that often comes with a stroke. These feelings are natural. As a caregiver, you must offer support and encouragement.
Grieving that does not let up may be a sign of depression. As many as 30-50 percent of stroke survivors become depressed in the early or later phases of post-stroke. Be aware of the moods of the person you are caring for so that you can make sure he gets the right treatment.
Since insurance coverage varies a lot, you’ll need to consult with your loved one’s healthcare provider, case manager, social worker or insurance company to find out how much and how long insurance will cover medical and rehabilitation services in and out of the hospital. This will help you plan for the expenses that your patient will have to cover himself.
Take Care of the Caregiver
We’ve covered some tips for caregivers of stroke patients. This next tip is for you. Care giving is a big responsibility. It can quickly lead to burnout if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure to schedule some solo downtime into your day so that you can recharge. Do you like to meditate, go for walks, read a good book? Taking care of yourself will help you take care of your loved one.