About 315,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke. If someone close to you has suffered a stroke, you need to be prepared—both physically and mentally—to help in the recovery process. Given that a stroke can cause physical and mental impairments, the road to recovery can be rocky.
Recognizing and responding immediately to the symptoms of a stroke can greatly improve the outcome for an individual. Click here to read about stroke warning signs from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
Advice for you as the caregiver
If someone in your life has suffered a stroke, you may be required to assist in their care as they recover. If you are in this caregiving situation, below are some suggestions on how to best offer your support:
- Avoid “talking down” to stroke survivors. Continue to treat them as intelligent adults.
- Ask if your help is wanted or needed before you jump in. Learning to do as much as possible independently is an important part of the recovery process.
- Allow time for grieving for what has been lost.
- Some individuals make rapid progress during the first two weeks following their stroke. After this period, expect smaller, incremental improvements.
The caregiving team
While caring for your loved one following a stroke, don’t assume that you have to go it alone! Professionals of different specialties are available to assist you: a neurophysiologist can help in assessing speech, concentration, memory, problem solving and the ability to pay attention; an occupational therapist can help your loved one find new ways of handling everyday tasks; a physiotherapist can help to recover some movement and maintain muscle tone in affected limbs.
Above all, the key to a successful recovery from a stroke is patience and perseverance. Don’t hesitate to contact a doctor or other trained professional if you have additional concerns throughout your loved one’s recovery, or if you are struggling as a caregiver.
Need Support Now?
If you are struggling to care for a loved one for any health or personal reason, Unison’s Assistance Program is here for you. Call today and be directed to an applicable, skilled professional who can offer you free, confidential support and expert advice 1-855-9UNISON (1-855-986-4766)
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