Supporting Someone After a Stroke
Following a stroke, individuals may experience a wide array of after-effects, ranging from emotional and physical challenges to social and practical adjustments. Some effects are short-term, while others may persist for years. In this blog, we'll delve into various ways you can support a loved one on their post-stroke journey.
Emotional Effects Following a Stroke: Sadness, Anxiety, and Grief
A stroke survivor may grapple with emotional effects such as sadness, anxiety, and grief. These emotional challenges may stem from the lasting physical damage to the brain or bodily functions. It's essential to look out for changes in mood or behaviour and ensure your loved one receives any necessary medication or mental health support. Grief, a complex emotion, can manifest differently in various people, often taking them through the five stages of grief as they mourn life before the stroke occurred.
Physical Effects Following a Stroke: Weakness, Balance Issues, Vision and Communication Changes
The majority of stroke survivors experience hemiparesis, a weakness on one side of the body that can affect the face, arm, leg, or a combination thereof. Although these physical challenges may persist, with the assistance of physical and occupational therapy, many individuals can overcome them. Strokes may also cause difficulties with swallowing (dysphagia), requiring specialised input from a range of medical professionals, such as speech and language therapists. This can mean that stroke survivors may need support with eating and drinking, but do remember to consider their emotional readiness for these tasks; they may find this loss in ability difficult.
Dizziness or light-headedness can be common post-stroke, which may be helped by practicing balancing exercises like yoga. Seeking guidance from a physical therapist is also advisable. Dizziness can also be linked to damaged vision following a stroke. Individuals might encounter issues such as double vision, eye jerking, dry eyes, or vision loss, some of which can be managed with prism lenses, prescription eyewear, and eye drops.
Among the most renowned physical effects of a stroke are challenges related to speech and communication. These difficulties can stem from muscle weakness, damaged facial coordination, or lasting brain damage. Speech therapists play a critical role in helping stroke survivors cope with these challenges.
Social Effects Following a Stroke: Resuming Social Practices
Socialising after a stroke can be physically demanding and mentally challenging, depending on the emotional and physical effects experienced. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to access support and guidance to help individuals navigate these challenges.
For those feeling isolated, joining online support groups can offer a platform to connect with others facing similar situations, providing a valuable space for processing experiences and gaining advice for moving forward. Alternatively, if the effects are not primarily physical, many hospitals and local organisations host support groups where individuals can meet and engage with others before reattempting their regular social practices.
Daily Living Tasks and Independence
Post-stroke, even routine daily activities can become challenging, potentially leading to a sense of lost independence. Everyday tasks like cooking, grooming, and housekeeping may prove difficult in the short or long term. Stroke survivors may require support at home to carry out these activities. While family members may provide some of this support, it's not always feasible. That's where a homecare provider like Nurseplus Care at home comes in. Our carers are specifically trained in-house to provide rehabilitation following a stroke. We create bespoke care plans focused on achieving rehabilitation goals, ensuring that your loved one receives the exact care they need.
For more information on how Nurseplus Care at home can support stroke survivors, please contact our team today. We're here to help your loved one on their post-stroke journey.
Posted-on October 28, 2023 By Nurseplus Care at home