It can be a scary time when a loved one has a stroke, but you'll soon start to feel better when he or she is on the mend. Although the recovery period can take a long time, you can help in a number of ways. One simple way to contribute to the healing process is to take your loved one to his or her stroke recovery program. There, you can learn about the person's progress while also finding out if there are things you can do to help your family member at home. If you've never been through this process, it's important to remain as patient as possible. Here are three other things to keep in mind.
Many Stroke Patients Experience Depression
It's easy to view the recovery after a stroke as a time to strengthen the body and even rebuild the memory, but you should always remember that your loved one has gone through a traumatic experience and might be struggling emotionally. Close to 30 percent of stroke patients experience depression during their recovery, but only a small percentage of those who are depressed are actually diagnosed as such. Since your loved one might not relay this information to you, watch for signs of depression such as trouble sleeping and eating or sentiments of hopelessness. You can then provide this information to the practitioner at the stroke recovery program.
There Might Be Washroom-Related Problems
Some people who have had strokes will experience difficulties with bodily functions and getting to the washroom in time. For some people, it's a matter of mobility -- their body is currently in a state that makes it challenging for them to get to the washroom in time. For others, the stroke has impacted their ability to notice that they need to go. In either case, it's important to be patient and avoid getting frustrated with your loved one.
You'll Need To Take Fall-Prevention Steps
Falling is a real concern after a stroke; patients are often not sturdy on their feet and a fall could cause a serious injury. Talk to the practitioner at the stroke recovery program about your loved one's mobility and balance and learn the things you can do to help. In many cases, it's beneficial to equip your home with anti-fall devices, such as additional railings. You should also think about rearranging your living space so there are fewer obstacles such as the edges of an area rug or a coffee table.
For more information, contact Project Walk or a similar organization.