Some tips to help family and friends cope with a loved one's stroke:
- Ask the doctor questions if you accompany your loved one to appointments. Talk with the patient before the appointment about the questions you will ask and be sensitive when asking questions, especially those questions to which the patient may not want to hear the answer.
- Be prepared for changes in your loved one's behavior and mood. Medications, discomforts, and stress can cause your loved one to become depressed or angry.
- Encourage your loved one to be active and independent, as much as possible, to help him or her regain a sense of self-reliance and confidence.
- Be realistic about your own needs. If you take care of your needs, it may be easier to meet the needs of your loved one.
- Be sure you are sleeping enough, eating properly, and taking some time off for yourself. It is hard to offer much help when you are exhausted.
- Don't hesitate to ask other family members and friends for help. They may appreciate the opportunity to help.
- Keep a positive attitude.
- Accept that there are events you cannot control.
- Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, combative, or passive.
- Learn how to manage stress. Try a variety of relaxation techniques to help you manage stress.
- Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when you are physically fit.
- Eat well-balanced meals.
- Don't rely on alcohol or drugs to reduce stress.
- Use the resource of support groups. Talking with people who are in similar situations can help you to feel that you are not alone.
- National Stroke Association. Caregivers and Families. www.stroke.org/ Accessed 3/19/2012
- National Family Caregivers Association. Ten Tips for Family Caregivers. www.nfcacares.org/ Accessed 3/19/2012
- Family Caregiver Alliance. Fact Sheets & Publications: Stroke. www.caregiver.org/ Accessed 3/19/2012
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 1/20/2012...#13489