How Caregivers Can Learn More About Strokes and Stroke Care
Stroke care can be confusing and overwhelming for caregivers, especially since they can be thrust into this position suddenly and without preparation. A study published in the Disability and Health Journal noted that stroke caregiving is associated with high rates of caregiver burden, depression, and lower quality of life, especially when dealing with the cognitive and emotional deficits of the stroke patients they care for. This burden is often amplified by the fact that many informal caregivers lack the knowledge, training, and skills to support a loved one affected by a stroke. And finally, stroke care burn-out is a too often phenomenon, something to be conscious of.
Many questions about the recovery process and what needs should be met can be a big load to shoulder. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn about strokes and stroke care, which can make the caregiving process less stressful and daunting and ensure that your loved ones get the care they need to recover well.
When your loved one has a stroke, listening to a professional can help you make informed choices regarding common stroke issues, stroke recovery, and how to administer care at home properly. Doctors, nurses, and therapists who are trained and knowledgeable on stroke care and can help address any specific concerns you may have that other resources may not cover. They’ll also be the first to provide guidance on your loved one’s side effects, medication, rehabilitation, and second or third stroke prevention.
A relatively new concept is the stroke recovery coach who can give life experience assistance to a caregiver who finds the burden overwhelming. Survivors who have “walked the walk” are available through Stroke Recovery Foundation.
Tips from the American Stroke Association note that survivors are at high risk of having another stroke, so it’s crucial to be present and aware of your loved one’s condition and how to prevent another stroke with the help of their doctors. As much as possible, attend check-ups or therapy sessions when they’re scheduled for the survivor. If you cannot be present, ask another family member or friend to take notes on your behalf so you won’t miss out on any vital information.
Books are valuable materials for providing insightful and well-researched insights on caregiving for stroke patients. They’re often written by experts and people who have had first-hand experiences or encounters with stroke survivors. Stroke Recovery Foundation Founder, Bob Mandell, wrote a book, Stroke Victor, How to Go from Stroke Victim to Stroke Victor (available on Amazon) with many living experience tips to those who are new to stroke recovery.
Other than physical copies, eBooks can make it easier for caregivers to access these readings. The digital format makes it easy to read on any device and enables access to thousands of stroke-related titles, stroke care, and more on one platform. Caregivers can browse through wellness eBooks on Everand and find titles related to stroke recovery, awareness, and more. eBooks like The Stroke Recovery Book: A Guide for Patients and Families by Kip Burkman and Arun Thaploo’s Stroke and Brain Injury Unraveled can provide relevant statistics, tips, and research-based and empirical information on strokes and how best to care for stroke patients and prevent strokes.
The online world has made stroke care resources widely available and accessible. You can find educational articles, fact sheets, videos, and educational courses created by people with various perspectives, experiences, and levels of expertise. Websites of organizations and foundations for stroke awareness and prevention offer a plethora of resources on how to care for a loved one affected by a stroke and how to find support as a caregiver.
Many online resources also touch on specific situations and topics, making them much more relevant to your loved one’s needs. If you’re caring for an older adult affected by stroke, reading articles like our “Elder Care For Stroke Survivors” post can give you insight into what should be considered when caring for a senior survivor. Elder care often involves looking into senior care options, geriatric care management, and long-term care facilities, so finding the right resources can help you make sense of their specific needs that differ from other stroke patients. Besides elders, surprising to many, 10% of strokes occur in people under the age of 50 and there are websites which address that group.
What’s important to understand, and it’s very frustrating, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stroke care. The most important thing is to be patient, supportive, and willing to learn. By educating yourself about strokes and stroke care, you can better support the stroke survivor in your life and help them achieve the best possible recovery.
And by educating yourself about stroke care and recovery you will reduce the stress you might be feeling, and that’s a big one!
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