Stroke Recovery: Tips for the Caregiver
In the United States, more than 50 million people provide care for loved ones who have a disability or illness. 59% to 75% of caregivers are women, and most of them take care of older parents. However, despite the challenges of nursing, many people report that they appreciate life more and feel positive about being able to help.
As a caregiver, it may be too easy to make your loved ones the focus of your life. "Carers really need to take care of themselves," Fermental said. "People feel obligated to do all this, but asking for help is crucial. You can't do it alone." Here are some suggestions that can help you balance the needs of stroke patients with your own health and well-being.
The first step for the caregiver
There may be many things to learn, so take every opportunity to learn about stroke and the condition and prognosis of your loved one. Participate in a support group or project provided by the hospital. Discuss with the health care team what is the recovery and recovery process of stroke. "The more you know," Selenick said, "the better you can take care of your loved ones."
Understand the insurance coverage and assess your financial situation. Medical insurance and/or health insurance will cover most hospitalization and rehabilitation expenses. However, there may be restrictions on which facilities and service providers can be guaranteed. Therefore, it is necessary to figure out exactly which expenses are covered by insurance and what out-of-pocket expenses may be required.
Also remember that when your loved one's abilities increase or no longer make progress, insurance may change or stop. The hospital’s social services department or case manager can help you negotiate in the usually complex insurance world and explore other options when you need additional assistance.
Participate in stroke rehabilitation treatment. Take some treatment courses so that you can support your loved ones while recovering from the stroke. Encourage stroke survivors to practice new skills, but don't always jump in and help. "Don't do too much," Fermental said. "Support and allow survivors to do things on their own." Even small achievements will help your loved ones become more self-reliant and confident.
Evaluate the needs of your loved ones and your ability to meet those needs. The stroke survivor’s health care team can help you determine what kind of help you need. Caregivers usually need
-Provide personal care, such as bathing and dressing
-Coordination of healthcare needs, including appointments for medications, doctors, and rehabilitation
-Manage finance and insurance
-Help survivors maintain and improve their functional capabilities
-Remember, you can't do everything. Try to be realistic about yourself and understand what you can take on and what you might need help.
-Go home after a stroke
-Once your loved ones leave the hospital, you and your family may begin to realize the reality. Here are some things you need to consider when assuming a new role.
-Consider safety issues. Ask the occupational therapist if you need to do anything to make your home safer. You may need to move the bedroom to another floor to avoid going up the stairs, remove the carpet to help prevent falls, or install handrails and seats in the bathroom and shower.
-Be prepared for changes in behavior or mood. The damage caused by a stroke, whether temporary or permanent, is devastating to survivors. Fermental said: "There will be a lot of emotions after a stroke,". "Try not to tell your relatives that you know how they feel, because you really can't know," she said. Instead, provide your love, patience, and support. It is difficult to see the suffering of the loved one, but feeling grief is a necessary step in life after accepting a stroke.
-Watch out for depression. Stroke survivors are at risk of depression-30% to 50% of people are affected. Depression can interfere with the recovery of your loved one.