Coping when a Family Member has a Stroke
Coping when a Family Member has a Stroke
A stroke can be a life-changing experience for an individual, often causing significant changes in their physical, mental and emotional abilities. A stroke can also significantly affect the lives of family members, who can often have new and unexpected responsibilities and demands placed upon them.
Just as a person needs time to adjust following the loss of a loved one, you will need time to adjust to the ‘new normal’. A stroke can occur without warning and you may find yourself having to act as a carer for a previously capable and independent family member. The time it takes to adjust to these changes will vary for every person and it is important to recognise that, much like grief, it is a process.
Seeing the effect that a stroke has on a loved one can be hard to cope with, and you need to allow yourself to process and adjust to things. It is perfectly normal for this to take some time.
A stroke affects the brain and can make it difficult for somebody to carry out normal functions. For example, it is common for a person following a stroke to struggle with everyday tasks, such as making a cup of tea or getting dressed, and these may be tasks that you now need to assist with or carry out.
Every person is different and part of the challenge in providing effective stroke rehabilitation is to tailor it to the individual. At Circle Rehabilitation we have a team of healthcare experts who specialise in helping people as they recover from a stroke. They will be able to talk through things with you and give you realistic guidance on what can be expected throughout the rehabilitation process, based on their experience and expert assessment.
With every person we see here at Circle after a stroke, it is important to keep in mind that we expect to see improvement. When a family member first comes to us, we will work closely with them, and with you, to develop meaningful and achievable goals. By measuring, assessing and adjusting any relevant exercises and/or therapies, we are looking to optimise their recovery and restore as much function as possible. This focus on preparing for functional activity in everyday life is of immense help when working towards a return home.
We like to use the principle of ongoing progression. While your family member is unlikely to recover fully from a stroke straight away, progression on a regular basis is crucial and is something to be celebrated.
With all our inpatients, we hold regular meetings with any family members to assess goals and to discuss plans for discharge, when appropriate. Plans for discharge usually begin quite a few weeks beforehand, to give plenty of time to get everything in place.
Being able to return home is one of the main aims for many of our patients, and while that is an achievement in itself, we know it can sometimes be quite an anxious time for family members. We appreciate that the transition from hospital to home can be unsettling and want to reassure you that we will help support you through it. We will carry out a home visit before discharge if appropriate, to assess any requirement for equipment or help with accessibility. If there is a need for social services to be involved in ongoing care, we will contact them and liaise with them.
At Circle Rehabilitation we work with stroke patients and their families each and every day and we truly understand the impact it can have on family life. Our dedicated team of healthcare professionals are here to help and support you throughout this time.
Guest bed in every room: If you would like to stay overnight with your family member while they are an inpatient with us, you are very welcome. Every room has a guest bed in it for just this reason.
People who understand: At Circle Rehabilitation we have a multi-disciplinary team of experienced healthcare experts who specialise in helping people recovering from a stroke.
Our staff all know the journey you and your family member are on and are there to support you all every step of the way.
To talk with one of our friendly team about our stroke rehabilitation service, please contact us to see how we can help.