Nearly 795,000 people have a stroke in the United States each year. The physical impact of a stroke can be minor or devastating. If you are a caregiver of someone with a stroke it is important to know what to expect and how to deal with these new changes.
Changes After A Stroke
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Your loved on may have trouble walking or grasping objects. Working with a physical or occupational therapist can help patients find a new normal and even regain strength.
- Joint pain
- The joints on the effected side of the body may become rigid and tense up. Movement is essential to keep joints from freezing. If muscle spasms occur inform a doctor right away.
- Altered senses and spatial relationships
- Strokes can cause numbness, pain, and tingling in the limbs. This can impair the sense can keep the patient from feeling hot or cold, which can be very dangerous.
- Problems judging positions and parts of the body
- Difficulties in judging distance, size, position, or rate of movement of the arms and legs can cause tripping, falling, and even injury. Make sure you have a has been assessed for items that can cause falls or injury.
- Problems with speech and language
- Problems with speech and language is called “aphasia” and usually occur when the stroke damages the left side of the brain, which is the language center. Speech therapy may help to recover some or all of these language skills.
- A sense grief or depression
- Fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, frustration, grief and depression are common after a stroke. It is important to get this treated along with other changes.
Forming A Plan After A Stroke
- Ask questions
- Follow up with blood work
- Determine where and how care will be provided
- Adapt your home
- Set appropriate goals for the patient
- Adapt daily activities
- Determine with specialists are needed
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Get additional support
- American Stroke Association
- National Stroke Association
- The Stroke Network