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How to help a loved one who has experienced a stroke?

A stroke is a violation of blood circulation due to the blockage of a vessel by a thrombus or its rupture, which can lead to damage to a certain area of the brain. The consequences of this can be very different, depending on which areas of the brain have been affected and to what extent.

Recovery from a stroke can take weeks, months, or even years. Some recover completely, some are left with lifelong effects or disability. In this recovery process, the role of relatives and friends is very important.

How to help a loved one who has experienced a stroke?

⓵ Learn as much as possible about the person's condition and needs.

⓶ Do not do for a person what he can handle himself after a stroke.

⓷ Encourage the person to go to therapy and do the necessary exercises with him every day.

⓸ Overcome communication barriers. Don't raise your voice. Speak in short, simple phrases, give the person time to process what has been said, use gestures, facial expressions, and pictures if necessary.

⓹ Help a person overcome difficulties with thinking:

☛ Simplify – make all actions and information as simple as possible.

☛ Repeat – Learning after a stroke requires repetition and practice.

☛ Structure – create weekly and daily schedules.

☛ Be consistent – do everything the same way every time.

☛ Compensate – change habits, routines and methods to adapt to the new challenges the stroke survivor faces.

⓺ Create a safe environment. Remove furniture with sharp corners, things that a person can trip over, equip the bathroom and toilet with handrails.

⓻ Encourage a healthy lifestyle. It is important that a person gives up alcohol and smoking, adheres to the principles of a balanced diet.

⓼ Provide emotional support. Be patient and attentive to warning signs in order to diagnose depression in time and start therapy.

⓽ Help with socialization. Offer to invite the friends of the person who suffered a stroke to their home, encourage communication with them by phone or video.

⓾ Do not forget about yourself. Don't devote yourself completely to the stroke survivor, focus on your own needs. Don't neglect your mental health.

Ministry of Health of Ukraine

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