Each year throughout the United States are more than 800,000 strokes. Stroke is the leading cause of long term disability among adults in the United States, and one of the leading causes of death among both men and women. If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult who has suffered a stroke, it is important to prepare yourself for the challenges you will face caring for your senior, so you can help them to make the most of their recovery and life after a stroke, while also preserving in your own well-being and quality of life.
Some things you need to know about being a family caregiver after your senior has a stroke include:
You are likely to encounter situations where you feel frustrated by your caregiver efforts. Give yourself permission to feel this frustration, and find ways to manage it effectively to preserve the quality of the care you give your parent, as well as your own health and well-being
Your parent is likely to experience major emotional effects of their stroke. This can result in them lashing out at you, withdrawing from you, experiencing depression, or not wanting to participate in their care. Remember this is an effect of the stroke, and that showing your parent love and compassion during this time can be instrumental in making sure they get the care they need to overcome their stroke. Encourage your parent to seek out the support of a support group or counselor, and do the same for yourself so both of you can manage the emotional effects of this time in healthy and constructive ways
Your parent may experience setbacks during their recovery. This is normal, and it is important to continue to encourage and motivate your parent to keep working toward healing. If either of you are concerned that their setbacks are too severe or too frequent, don't hesitate to stay in touch with their doctor to discuss their healing, their progress, and what both of you can do to help them recover more effectively
Your parent can still have a fulfilling and enjoyable life after a stroke even if they do suffer from disability. The stroke may reduce their functioning and create greater challenges, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't encourage them to continue to find meaning and happiness as they age. Work with your parent to adapt to their changing abilities, and use this opportunity as a time to draw closer to your parent and create lasting memories together
One of the most important resources you have as a family caregiver is
Being a truly effective and nurturing caregiver for your elderly loved one means helping them to live their best life as they age in place. This means staying safe and healthy, but also being able to maintain as much independence as possible, and staying active and fulfilled. A senior home care services provider can offer your aging loved one variety of highly personalized services, specifically designed to manage their challenges and limitations in the ways that are right for them without compromising their autonomy, and while supporting a high quality of life. The services can include meal preparation, help with personal care needs such as bathing, medication reminders, companionship, memory support, mobility assistance, transportation, and more.