3 Important Tips for Caregivers of Stroke Victims
Stroke survivors are incredibly strong people. They live daily with debilitating limitations that present them with difficulties in completing tasks that were once considered easy. Naturally, stroke survivors often depend on the assistance of loved ones once they’ve returned home from the medical centers and rehab facilities where they were receiving care immediately after suffering their strokes. This puts a lot of additional responsibility and stress on the caregivers.
In some cases, caregivers are needed around the clock in order to give stroke victims the adequate care that they need. Most often, this is to ensure the safety of the stroke survivors as reducing the risk of falls, slips and other potential stroke-inducing injuries are of paramount importance. This is quite a taxing responsibility as most caregivers are thrust into these new roles without any prior experience. So, it’s natural that they may need some assistance themselves.
Here are three important tips for caregivers of stroke victims:
1. Consult with the Stroke Survivor’s Physicians to Become Aware of All Medical Necessities
No one expects you to be an expert. It’s your job to learn as much as you can about your loved one’s condition so that you can provide the best care possible. Because this can be overwhelming, it may be best to schedule a meeting with a doctor to learn the ins and outs of your loved one’s new needs.
“Be aware of the medications that have been prescribed to your loved one and their side effects,” advises the American Heart Association, “Ask if your home should be modified to meet the specific needs of the stroke survivor. Ask a doctor, nurse or therapist to clarify any unanswered questions or to provide written information that explains what occurs after the stroke and during recovery or rehabilitation.”
2. Develop a Plan of Action to Combat Depression
In many cases, the emotional tolls encountered by stroke victims are considered more hindering than the physical limitations they endure. It’s understandable that depression can set in for someone who can no longer live life in the uninhibited way that he/she used to enjoy. Post-stroke depression is quite common and needs to be taken seriously.
“If a stroke survivor has symptoms of depression, especially thoughts of death or suicide, professional help is needed right away,” insists the US Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality in their booklet, Recovering After a Stroke: A Patient and Family Guide, “Once the depression is properly treated, these thoughts will go away…If it is not treated, it can cause needless suffering and also makes it harder to recover from the stroke.”
3. Clear Your Floors of Any Tripping Hazards
It’s important that the home of a stroke survivor is one that is clean and tidy. The fewer the chances are that he/she may trip and fall over something, the better. Preventing falls is a top priority as they can result in serious injury. It’s also important to take falls seriously if and when they do happen. If you’re loved one has fallen, you’ll need to take immediate action.
The American Heart Association affirms that falls should not be taken lightly. “Falls after stroke are common,” they inform on their website, “If a fall is serious and results in severe pain, bruising or bleeding, go the Emergency Department for treatment. If a loved one experiences minor falls (with no injury) that occur more than two times within six months, see your physician or the physical therapist for treatment.”
Caregivers Choose Shower Bay for Their Loved Ones
At Forward Day, it’s not lost on us that one of the biggest reasons that caregivers choose our Shower Bay portable showers for their loved ones is because they are know the physical and mental benefits of real showers with running water. In many cases, stroke victims are relegated to bed baths or sponge baths because of the new limitations their strokes have given them.
The Shower Bay offers a real shower experience with the added safety of rolling completely inside with a shower wheelchair or if the user has stronger lower body mobility they can easily walk up the slight incline of the ramp and use the shower with a bench or stool. By eliminating dangerous wet environment transfers the user is able to really enjoy their warm and relaxing shower instead of having anxiety about bathing time.
If you have any questions about our Shower Bay portable showers and how they may make life easier for a stroke survivor you’re caring for, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask them. Give us a call at 1-877-223-8999 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.