Depression after a stroke

Behind the scenes of a Caregiver

By | Caregiving | No Comments

Caregiving is one of the most difficult jobs you may ever have. Even nurses and doctors have difficulty with very sick patients, but it is far more complicated when the one you are caring for is a loved one. You may find that your loved one resents you helping them, is embarrassed because of their inability to take care of themselves, and denial of the severity of their symptoms. It can make you feel ways that you would never feel about your loved one before. For instance, if your loved one has had a stroke, you may be the only caregiver they have. Caregiving is a stressful job, and it is important for you to get away from that stress for a time. It isn’t wrong to need a break from the constant demands of your loved one. If you have close family, you can ask someone else to help out while you take a break. If not, nursing homes have a special program called respite care. This means that you loved one will stay in the facility for a short time while you recuperate. You than pick them up and take them back home. It is important to find…

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Adaptive equipment for stroke survivors

By | Other Information, Support and help after Stroke | No Comments

When strokes occur, the initial response is to concentrate on helping your loved one come out of the situation healthy. However, after all of the health scares are over, most stroke survivors are left with significant deficits that can cause problems in independence. These problems can arise over many activities, and they are usually addressed in the lengthy rehabilitation process. During that process, many forms of adaptive equipment are introduced to help the stroke survivor achieve as much independence as possible. The activities of daily living, or ADLs, refer to the routine steps we take to care for ourselves. Most stroke deficits affect the ADLs, and the equipment is designed to address these issues. These activities include dressing, grooming, bathing, walking, and eating. Fortunately, technology has been developed to allow even the most affected stroke survivor to perform some or all of these tasks independently. Even if your loved one is not able to perform them independently, they may be able to perform them with supervision or minimal help. It is helpful to consider some of the equipment you may need to use with your loved one. The best health care provider to ask about adaptive equipment is your occupational…

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Invisible disabilities: Dealing with the Non Physical Problems following a Stroke

By | Life after Stroke, Post stroke disabilities, Stroke Prevention, Support and help after Stroke | No Comments

Everyone is familiar with the physical problems that follow a stroke. They are used to paralyzed arms, facial drooping, and difficulty walking. However, other parts of the brain may be affected that create disabilities that are no so readily noticeable. Physical problems are often easier to deal with and rehabilitate because they are obvious, but there are ways to treat the invisible signs, too. Some patients may have only invisible signs, and you don’t realize there is a problem. This is when you and your neurologists have to fully test a patient to determine if they have these hidden signs. Aphasia Aphasia is usually recognizable because it affects the way your loved one is able to communicate. It can affect both verbal communication and reading. Some stroke survivors with aphasia talk in truncated sentences or even make up words. You may see them searching for the right word and that can lead to frustration. In addition, aphasia makes understanding conversations difficult, and this can lead to a sense of isolation for the survivor. Apraxia Apraxia is another disability that may be easier to see because it affects how the stroke survivor coordinates their movements. Although they may not have any…

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Why Do Second Strokes Happen?

By | All about Stroke, Life after Stroke, Stroke Prevention | No Comments

One stroke is a difficult occurrence to face, but many stroke survivors find that they end up having secondary strokes. Often, these strokes are more severe and can take more functioning away. Fortunately, you can prevent a secondary stroke by following the orders that your doctor has given you. If you ignore healthy suggestions, then the possibility of a secondary stroke is very high. Usually, it is unhealthy living that leads to a stroke in the first place, and by learning how to take care of yourself better, you can prevent further damage. If you’ve had an ischemic stroke, or a stroke caused by a clot, you are more likely to have a secondary stroke. Those who have had hemorrhagic strokes are not as at risk because a bleed in the brain is not likely to happen again. However, ignoring your blood pressure can lead to small bleeds in the brain that can lead to secondary strokes. You should be concerned about secondary strokes because they are so common. Take the time to talk to your doctor about the rate of secondary strokes and what actions you can take to prevent them. Failure to Control Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Blood…

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Visual Impairments Following a Stroke

By | All about Stroke, Life after Stroke | No Comments

Stroke causes a variety of symptoms, and most people know the main signs, such as paralysis, difficulty talking, and drooping face. One area you may not realize that also suffers from a stroke is vision. It makes sense, though: your eyes are just another set of nerves that are managed by the brain. If the part of the brain that makes sense of the impulse is injured by a stroke, then vision will be impacted. Sometimes, it is hard to tell that a stroke patient has a visual impairment because the symptoms are subtle. Very rarely does vision loss present as complete blindness, and visual impacts are not seen with all strokes. Most visual disturbances are in the broad categories of some visual loss and problems with visual perception. Although complete blindness is rare, partial blindness is one of the hallmark visual complications after a stroke. If you or your loved one had a stroke and are concerned over visual side effects, speak to your neurologist. They will be able to test visual fields to ensure that the eye and their corresponding nerves are working properly. How a Stroke Affects Your Vision Stroke can affect your vision in many different…

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How to Manage Your Coumadin

By | Stroke Prevention | No Comments

Coumadin is the brand name of this drug, but it is also known by its generic name, warfarin. If you are on either of these medications, then the rules of Coumadin apply to you. Sometimes, it can be difficult to get your Coumadin to the right level, but it is important to pay very close attention to your usage of this medication to prevent another clot. Of all of your medications post-stroke, this one is probably the most important and the one that needs the most follow up. Taking Your Coumadin You need to take your Coumadin every day, preferably at the same time. It is best to take the Coumadin in the morning because it will affect your blood tests by the next morning. This allows your doctors to get a good idea of how the medication is working when the medication is taken at the same time every day. You also need to be sure of the amount you are supposed to be taking. Some schedules call for different doses on different days. Some dosages are half pills, as well, so it helps to set out your Coumadin for the week in a pill reminder. It does not need…

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Utensil Adaptations for Independent Eating

By | Life after Stroke, Support and help after Stroke | No Comments

Most stroke survivors strive for independence regardless of their limitations after their incident. Being independent is a great way to combat depression, feel good about yourself, and take some of the pressure off your caregiver. Even if you can only do a few things by yourself, it is important to do those things and to try to do as many other skills as possible. Eating by yourself is often considered an essential exercise for most stroke survivors. Besides bathroom skills, eating by yourself is usually at the top of the list. However, eating with one arm paralyzed or facial droop can make the act challenging. You may be surprised to know that several medical supply companies have developed specialized tools to help stroke survivors gain this piece of independence. Your best source of information for modifications in this area is your occupational therapist. They can help you develop the skills to perform the activities of daily living, such as eating. As a result, they are a wealth of information for the stroke survivor and caregiver. If your therapist has not already suggested the following modifications, it may be beneficial to mention them, emphasizing your desire for independent eating. Tabletops Tabletops…

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FAST: Signs of an Oncoming Stroke

By | Other Information | No Comments

Whether you’ve had a stroke or worry about one coming on, you should know the signs of a possible stroke in progress. You can memorize a list of symptoms, but researchers have come up with an easier way to remember the most important signs of a stroke. They created the acronym FAST, which stands for face, arm, speech, and time. Remembering these four criteria will help you to know if a stroke is in progress. Even if you’ve had one stroke, it is important to know this acronym so that you can judge if a second stroke is affecting you. Secondary strokes are an important and dangerous consideration for stroke patients. Face Facial symmetry can tell you a good deal about a person’s well-being. If you’ve had a stroke, you may already have some drooping or facial asymmetry. In an initial stroke, this is a primary sign that the person is having a stroke. You should ask the patient to smile and check if it is even. Have them stick out their tongue and determine if it stays straight or curves to the side. You may also want to survey the face to see if one eye is drooping lower…

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Cooking after a Stroke

By | Other Information | No Comments

Independence after a stroke is important to most patients who have had the condition. Even if you struggle to walk or to partake of the activities of daily living, you still want to be able to do for yourself. One way you can assert your independence is by cooking meals for yourself and others. Of course, this will depend greatly on you level of deficit, but even those who are severely impacted by stroke can find ways to make their own meals. People can certainly do this simple chore for you, but it helps your confidence to be able to be self-sufficient in at least one part of your life. Safety Safety is one of the most problematic blockages to cooking for yourself. Dealing with fire and the possibilities of burning yourself are real problems and should be addressed. If you have paralysis to any of your limbs, you can very easily burn yourself and not even be aware of it. For this reason, you have to keep track of your paralyzed limb. You should check it frequently during your cooking project to ensure that there are no red spots or blisters. Even taking something from the microwave can potentially…

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Parenting after a Stroke

By | Other Information | No Comments

Although stroke is often thought of as an older person’s disease, it can happen to people who are quite young. Whether it is from heart problems or a lifestyle that leads to stroke, many young people find themselves facing the consequences of this all too common problem. Even young mothers and fathers with small children can have a stroke, and this can make parenting challenging. However, it is not beyond your capacity to raise your kids and still deal with the consequences of your stroke. Whether you’ve had a mild stroke or something more severe, you can still be a part of your children’s life. Explaining Limitations to Children Kids are remarkably adaptable to situations, and they may become better adjusted to your limitations than you are. Your kids love you, and they want to accept that their parents just the way they are. Some limitations may frighten kids, such as facial droop, and this may take some time for them to get used to. You need to explain that it doesn’t change who you are or the love you have for your children. In time, most kids can accept anything when they see Mommy or Daddy doing their best….

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