5 ways to help your spouse after a stroke
There are a multitude of blood vessels in the brain that ensures blood circulation. A cerebrovascular accident or stroke occurs when a cerebral artery is ruptured causing a hemorrhagic stroke or when a small clot temporarily blocks the blood flow of an artery in the brain, this is called ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Atherosclerosis, that is the formation of lipid plaques on the wall of blood vessels, is one of the main causes of cerebrovascular accidents. High blood pressure is also a significant stroke risk factor.
When you realize that your spouse has survived a stroke, your first thoughts are likely to be happiness and gratitude, but then uncertainty may develop. So what does the path look like after a cerebrovascular accident?
In this blog post, we will explain what you can do to help your spouse on the road to stroke rehabilitation.
The path to healing a stroke
When a person has had a stroke and goes to the emergency room, the hospital has one primary goal in caring for them: to save that person's life.
Once your spouse is out of immediate danger, then begins the investigation. The first thing the medical corps will want to know is the cause of the cerebrovascular accident. Thereafter, the medical corps will want to take steps to prevent another stroke from occurring because depending on the type of stroke suffered, some medications can prevent a second stroke.
Patients will undergo many tests in the first 48 hours; then, they will be able to follow a physical therapy helping them to find their optimal state before their return to home or in a reeducation centre where they would get appropriate stroke treatments.
5 ways you can help your spouse who has had a stroke
Although you may feel helpless during your spouse's rehabilitation process, you can help him/her recover with these tips.
The least that can be said is that recovering from a cerebrovascular accident can be incredibly frustrating and aggravating at times for the victim of a cerebrovascular accident.
Often the stroke victim will go after his loved ones because she knows that even if they are angry with her, they will love her anyway. So, the family of the stroke victim has to be patient especially when this happens.
Learn to Let Go
One of the most difficult things for the spouse is wanting to do things for the victim of a cerebrovascular accident. He/she will see their spouse struggle using a fork, cut their food and other simple things like that, and he/she will want to do it for him/her.
It's more than normal but it's important to learn to let go and let them do it for themselves as much as possible.
Find other ways to communicate
A cerebrovascular accident may affect different faculties depending on the area of the brain that has been flooded with blood or deprived of oxygen.
Aphasia is very common in people who have had a stroke. This happens when parts of the brain that control the language have been damaged. It causes language disorders. This is probably one of the most frustrating consequences because the victim cannot talk anymore.
Some ways to help your spouse fight aphasia
- Give your spouse time to talk
- Ask him/her if you can guess his / her words and ideas
- Examine voice assistance tools (iPhone & Android apps)
- Always have photos, cards, paper and pencil on hand
Stroke victims will be able to write what they want to say, even if they cannot say it.
Watch for depression
Depression can affect more than a third of people who have survived a cerebrovascular accident, in part because they feel desperate or sad about the impact stroke has on their lives and those around them, especially their spouses.
Unfortunately, depression can hinder the treatment and cure of a stroke. Signs of depression may include symptoms such as persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness, sleep disturbances, and increased or decreased appetite.
Do not forget to take care of yourself
We know it's easier said than done when you have a spouse who needs constant care because of a cerebrovascular accident.
Often the spouses of a stroke victim who needs a lot of care and attention neglect their physical and emotional health and do not receive medical care for themselves.
Remember that the personal health of the spouse of a stroke victim is essential because if something happened to him/her, then the stroke victim would be in an awkward position.
In all cases of stroke, the spouse will have to show courage and patience and above all, do not wait to be exhausted before asking for help.
You may also need the services of a professional caregiver or a firm specializing in home care and home support.
For a free consultation in the comfort of your home.