Our brain is powered by the blood that carries oxygen and nutrients, which needs to keep our day-to-day bodily functions going. A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Brain cells which are deprived of blood die and the affected area of the brain is thus damaged.
As different parts of the brain control different functions, the signs and symptoms of stroke can vary depending on the area and extent of damage in the brain.
Find out about post-stroke conditions here.
Signs and Symptoms
Use F.A.S.T to remember and recognise the common signs and symptoms of stroke.
F: Face drooping
Ask the person to smile to see if the smile is uneven. Weakness of the face muscle may result in an uneven smile due to face drooping.
A: Arm weakness
Ask the person to raise both arms and keep them up. An arm drifting downwards is a sign of arm weakness.
S: Speech difficulty
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence and check if the speech sound slurred or unclear.
T: Time to call 995
If the person shows any of the above signs, even if the symptoms went away, call for an ambulance to send the person to the hospital immediately.
Other signs of stroke may include sudden onset of numbness, swallowing difficulty, change of vision, unsteady walking, giddiness or severe headache.
Preparing Yourself For Home
A common consequence of stroke is a physical disability which may linger on even after your loved one’s stay in the hospital. The best way to tackle this challenge is to ensure that things are set up at home so that it is easier to help your loved one ease back into his or her everyday life.
- An important consideration is the modification of your home environment, which can help your loved one perform daily activities with lesser effort and greater independence.
- Your loved one’s functional independence may be impacted after a stroke. To ensure that your loved one can continue to maximise his or her level of independence in daily activities, he or she may need assistive devices to help him or her move around.
Rehabilitation benefits most patients with stroke, and plays a very important role in improving your loved one’s ability to perform their daily tasks, and also reduces post-stroke complications. Speak to your therapist to understand more about the rehabilitation potential and care options for your loved one.
Recovering from stroke is possible. Stroke rehabilitation programme consists of components such as specialised equipment, a holistic emphasis on emotional, social and cognitive aspects, accessibility to assistance services and more. Find out more about stroke programmes.
Read more about the types of rehabilitation here.
Financial Schemes & Resources
Common costs for stroke-related care can include outpatient costs, medication, transportation charges, and so on. Other than caring for your loved one’s health, these costs may be a cause of concern for you as well. Your loved one can also use the relevant financial assistance schemes to offset some of the expenses.
In addition, be sure to also check with your insurance company if your loved one has health insurance plan, and to make the necessary claims.
Find out tips on how to supporting your loved ones better at home.
Caring for Myself
Learn to say ‘Yes’ to yourself and opt for respite care when you need a break. This is necessary and beneficial for yourself to go a longer mile for your caregiving journey. Simply start with making time for yourself such as having a balanced diet, going for a regular physical activity, spending time with friends or family, do things you may enjoy or start a hobby like gardening or journaling.
Support Groups for Caregivers Caring for Loved Ones with Stroke
There are also support groups that you can attend by yourself or with your loved one if you feel like talking to other caregivers caring for patients with stroke/stroke survivors. Support groups provide you with an opportunity to share your personal experiences, feelings, and tips on how to care for your loved one better. Most importantly, it brings you together with people who are going through or have gone through similar experiences, so that you do not have to walk through this journey alone.
For other support groups, learn more here.
If you find that you require more support, you may contact the following associations for help:
To learn more about the disease, its symptoms, and its potential effects, you may consider exploring these websites and guidebooks:
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