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Get the support you need to care for a loved one after a stroke.

Tips to care for a loved one | Tips to care for yourself

For Caregivers12

If you are a relative, spouse/partner or close friend providing care for a stroke survivor, your role is essential in their recovery.

Caregivers play an important role in helping their loved ones relearn routine activities, regain abilities, motivate them, and assist them in doing things they cannot do or struggle to do for themselves. They also often accompany loved ones to medical appointments as an advocate.

It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed, fearful and uncertain about your role as a caregiver. Be sure to take time for yourself, and to reach out for support whenever you need it. Here are a few things that can help you take care your loved one – and yourself.

Tips to care for a loved one12,13:

  • Information is power. Learn all you can about the effects of a stroke, so you can better understand how your loved one may be affected, treatment options, and what to expect.

  • Ask questions. Ask your loved one’s medical team how you can assist in their recovery, and about different treatment options.

  • Make adjustments. You may need to make a few modifications to your home, such as installing hand rails or a ramp, to create a more accessible space for your loved one. Do a bit of research online, and talk to your loved one’s healthcare team, to find out more.

  • Remember & Remind. If your loved one is on medication, make note of what they take and when, and remind them to take them. Set a phone alarm or mark it in your daytimer to help you remember.

  • Positive reinforcement. One of the best things you can do is motivate and encourage your loved one, even in the smallest accomplishments. Seeing you notice their improvement can make a world of difference.

To be a good caregiver, YOU also need to be cared for. This means taking time for yourself, doing things you enjoy, and leaning on friends and family for support.

Tips to care for yourself12:

  • Reach out. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help – to friends or family. It could be a phone call, help with dinner or an errand, or just some company.

  • Eat well. Maintain good eating habits (regular, balanced meals) to help stay energetic and healthy.

  • Give yourself a break. Don’t do everything all the time. It’s key to take respite breaks, whether it be a quick walk after dinner, or a relaxing bath.

  • Write it down. Start a journal and note how you’re feeling, good and bad, throughout your loved one’s recovery. "Letting it out" can help you manage your emotions, and reflect on them as time goes on.

Think your loved one may have Post-Stroke Spasticity?

The assessment walks you through a series of questions to see if your loved one’s physical challenges may be related to spasticity. You can share your results with your loved one’s doctor and determine if a referral to a stroke rehabilitation specialist is appropriate.

Find a Stroke
Rehabilitation Specialist

Remember: You first need a referral from your family doctor. View More Search Options