Caring for stroke patients can be a demanding and frustrating task, especially, if you are doing it for the first time. Rather than go headlong into the care situation, it is important that you educate yourself so you can bring as much ease into the situation as possible. Learn as much as you can about strokes, the prognosis, and the particular condition of the person you will be caring for. HomeCare Australia offers training and will support you in your role, so ensure that you make use of the resources available from the office. In general, your role will include:
- Offering personal care like bathing and dressing
- Assisting the survivor to maintain and increase their ability to function
- Coordinating various health care needs such as medications, rehab, and doctor appointments.
Ensure that the home is perfectly arranged and that the floor is cleared of anything that could cause a fall. If in your professional assessment, the rooms and showers need grab bars and seats to enhance safety, or if there are changes that should be made to the home to make the client safer, do not hesitate to bring this to our attention and we will discuss this with the client’s family.
It is common for stroke survivors to experience depression. However, depression is not good for your clients as it can affect their recovery, so monitor your client closely for signs of depression. Again, it is important to educate yourself in this area. As necessary, we will consult with your clients’ doctors about the type of medication that is right for them and seek treatment immediately.
Mood and behavioural changes
The damages from stroke, whether temporary or permanent, can be frustrating to the survivors. It is not a good idea to tell your clients that you know how they feel as you are not in their shoes. However, offer love, patience and support to the best of your ability.
In addition to the above considerations, there are certain other things you can do that will greatly help your client.
- Maintain a positive attitude towards your clients. It is normal for a stroke survivor to feel low. You need to encourage them by praising every sign of progress, however insignificant it may seem.
- A daily routine can be very helpful to your clients. Think of the best day to day tasks that your clients can manage to do independently with ease. Generate a list of less complicated steps and allocate short, frequent periods of exercises, skills and practice movements.
- Learn effective techniques for transferring your clients from bed to commode or chair and always position your clients in a manner that protects them from injuring the part of the body without sensation.
- Allow additional time for assisting your clients do their personal daily hygiene and if unable to turn independently, then turn the client frequently to prevent skin break down.
- Utilize the communication tools recommended by your clients’ speech therapists.
- Help your clients carry out effective individualized exercises.