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After a Stroke: Helping Your Family Adjust - Topic Overview

If you have a family member who has had a stroke, you may be concerned about how the stroke is going to affect your family's lifestyle. You may be concerned about finances and changes in family roles and responsibilities.

Here are some ways to help your loved one and other family members adjust:

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Understanding Stroke -- the Basics

When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or blocked for any reason, the consequences are usually dramatic. Control over movement, perception, speech, or other mental or bodily functions is impaired, and consciousness itself may be lost. Disruptions of blood circulation to the brain may result in a stroke -- a disorder that occurs in two basic forms, both potentially life-threatening. Clots near the brain. About three-quarters of all strokes are due to blockage of the oxygen-rich...

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  • Realize that after a stroke, your loved one may be prone to strong emotional reactions. Remember that these are a result of the stroke. Try not to become too upset by them.
  • Don't avoid your loved one who's had a stroke. Contact with and support from family members is very important to your loved one's recovery.
  • Join a local support group. These groups provide a place where issues can be discussed in a supportive environment and an opportunity to meet others dealing with the same issues. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area.
  • Take care of yourself too. You must stay healthy enough so you can care for your loved one who has had a stroke.

You are an important part of your family member's recovery after a stroke.

  • Give the person support and encouragement to participate in the decisions about his or her rehabilitation (rehab) program.
  • Visit and talk with the person often.
  • Participate in educational programs, and attend some of the rehab sessions.
  • Help the person practice the skills he or she is learning.
  • Work with the program staff to match the activities to what the person needs to do after returning home.
  • Find out what the person can do independently and what he or she needs help with. Avoid doing things for the person that he or she is able to do without help.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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