The Top Methods For Dealing With Stroke Patients
A stroke can very much change a patient’s life. Depending on the level of severity, stroke patients may experience ongoing weakness, paralysis, and problems with balance or coordination. They may also experience pain, numbness, or burning and tingling sensations across their body. Fatigue is another lingering effect of a stroke, which may continue well after the patient returns home. Another unfortunate side effect is inattention to one side of the body, which is also known as neglect; in some extreme cases, patients may no longer be aware of the presence of an arm or a leg.
Both the immediate and aftercare of a stroke patient is very important. Here are our top methods for dealing with stroke patients.
Early Stages: Identifying A Stroke And Typical Behaviour
When discussing strokes of any nature, it’s very important to learn how to identify the signs of a stroke in your family, friends or patients. Signs of a stroke include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or trouble understanding speech
- Sudden deterioration of vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden difficulty walking
- Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
As strokes impact the brain and the way it controls behaviour and emotion, you may also find that a stroke patient’s behaviour is somewhat altered. Your family, patient or loved one may experience irritability, forgetfulness, carelessness or confusion due to a stroke. Anger, anxiety or depression are also common in many stroke patients.
Post-Diagnosis: Supporting Stroke Patients
Dealing with stroke patients following their diagnosis can involve supporting them in numerous ways. These will all go a long way towards leading a positive life whilst recovering from a stroke.
Offer Emotional Support
Many medical diagnoses can be overwhelming, including a stroke – even if it’s “only mild”. Dealing with stroke patients involves listening to and providing space, allowing the patient to work through their feelings and fears.
Encourage A Healthy Diet
One way to recover quicker from stroke is to increase nutrients from a healthy diet, which can increase neurogenesis to create more neurons in the brain. A healthy diet can also assist in filling in for stroke-induced deficiency. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, olive oil, hemp and spinach to name a few) should be at the top of the patient’s list, whilst foods such as legumes and blueberries can help to strengthen the brain.
Assist With Rehabilitation
One of the best methods for dealing with stroke patients is to assist with rehabilitation where appropriate. Encourage patients to continue with daily exercises, but also ensure that they are not overdoing exercise. Stroke rehabilitation can go a long way towards helping a patient regain independence, and those that participate in a supportive rehabilitation program tend to do much better than those who do not.
It can be difficult to watch a patient or friend struggle, but many patients do feel empowered when they are able to independently execute a task after a stroke diagnosis. It is important for them to regain basic skills, and encouraging them to do so can go a long way in terms of recovery.
The Importance of Communication
Letting your patient or loved one know that you are thinking of them can provide a good morale boost post-stroke diagnosis, even if you cannot physically be in the room with them. You can send get well cards or deliver them their favourite chocolates, or simply get in touch over the phone for a quick chat to celebrate any and all achievements.
Keep in mind however that you should carefully choose your method of communication depending on the person. Depending on the lingering effects of a stroke, face-to-face communication may be better than speaking over the phone, or the stroke patient may be more comfortable with a text or an email. Whichever communication method they prefer is the one you should focus on.
A stroke can be a potentially life-changing experience, but these tips can be vital for dealing with stroke patients. Click here to read more news and articles from Midmed.