Watching your parent go through a stroke can be a terrifying situation. Strokes are very serious medical condition, and are the third leading cause of death and leading cause of long-term disability among older adults. This means when your parent goes through a stroke, you will be a critical element of their recovery.
As their family caregiver, you won’t just be helping them deal with the stroke itself. You will also be facing the changes they can experience after the stroke, and helping them to cope as you cope with it yourself. It is important to remind yourself that changes that occur after a stroke can be frightening, and it is normal to have an emotional response to them. Effectively coping with these changes is important to helping your aging loved one recover, and to preserving your own mental and emotional health and well-being through this difficult time.
Use these tips to help you cope with the changes your parent faces after a stroke:
Be realistic about the changes your parent is facing. Many of the changes that can be associated with stroke may not immediately occur to you, and may seem strange. If you are unsure of anything your parent is going through, don’t hesitate to talk to their doctor. Getting full information about the changes your senior has experienced and acknowledging what they are dealing with, as well as the true origin of these changes, can help them seem less daunting for both of you.
Remind yourself that these changes are related to the stroke, and are not an indicator of your parent’s intelligence. Even if your senior is dealing with cognitive changes, memory loss, or issues with their communication, they are still as intelligent as they were and should be treated as such.
Remind yourself that the changes your parent is facing aren’t about you. Even if they seem to lash out at you, experience depression and don’t want to spend time with you, or otherwise change, it does not mean that they no longer love you or don’t want a relationship with you.
Make yourself an active part of your senior’s care and recovery. Go with them to their doctor’s appointments, participate in a support group with them, and make sure they are being treated and respected as an individual rather than just as a person who has gone through a stroke.
Needing help as a family caregiver doesn’t mean you don’t want to care for your senior or that it doesn’t matter to you if they get what’s best for them. Quite the opposite, bringing in help such as a homecare provider can be an exceptional way to boost their health and quality of life, and support more independence as they age in place.
The services of a homecare services provider are totally customized not just to your senior’s needs, but also the care you give and the schedule that is best for both of you. This means the homecare provider is with your parent when they need them to help them manage their challenges, fulfill their needs, and pursue a lifestyle that is fulfilling, meaningful, and active throughout their later years.