Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do Not Forget Mental Health Needs During Stroke Recovery

Stroke recovery can be a very hard process on both the stroke survivor and their friends and family. Often times after a stroke, a person needs to relearn how to do even the basic things of life, such as eating, talking, and walking. And, will likely need help taking care of their daily hygiene needs, including voiding, dressing, and bathing. The stroke recovery period therefore can be a very trying time. In order to avoid resentment building up, from caretaker fatigue, and in order to keep the recovering patient in the best spirits it's a good idea to arrange to take breaks.

The stroke victim is likely going through even more emotional issues than the physical ones which are readily apparent. Try to imagine going from and independent, well functioning adult, who can come and go as they please, easily take care of their daily needs and meet the needs of others, engage in meaningful employment and leisure activities, to suddenly being dependent upon others for your needs, eating baby food, and wondering if and when the life you once led will ever even remotely resemble the life of your future. It is a good idea to provide mental health therapy as part of the stroke recovery rehab plan.

Mental Health

From the caretaker's point of view, usually a spouse, things aren't any easier. Often times they are trying to hold on to a job, and the financial picture in their house looks bleak given that their spouse prior to suffering from a stroke likely earned at least half of the family's income, and as they are devoting so much time to the care of their spouse they likely are missing work hours as well. Financial stress alone is one of the biggest stressors on marriages - but adds in taking care of a spouse, and also wondering when or if your spouse will ever recover is overwhelming. Again, the stroke recovery period should include the mental health needs of the caretaker to avoid extreme marital discord. Also, the caretaker needs to remember to take care of themselves.

The best thing that all parties can use during this rehab program is an extra dose of patience, and because it's easy to get impatient when one is exhausted, both the patient and caretaker must remember to take mental health breaks.

Do Not Forget Mental Health Needs During Stroke Recovery

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