Feeling Helpless after your Parent’s Stroke – Tips to Communicate with them

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Strokes are unique although the way they affect people are similar. The brain is a multifaceted organ in charge of controlling numerous body functions. If a stroke materializes and blood flow can’t get to the section in charge of that particular function of the body, the body part stops working properly. Stroke survivors behave differently. While some experience a full recovery, others may never fully recuperate entirely their physical or mental abilities.

It’s natural for stroke survivors to display various emotions, such as anxiety, depression, annoyance and more. If you have a parent who recently suffered a stroke, these tips should help you communicate better with them.

Help parents deal with emotional challenges

Following a stroke, patients may start experiencing all kinds of behavioral and emotional changes. It’s because we’re talking about a health condition with a great impact on the brain – our emotions and behavior are controlled by the brain. A stroke injury could make people feel careless, confused, forgetful, or bad-tempered. Depression, anxiety, and anger may also kick in. If your parent has recently gone through something similar, it’s important that you don’t panic. Remain calm to help them cope with emotional challenges.

In case of physical disabilities, your parent’s mobility levels will improve over time. However, you should consider professional therapy to speed up the process.

Talk about rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is a fundamental phase of recovery for stroke survivors. Usually, the effects feature all sorts of changes your parent will have to make to get back on his feet. Talk with them about rehabilitation and help them understand that it’s the only way they can go back to living independently. Note that therapy can’t reverse the effects a stroke had on the brain. The goal is to improve strength, confidence and capability for the sufferer to start performing daily activities in spite of those effects.

A rehabilitation treatment could improve:

  • Self-care skills like bathing, grooming, dressing and toileting
  • Mobility – walking, sitting up/down, twisting and turning
  • Communication skills in language and speech
  • Cognitive skills like problem solving and memory
  • Social skills for better interaction with others

Help your parents improve their communication abilities

In general, communication problems are common after someone has suffered a stroke. Some people can’t speak like before, others may not be able to understand the words of those around them. If your parent recently had a stroke, writing, reading and math skills may also be impacted. Sit down and talk with your loved one about helping them improve communication abilities.

However, you don’t want to force them. Hiring an experienced caregiver is an excellent idea, and visible changes usually materialize after 6 months, depending on the severity of the stroke. General communication problems in stroke patients are:

  • Aphasia – the patient can’t find his words to speak and he may also have difficulties understand what others are saying, too.
  • Dysarthria – weak or even paralyzed muscles used to speak.
  • Speech dyspraxia – The connection between the face muscles and the brain my not work properly; this may lead to difficulty expressing words

Tips to help parents improve their thinking and speaking abilities after a stroke

Upturn after stroke is slow, so you mustn’t get your hopes too high. There are efficient ways to help you beloved parent recover, although the whole process is demanding and rather challenging based on the severity of the stroke. Consult with a speech pathologist to help assess how severe the difficulties are or opt out healthcare services from centers like Forest Healthcare. Some techniques that might help:

  • Keep sentences short and simple
  • Use gestures when speaking
  • Allow parents as much time as needed to say what they have to say
  • Don’t pressure them

Communicating with parents who had a stroke can’t be easy. Intense therapy is required to improve physical mobility and communication abilities. Over the years, studies have shown that short but concentrated speech rounds may restore language skills. Aphasia, or language impairment, happens in more than 1/3 of patients who survive from a stroke on the brain’s left side. Many people have high chances of recovery within a couple of months, although 60% may have to deal with language impairment for the rest of their lives.

This article is for educative purposes only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice.


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