More than 50 million Americans serve as caregivers for a friend or family member who has a disability or illness. Whether you have cared for a stroke survivor for years or are new in your role, the experience can be overwhelming.
“Caregivers often have to balance a lot of responsibilities,” said Chris King, director, Memorial Home Health. “They have to care for their families while also taking on the care and responsibilities of another person. Know that it’s okay to ask for help.”
Caregivers should feel comfortable taking time for self-care. Here are some tips to help you as you care for a stroke survivor:
- Take time to learn. Rehabilitation providers can give you educational materials to help you navigate caring for a stroke survivor. Remember to make notes of questions you have and ask care providers those questions when the opportunity arises.
- Review finances. Take time to understand the stroke survivor’s financial situation, including whether they can afford the copayment costs of skilled care or healthcare if they have private health insurance, or better understanding Medicare or Medicaid services. Depending on the health insurance provider, there may be limitations to what type of facility they can go to following a hospital stay.
- Be a part of the care team. While your loved one is in rehabilitation, they will receive a care plan to help them to progress following the stroke. Take advantage of opportunities to participate in care plan meetings and support your loved one as they recover.
- Get help at home. You don’t have to do all of the care on your own. Home health services, personal assistants and other friends and family members can help you provide personal care, coordinate appointments and manage the needs of the person you are caregiving for.
- Practice self-care. Caregivers should make sure to take time to care for themselves. Respite care and adult day care services can help to give you some time for self-care. Self-care is beneficial for both the caregiver and stroke survivor.
- Seek out support. Support groups can help you to cope and speak to others experiencing your same situation.
Article from Taylorville Memorial Hospital