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How to Help a Stroke Survivor Recover and Tools To Assist

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05 Jul 2024

It can be extremely difficult to know how to help a stroke survivor recover. It’s important to understand that recovering from a stroke can be a long and challenging journey. 

For stroke survivors, the road to recovery often involves medical treatments, therapies, and lifestyle adjustments. As a caregiver or loved one, understanding how to best support a stroke survivor is crucial in aiding their recovery process, especially during the important initial period following a stroke.

Understanding What To Expect

Knowing how to help a stroke survivor recover is challenging but vital. Stroke recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process, each recovery is completely unique. There are, however, common stages and therapies that most stroke survivors will encounter.

Read more: What to Expect After a Stroke

What are three therapies most people need after having a stroke?

  • Physical Therapy: Focuses on improving strength, coordination, and mobility. It often involves exercises to help the stroke survivor relearn movements and regain motor function.
  • Occupational Therapy: Aims to enhance the ability to perform daily activities such as dressing, eating, and bathing. This therapy helps stroke survivors become more independent.
  • Speech Therapy: Addresses difficulties with speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. It also helps with swallowing issues, which can be a common problem after a stroke.

How long does it take for the brain to heal after a stroke?

The healing process for the brain after a stroke varies widely among individuals. Generally, significant recovery happens within the first three to six months. The brain can continue to heal and adapt for years after the initial stroke.

How long does stroke rehabilitation last?

Stroke rehabilitation can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months or even years, depending on the severity of the stroke and the specific needs of the person who experienced it. 

Intensive rehabilitation is most beneficial in the early stages following the stroke, but ongoing therapy may be required to maintain and further improve the survivor's functional abilities.

Can socializing help with stroke recovery?

Yes, socializing can play a significant role in stroke recovery. 

Engaging in social activities can help reduce feelings of isolation and depression, which are common after a stroke. 

Social interactions stimulate cognitive function and can improve mood and motivation. 

Support groups, community activities, and spending time with family and friends can provide emotional support and encouragement, which has a positive impact on recovery.

What’s the best way to help a partner after a stroke?

Helping a partner recover from a stroke involves providing emotional support, encouraging rehabilitation activities, and assisting with daily tasks. 

Here are some ways to help:

  • Be Patient and Supportive: Understand that recovery takes time and be patient with your partner’s progress.
  • Encourage Independence: Assist them in performing tasks but encourage them to do as much as they can independently.
  • Promote a Healthy Lifestyle: Encourage a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate rest. This can help with physical and mental health during recovery.
  • Attend Therapy Sessions: Participate in therapy sessions when possible to understand the recovery process and provide better support.
  • Provide Emotional Support: Offer reassurance and listen to their concerns. Emotional well-being is crucial for recovery.
  • Create a Safe Environment: Ensure your home is safe and accessible, removing any potential hazards that could cause falls or injuries.

Tools To Help During Recovery

There are lots of different tools and devices that can help stroke survivors during their recovery process. 

These tools are designed to promote independence, facilitate physical therapy, and help with well-being, all of which can contribute to more effective rehabilitation.

Tools For Independence

It’s important to encourage safe independence and provide vocal support during the recovery of a loved one. There are a few things you can use to make tasks easier and help with confidence and independence.

Adaptive Clothing

Adaptive clothing is clothing that is designed specifically for those with limited mobility. Things like Velcro bras and pants with elastic waistbands can make dressing easier for stroke survivors who have limited mobility or dexterity.

Recommended Products: 

  • The Springrose Adaptive Bra
  • Magnetic Closure Cardigan
  • Wide Leg Lounge Pants

  • Eating and Cooking Aids

    Special utensils with ergonomic handles, non-slip mats, and plate guards can help stroke survivors to eat more independently.

    Recommended Product: 

  • Weighted Fork With Additional Grip
  • Mandoline Fruit And Vegetable Slicer
  • Plate Guards

  • Stroke Tools For Physical Therapy

    Physical therapy is incredibly important after a stroke. Having tools available to work on grip, hand strength and general dexterity can be hugely beneficial for recovery.

    Hand Exercisers

    Devices like therapy putty, hand grip strengtheners, and finger exercises can help improve hand strength and coordination. Many physical therapy tools also act as cognitive exercises.

    Recommended Product: 

  • Therapy Putty
  • Peg Board Exercise Tool
  • Grip Strengthening Ball

  • Wellbeing Tools For After A Stroke

    A stroke can impact a loved one not just physically but also emotionally. It’s important that cognitive exercise can also be enjoyable and fun to do. Wellbeing is incredibly important for recovery. 

    Puzzles and Brain Games 

    Activities that stimulate the brain can help with cognitive recovery. Puzzles, memory games, and apps designed for brain training can be both fun and therapeutic.

    Recommended Product: 

  • Stroke Recovery Activity Book
  • Easy 16 Piece Puzzle
  • Tile Matching Game

  • E-Readers

    For stroke survivors who enjoy reading, an e-reader can be easier to handle than traditional books, especially when paired with accessories like stands or page-turners.

    Recommended Product: 

  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • eReader Page Turner

  • How to Help a Stroke Survivor Recover

    Supporting a stroke survivor through their recovery journey involves understanding the therapies they need, the expected timeline for recovery, and the tools that can assist them. 

    By equipping yourself with the right knowledge and resources, you can make a significant difference in the recovery process of a stroke survivor.

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