Today is my last blog on caring for someone after they have suffered from a stroke. I hope you have found this series of blogs helpful? I am very happy to answer any questions you may have on the subject and help as much as I can.
I would like to recap on all of my blogs and firstly look at the signs of someone having a stroke.
Widely used by every health company and association is the word FAST.
This stands for:
Face – Has their face fallen on one side? My mum’s clearly had on her right side.
Arms – Can they raise both arms above their head and keep them there? My mum could not even recognise the instruction to raise her arms and she had a restless body. She kept moving her arms and legs constantly.
Speech – Is their speech slurred? In my mum’s case she could not speak and only groaned.
Time – Call 999 if you see any single one of these changes. Remember the quicker you can get the person to hospital, the more of them you are going to save.
When you discover someone is having a stroke your first thought will be sheer panic followed closely by fear. This is a normal, human reaction. This fear cannot hurt you. After my initial shock I slowed everything down, both in my head and in my surroundings.
After calling 999 are there any loved ones you need to call? Then prepare an overnight bag for the person if you are in their home and can.
It is paramount you keep talking to them and holding their hand. If it is a major stroke they will probably have no idea who you are, or remember what took place after.
Think about what you would need if something so frightening where to happen to you. Touch and voice are powerful and even if someone is dying, the last thing to go is the hearing.
When the person concerned has gone home, what steps can you take to help them rebuild their life? There are organisations out there that will help. The Stroke Association is an excellent charity and their website is https://www.stroke.org.uk/ and the stroke helpline is 0303 3033 100.
The person you know and loved may be gone for a while but with the right therapy and support you can help bring them back. It takes time and an incredible amount of patience. There will be days when both of you are very upset and you may feel alone in your care.
Please know it doesn’t have to be such a frightening place, with the correct support and therapy you really can make a difference.
If anyone reading this is in the position I found myself in, know there will be a brighter day and what you are doing is an honour.
Thank you for reading and I hope I have inspired you with this story to realise there is life after a stroke.