Community Blog

May is Stroke Awareness Month

By Shannon Dahl

Different Strokes for Different Folks

May is Stroke Awareness Month - Stroke Recovery

Brought to you by our Care Coordinator, John Heyworth

"Stroke Awareness, Because It Matters" red ribbon logo

Probably all of us have had some experience with someone who has had a stroke. Most of us have had experience as a caregiver for a client or family member with a stroke victim. There is always a loss of some abilities to function the way our client or loved one. This usually leads to a plethora of feelings and frustrations caused by significant changes in routine, goals that may not be realized, and familiar pastimes must be at least shelved for a time. Here are some things to know and to do that will help recovery to the best that stroke survivors can be. This information came from an article in the Stroke Connection by the Stroke Association called “15 Things Care Givers Should Know After a Loved One Has Had a Stroke.


  1. Be aware of the side effects that your client is taking. Note any changes in behavior or other external clues after they take their meds.
  2. Consider making modifications to the home to make mobility easier and safer.
  3. Find out what occurs during recovery from a stroke.
  4. Ensure the client maintains a healthy diet, exercises, and reminding them to take their meds. Walking, even if very slow, is beneficial to the stroke victim.
  5. Avoid comparisons – Each stroke and stroke victim is unique.
  6. Stroke recovery may take as little as 3 months or as long as well into the second year after the event.
  7. Don’t ignore falls even if they result in no injury at all. Get help from a Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist when the following conditions happen:
    1. Dizziness
    2. Imbalance resulting in falls
    3. Difficulty in walking or moving around. Inability to walk more than 6 minutes without stopping to rest.
    4. Falls more than 2 times in 6 months.
  8. Measure progress. There should be gains each and every week.
  9. Monitor changes in attitude and behavior. Report depression before it hinders recovery.
  10. Stay in touch with the case manager or social worker.
  11. Have an idea about their health insurance coverage. Details on this may not be shared but it is a good idea to know if they can be serviced by PT’s and or OT’s.
  12. Know when to enlist help.
  13. Be careful about spreading health information to those who do not need to know. HIPAA is to be followed by caregivers.
  14. Take care of yourself. Take time to be with friends. Keep balance in your life to avoid burn out. Seek community support, if necessary.
  15. You can help the family of your client by encouraging them to get copies of medical and rehabilitation records, including written notes and brain imaging films.


As a caregiver, you can make a difference in your client’s recovery. The family cannot be there 100% of the time. As the result of your work, a life may return to the new normal, a life to be enjoyed with their family and maybe a new friend, you.

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