For Caregivers

When stroke happens, it changes the life of the survivor and everyone who cares about them — often suddenly and in ways they never expected. Those family or friends who step up to take on the role of caregiving need information, inspiration and resources to help them succeed in supporting their loved ones' recovery.

For Caregivers features stories by and about family caregivers as well as tips, insights and resources to help with the day-to-day job of being there for your loved one. 

 

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We See You Staring

Caregiver Heather Bustamante’s poem expresses how it can feel when strangers stare at her and her husband and how they choose to react.

Caring for a Survivor with Aphasia

Mary and Reed Harris have been partners in Reed’s stroke recovery for nearly ten years. Personal relationships rely on communication so Reed’s global aphasia was met with more than a few challenges. They share their story, tips and advice to others for living with the effects of aphasia day-to-day.

Respite: Because You Care

Respite means a short break. It’s a word with tremendous meaning for family caregivers. Though there is still work to do, in recent years, strides have been made to better support the need for respite for family caregivers.

Kaysee Hyatt's Why

Kaysee Hyatt suspected something was wrong with her infant daughter, Addison. But it would be six months before it was confirmed Addison had had a stroke. After getting invaluable support via social media, Kaysee formed the nonprofit Pediatric Stroke Warriors to connect families in the Pacific Northwest.

Mindfulness Meditation for Caregivers

Here’s a very simple suggestion for how to take a break – try meditation. A number of small studies have found meditation to have a beneficial effect on depression, insomnia, stress and caregiver burden.

Developing Resilience: A Mother's Perspective

“Your child has had a stroke.” Those words are hard to fathom — and just the beginning of a long road to recovery. It requires entire families to adjust to many challenges — and not just those faced by their child.

Keep a Good Spirit!

Her husband had a devastating stroke and, later, her 9-year-old daughter also had one due to a PFO (a hole in the heart), Eva has an important message for all stroke survivors and their families.

Stroke in Adolescents

Children’s brains are developing and may be more plastic than those of adults, so therapy is helpful — and as with adult survivors, more is better. Motivating them to do their therapy, however, may be a challenge.

The Initial Shock

How not to be overwhelmed by the overwhelming. A stroke is bound to throw a relationship off its stride. The spouses may never get back to how things were. But a new normal can be created.

How I Learned to Love Facebook

On November 21, 2013, when my husband Ronnie, a stroke survivor since 1997, went missing, my love/hate relationship with Facebook took a sharp turn toward love.

Rehabbing Her Father’s Spirit

Linda Brown is a filmmaker and a faculty member in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. When she heard her father had had a stroke, she decided to make a film.

Tired of Feeling Guilty?

If you intentionally inflict physical or emotional pain on another person, guilt is an appropriate emotional response. If you have not intentionally injured another person, you may be experiencing feelings of guilt that are not appropriate to the situation.

Mom’s Stroke Inspires NBA Star

Before Paul George was a two-time NBA All-Star, before he was a player on the Indiana Pacers, before he was the tenth player picked in the NBA draft or led his high school basketball team to a league championship, he was the 6-year-old son of a stroke survivor. His mother Paulette’s stroke at age 37 would change his life forever.

Tedy's Team Turns 10: Every Mile for Mom & Dad

In 1997, when she was a junior in high school, Christine’s father Joseph had a cerebral hemorrhage at age 50. It left him with aphasia and right-side weakness. Christine’s mother Beverly quit her job and stayed home to be his caregiver for five years. Then without warning, an aneurysm ruptured in Beverly’s brain in November 2003 while she was visiting Christine at college in Denver.

Wife of Popular TV Personality Shares What She's Learned as a Caregiver

Denise McEwen doesn't believe she ever heard the term "caregiver" before 2005. It was that November that her husband experienced a devastating stroke and she become one.

A Full Measure of Devotion

After stroke, spouses often find themselves in the role of primary caregiver. The stresses can have a negative impact on a relationship that has been suddenly and drastically altered.

My Baby Had a Stroke

By all accounts my son Brendon was born a healthy baby. As it turned out, those accounts weren't accurate. Stroke signs and symptoms were there from the start.

RX for Caregivers

Caring for someone with serious, chronic disability is challenging no matter how much we love them. Guidance from a long-term spouse and caregiver.

My Unforgettable Day

Her mother had a stroke when Kara was only 10 years old. It had an amazing impact on the rest of her life.

My Mother's Stroke

My mother, Inga Tuvesson, had never been a big believer in doctors and medicine, a belief I inherited from her.

Growing Up in a Stroke Family

Studies show younger people are having strokes more often than even a generation ago. As a result, more children are being raised in stroke families. And we’ve talked to enough survivor and caregiver parents to know that they are concerned with how the stroke affects their children. With that in mind, we talked with two sisters about their experience growing up in a stroke family.

Coming Home: When Adult Stroke Survivors Depend on Their Parents for Care

Whether we’ve had good parents or bad parents, most children are glad to move away from home. Returning to live with our parents is something most adults avoid at all costs. But a stroke can change that.

Coming Home: Personal Stories

Personal profiles and tips from three families with adult children who've experienced stroke and found themselves dependent on their parents for help.

Understanding Moyamoya Disease in Children

When Malachi Horton was 18 months old, he lost movement in his right arm and leg and was unable to sit, stand or walk. “We took him to three different emergency rooms before he was diagnosed as having a stroke,” his mother Erin Horton said.
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Helping Others Understand: Post-Stroke Fatigue

Stroke is unpredictable, but one extremely common effect of stroke is fatigue. Some studies indicate that as many as 70 percent of survivors experience fatigue at some time following their stroke.

Helping Others Understand: Post-Stroke Fatigue Info Sheet

It can sometimes be hard for family and friends to recognize how much post-stroke fatigue may be affecting a survivor. We’ve created a quick-reference sheet that you can share with family and friends to help them better understand.

Caring for a Survivor with Aphasia

Mary and Reed Harris have been partners in Reed’s stroke recovery for nearly ten years. Personal relationships rely on communication so Reed’s global aphasia was met with more than a few challenges. They share their story, tips and advice to others for living with the effects of aphasia day-to-day.

Tips for Communicating: Different Types of Aphasia After Stroke

Speech language pathologist Beth Crawford offers practical tips for families living with different forms of post-stroke aphasia.

Respite: Because You Care

Respite means a short break. It’s a word with tremendous meaning for family caregivers. Though there is still work to do, in recent years, strides have been made to better support the need for respite for family caregivers.

Mindfulness Meditation for Caregivers

Here’s a very simple suggestion for how to take a break – try meditation. A number of small studies have found meditation to have a beneficial effect on depression, insomnia, stress and caregiver burden.

Reader Alert — Be Aware of Fake Online Pharmacies

Online pharmacies can be an easy and affordable way to stay on track with your prescription medicines. But it’s important to be a savvy consumer because fake online pharmacies are a growing problem.

Modifications for Mobilization

Mobility and independence go hand in hand, so most stroke survivors are interested in returning to driving. There are products designed to help survivors drive, as well as products to help caregivers transport their loved ones and mobility devices.

Unexpected Expenses After Stroke

Stroke in young adults can bring on money troubles that may be as challenging as the recovery itself. Two stroke families share their experience and tips.

The Initial Shock

How not to be overwhelmed by the overwhelming. A stroke is bound to throw a relationship off its stride. The spouses may never get back to how things were. But a new normal can be created.
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Respite: Because You Care

Respite means a short break. It’s a word with tremendous meaning for family caregivers. Though there is still work to do, in recent years, strides have been made to better support the need for respite for family caregivers.

Preparing for a Backup Caregiver

Thinking ahead and preparing for a backup caregiver can help ease some of the anxiety for you and your loved one and assure that things go smoothly while you are away.

Caregiver Guide to Stroke

The Caregiver Guide to Stroke is meant to help caregivers better navigate the recovery process and the financial and social implications of a stroke.
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Have a Therapeutic Summer!

For stroke survivors, outdoor sports provide opportunities to challenge yourself both physically and mentally due to an unpredictable and changing environment. Meeting new challenges can be empowering to a survivor.

Reader Alert — Be Aware of Fake Online Pharmacies

Online pharmacies can be an easy and affordable way to stay on track with your prescription medicines. But it’s important to be a savvy consumer because fake online pharmacies are a growing problem.

New online directory collects reviews of stroke rehab

A new, non-biased website dedicated to assisting patients, families and health professionals with identifying appropriate neuro-rehab solutions and resources has recently launched.

Blood Pressure Demands the 3 C’s: Check. Change. Control.

When it comes to blood pressure, what you don’t know can definitely hurt you. Many of the 80 million American adults who have it don’t know they have it.

Expanding Comfort Zones

Helping others get comfortable with communication changes after stroke.
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Departments

Stroke Notes

Stroke-related news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Readers Room

Articles, poems and art submitted by stroke survivors and their loved ones.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These stroke survivors, caregivers and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Everyday Survival

Practical tips and advice for day-to day living after stroke.

Life At The Curb

A unique perspective on survival by comedian and stroke survivor John Kawie.

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.

Support Showcase

Our new department highlighting the good work being done by stroke support groups from around the nation. If you are part of a successful support group we should consider featuring, let us know!