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Preparing for caregiving

If you are going to be a caregiver, think about your role before you start. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I ready to work with my loved one on stroke recovery?
  • What are my loved one's needs?
  • Who can best help meet my loved one's needs?
  • Who will be the main caregiver?
  • Will this need to be scheduled around my work or other activities?

You will have time during discharge to talk to the health care staff about caregiving and about making a plan.

Take care of yourself

Being a caregiver means you need to take care of yourself, too.

Take time each day to just be by yourself. If that doesn't work, take a day or two off during the week. This will refresh you and make you a better caregiver.

  • Don't be afraid to ask your loved one's family or friends for help.
  • Ask about community agencies, volunteer groups, churches, respite care or nursing agencies that can help you.
  • Enjoy hobbies or friends. They will bring fun and positive feeling into your life.
  • Learn all you can about stroke symptoms, risk factors, treatment and care.
  • Check out education classes or information in your community.
  • If you have any questions, ask your loved one's health care team.

Support groups and resources are available for stroke survivors and caregivers.


Source: Allina Patient Education, Understanding Stroke: Information about Stroke and Recovery, fourth edition, ISBN 1-931876-13-4

First published: 02/01/2006
Last updated: 12/09/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts