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Preparing to care for your loved one

  • Think about how your role may change with your loved one. This can help you prepare to provide care. Ask yourself the following questions:

    • What are my loved one's needs?
    • Who can best help meet my loved one's needs?
    • Am I ready to help my loved one recover from the brain injury?
    • Will this care need to be scheduled around my work or other activities?
    • If others are helping care for my loved one, who will be the main person providing care?

    You will have time to talk with your loved one's health care team before discharge (leaving the hospital) to make plans for his or her care after discharge.

    Your loved one's brain injury and needs are unique. It is important that you learn about your loved one's safety, physical and emotional needs.

    Your health care team will help you decide what type of care and how much care your loved one needs. You may need to learn new skills or change your role with your loved one.

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

    Your role in providing care

    Below are some tasks you may need to do.

    • Keep notes about your loved one's care plan after leaving the hospital. Ask about anything that is not clear.
    • Help make sure your loved one takes his or her medicines correctly and on time.
    • Help make sure your loved one eats well, exercises and rests.
    • Help your loved one practice the skills learned in rehabilitation.
    • Help your loved one solve problems.
    • Help your loved one learn or relearn how to do things.
    • Help your loved one as needed with personal care such as bathing or using the toilet.
    • Help your loved one with tasks he or she did before the brain injury. This may include using tools, buttoning a shirt and doing housework.
    • Help your loved one communicate if needed. Include him or her in family activities even if he or she cannot actively participate.
    • Arrange for any needed community services.
    • Learn all you can about brain injury symptoms, treatment and care.
    • Check out education classes or information in your community.
    • Talk to your loved one's health care team if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Source: Allina Health Patient EducationUnderstanding Stroke, fifth edition, neuro-ahc-90662
    Reviewed by: Allina Health Patient Education experts
    First published: 02/01/2006
    Last reviewed: 05/01/2018