Empowering Caregivers of Stroke Survivors in Achieving Optimum Wellness for Themselves and Their Stroke Survivors

The demands of caring for someone who has survived a stroke can be overwhelming. Homecare of such a survivor encompasses: addressing impairment in vision and communication, dealing with changes in self-care, cognition and personality, and also preventing complications associated with weakness and paralysis. Stroke homecare thus forces a change in role performance which disrupts: family processes, employment, financial standing and social interaction. These changes lead to emotional and physical distress of the often ignored caregiver. The exhaustion, depression, and social isolation a caregiver may experience is a function of several things: (1) the level of knowledge the caregiver possesses to care for one stricken with stroke, (2) the functional status of the stroke survivor, (3) the financial capacity of the caregiver, and (4) the health services support provided. The challenge that therefore exists is for the caregiver to maintain an optimum level of wellness while overcoming multiple hurdles. This is paramount, as research has shown that the health of the caregiver is directly related to the positive outcomes experienced by stroke survivors. This presentation will therefore empower caregivers or future caregivers with the knowledge required to care for a stroke survivor as well as tips needed to care for themselves. This knowledge acquisition serves as a starting point in obtaining an increased level of wellness for both the caregiver and stroke survivor.

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