Support provided by the family to a patient recovering from a stroke is crucial to rehab effort success. Making the family into a full participant in crisis management is an essential condition in establishing a new fabric of life for the patient and their family – their spouse or children. As time goes by, the familial support component becomes more and more important. When the patient goes back to their home and community after rehab is complete, their family members will be the ones bearing most of the load of further treatment and relentless search for solutions and ways to improve the patient’s quality of life.
Caring for a family member who has experienced a stroke is a difficult, complex task physically, mentally and emotionally, characterized by uncertainty about the future and leaving the main supporter mentally exhausted. The main supporter’s strength as exhibited for prolonged periods is a guarantee for their ability to assist the patient and other family members to bear
this heavy load successfully.
When the family prepares itself for the intial months after the stroke, it is important to make a clear decision on the identity of the main supporter and the terms under which they are to fulfill their role. The supporter’s mental and physical health require almost the same amount of attention as the patient’s, and they should be provided with hours and days of rest with responsibility taken off their shoulders. The main supporter may themselves require support, and sometimes firm intervention is necessary to demand they rest for several days in order to be able to fulfill their difficult task.
Support groups for supporters: most people have great difficulty asking for help. They view it as an admission of failure, as washing their dirty laundry in public, or even as a weakness of which they should be ashamed. Sometimes one needs to learn to ask for help and support. Participation in a group exposes one to information about the disease and ways to cope, as acquired through personal experience. Feelings and behaviors become more legitimate, and support and assistance among participants can occur.
For information about the Neeman Association’s support group:
call our telephone support center: 077-4665213