New resource aids stroke victims, caregivers

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Survivors who have had one stroke are at high risk of having another one if the treatment recommendations are not followed.

Here’s some good news for those who find they have become a caregiver of a stroke victim.

A new resource is available that offers answers to some of the most common questions about the condition. For example, what medications usually are prescribed?

What side effects should you monitor? Does your home need to be modified to meet the needs of the stroke survivor?

The American Stroke Association has released a list of 15 tips to help family members cope with their new role as stroke caregivers. The list runs the gamut from recovery expectations and therapy to resources and preventing secondary stroke.

Katherine Sullivan, a member of the American Stroke Association’s Rehabilitation, Prevention and Recovery Committee, believes the list should serve as patient and survivor education.

“Each stage after the stroke requires adjustment as both the survivor and the caregiver negotiate the road to recovery,” Sullivan said in a news release. “Recovery begins the day after stroke, but questions will change as the stroke survivor passes through the hospital phase through return to a healthy and active community life.”

“There’s a complicated series of paths that one must navigate after a stroke has occurred,” stated Dr. David Alexander, chairman of the American Stroke Associ-ation’s Rehabilitation, Prevention and Recovery Committee. “This list is a starting point for answers to common questions and addresses common concerns. It should serve as a resource for caregivers and stroke survivors following hospital admission for stroke.”

The list also covers the possible changes in emotion and behavior in stroke survivors. Post-stroke depression is common, with as many as 30 percent to 50 percent of stroke survivors developing depression in the early or later phases after their stroke.

An estimated 5.8 million stroke survivors are alive today.

Stroke is a medical emergency.