Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How should one interact with a stroke victim?"
My grandmother was just hospitalized with a stroke, and they don't know what the long-term effect will be on her brain. If she is brain damaged or paralyzed, how should I interact with her? Is there a good resource for helping people learn how to handle this situation?
Strokes vary in severity from mini strokes causing no long term sequlea to devasting neurological injuries causing loss of speech, weakness on one side, and possibly death. Stroke patients may need months of rehabilitation to improve the deficits that they developed after the stroke. You do not need to interact with her any differently than you would otherwise. Many people recommend treating stroke patients the same way they would have been treated prior to the stroke. The thought is that by increasing your interaction with them and treating them the way they would have been treated before the stroke, it helps their brains reconfigure the connections that have been damaged. There are many stroke forums on the internet and groups available that can help you learn how to properly handle situations that can come up. Your primary care doctor will be able to give you more information on the types of groups, literature and forums that are available so that you can get a better understanding of navigating the many new issues that will become apparent after your loved ones stroke. There is a lot of good information on the American Stroke Associations website as well, which is a good place start.
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