People may experience the following problems after a stroke:
- Weakness or paralysis of one side of the body.
- Stiffness of arm, hand and/or leg.
- Struggling with balance, falling over easily when sitting and standing.
- Struggling to speak or understand language.
- Struggling to control their bladder and bowel (toilet needs) (but this usually gets better over time).
- Loss of feeling on the weak side of their bodies.
- Seeming to forget about/ignore the weak side of their bodies.
- Problems with vision (seeing).
- Seeming confused and struggling to remember.
- Mood and personality changes.
- Forgetting how to do everyday tasks.
HOW DO I TREAT SOMEONE WHO HAS HAS A STROKE?
- Let the person spend as little time as possible in Spending too much time in bed will cause more weakness. Rather let him/her take short rest breaks.
- Let the person get up at his/her usual time and get washed and dressed.
- Let the person have meals with the rest of the family as usual.
- Try to help the person to follow a structured daily programme.
- Encourage the person to do things for him/herself. Be patient and give him/her more time to complete and practise Doing as much as possible for him/ herself and practising daily activities is good exercise.
- Remember that the person is an adult; never treat stroke survivors as if they are children.
Reference: Center for Rehabilitation Studies Stellenbosch University