Stroke Recovery ~
the importance of cultivating patience.
The world of a stroke survivor often slows down to a crawl and the process of recovery can take a long time. One’s ability to think, speak, move, and participate in daily activities are impaired and regaining those capacities can be a very slow process. As family members and caregivers, it can be quite challenging to slow down to meet the stroke survivor’s impaired ability to process information, respond to questions, comments, or perform tasks. And yet, that is what is necessary to be truly helpful with a loved one’s recovery.
We live in a very fast-paced world and slowing down is no simple task, it’s more easily said, than done. Below are some suggestions to help family members and caregivers to
Practice relaxation techniques to help you “switch gears.”
By sitting quietly and paying attention to your breath, you can create the space to be fully present with yourself. Just a few minutes a day can help you slow down and feel relaxed. Relaxation is a powerful impatience buster.
Keep your expectations realistic
Make a list of not more than three things that you want to accomplish with your visit and don’t try to do more than that. If doing all three things is too much, prioritize the list and be prepared to let go of what is not doable.
Maintain a positive attitude:
It is important to focus on what the stroke survivor can do, say, or think. Recovery is not a race and even the small victories deserve to be celebrated. One useful technique to boost one’s outlook is to behold something of beauty, feel gratitude for what is, and find something to laugh about.
Keeping a sense of humor can get you through even the most trying situations.
Remember what truly matters.
Taking time to be open to what matters most can help reduce feelings of restlessness and frustration.
The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could be re-phrased and adapted to say “an ounce of patience is worth a pound of cure” and for someone recovering from a stroke, it couldn’t be more true. Helping a loved one by helping yourself to slow down is a tremendous gift. Pace yourself, stay centered, and make the most of each moment.
~ Karl Power, CEO