Here are a few tips that I have experienced myself,
learned from talking with stroke survivors, or speaking
with other family caregivers.
When you start becoming overwhelmed...STOP! Take a
break for yourself and think about one thing at a time. If
need be, don't think about anything. Sit back, close your
eyes, relax, and put your mind in a favorite location you
have, whether it be a beach, mountaintop, or the middle
of New York City...bring your mind anyplace other than
your caregiving. Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself.
Now, you can re-evaluate the situation. Take one thing at a
time...focus on it until you're finished. Then go to the next
task. Don't think about everything you have to do all at
once. That's when you'll start feeling overwhelmed again.
Concentrate on one thing at a time! You can't possibly
do everything all at once, so why think about it all at once.
Just do the "one" thing at the moment and focus on it.
It's human nature to want to help your loved one, with
whatever it may be. I'll say it again. Don't help them unless
they ask for it. They want to be independent, so let
them be, as much as they can be. Don't jump in when
you think they need help with their shoe...when you think
they need help carrying something...or you think they
need help with anything. Let them do it...let them ask
you for the help. You may be surprised while they
figure out different ways of doing things. And, make
sure you praise them.
If speech is a problem and you have difficulty communicating,
don't push it, when you see they are really frustrated. I don't
mean give up easily when you don't understand what it is
they want. Work with them at it. Work as long as you
can at it. Try to hold your own frustrations back. Imagine how
they feel. Let them say nevermind! Then depending on
the situation, you may have to back off a while. Use your
own good judgement whether to stroke forward at that
moment or not.
Don't try making the stroke victim's decisions for them. They
need to be allowed to make their own. They already have
disabilities, whether they be minor or major. Although they
may have a communication problem, it doesn't mean they
don't understand what is going on and/or being said.
When there is a conversation going on, include them in it.
Look at them while talking and have others address the
conversation to them also, so they feel as though they are
part of it and not just sitting there being forgotten about.
. . . TELL ME WHAT I DO NOT KNOW . . .