By: Dr. Rekha Elaswarupu
Stroke is one of the major conditions that can affect people over 65 years of age. Every year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. While it is more common in older age, younger people and even babies can also have it. I recently met someone whose nine month old baby girl had a stroke. Now she is 17 and able to manage her life as a normal person with the help of medication and lifestyle changes. We also heard about Andrew Marr – the BBC presenter who suffered from a TIA. TIA or Trans-Ischaemic Attack is also called a minor stroke and must not be ignored as it may be an indication of an impending major one. The symptoms of a TIA may disappear in 24 hours still, it deserves immediate medical attention.
FACIAL weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
TIME to call 999
People who have suffered a stroke or a TIA often have life changing effects which could impact their physical and emotional well-being. Many people and their carers feel isolated and may undergo emotional distress.
The Stroke Association carried out a survey during October and December 2012 to understand the emotional impact of stroke on survivors, carers and their families. Based on 2,700 responses, a report ‘Feeling overwhelmed’ was published which identified that the carer of people who have had a stroke receive very little support in the community.
Subsequent to this report, The Stroke Association also published a booklet ‘You are not alone’. The booklet identifies most common emotional impacts such as low mood, stress, lack of confidence, anger and relationship problems providing helpful information and signposts where support is available.
Both the publications are available HERE
Being able to get the appropriate support when needed, and being able to live a life that maintains health and well-being is integral to dignity and respect for people who have had a stroke. The live-in –carers are in a good position to pick up the signs of stroke and seek immediate medical help. The care workers can also provide valuable support to people who have had a stroke or a TIA in overcoming the emotional distress caused by this life changing episode.
Helping Hands care workers are recruited for values and their robust recruitment systems ensures that all live-in-carers possess the requisite qualities to treat people with respect and dignity.
There is also a strong leadership and culture of learning which promotes safe and high quality for its customers.