Stroke & caregiving
Farzana Shaheen had a paralytic stroke 2 years ago. It paralyzed her right side. She is a diabetic and hypertensive. Stroke is also known as cardiovascular accident. It affects motor, function, language, reading, listening and thinking abilities too.
In Farzana’s case, she lost her ability to speak following the stroke. Farzhana’s daughter, Roshna who took care of her in the post stroke recovery period had many responsibilities at home. The family hired a professional caregiver from Life Circle to help Farzana with activities of daily living, exercising and administering medicines.
Difficulty in understanding or producing speech is commonly seen in people who’ve suffered a stroke.This condition is known as Aphasia and speech therapy is the most common treatment for it. When family caregivers have multiple tasks on hand, conversations at any time that suits the recovering senior may not be possible. In this case Sukanti Gochayat, the caregiver kept Farzana engaged in conversations whenever she felt upto it. This helped Sukanti understand Farzana better, strengthened her relationship and has given Farzana the confidence in herself because she is able to express herself better.
“Everything now runs smoothly”, says Roshna, who now handles her home while her mother has company and supervision. Their caregiver Sukanti is extremely fond of her, “Aunty bahut acchhe hai, yeh family bahut accha hai, mujhe yahaan bahut accha lagta hai” (Aunty is very nice, the family is very good, I like it here) she says.
“After the stroke, mummy was not able to talk. Now her talking power has improved. She chats a lot with Sukanti. They bond very well”, says Roshna. “ They talk about recipes, Sukanti’s home and her village back in Orissa.”
“Connection” between the caregiver and patient influences recovery outcomes. Seniors love to talk about their lives. Listening to them and engaging them in conversation keeps their mind active and healthy. You can never underestimate the power of conversations, generally and for stroke survivors in particular. It motivates, it heals, and it provides moral support. Companionship is an important aspect of caregiving that decreases isolation and improves the quality of life.