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Caring for a stroke survivor

Friday 7 June 2013 Further support

A stroke happens when blood is not able to reach part of your brain. It can be because of a blockage in a blood vessel or bleeding in your brain. Strokes are sudden and can leave someone with reduced movement, difficulty speaking, confusion, incontinence and changes in their personality and emotions. Some people will recover from these effects, but others will need ongoing care

Who is a carer?

You are a carer if you provide unpaid support for a family member or friend, who could not manage without this help. Many people who provide this support do not identify themselves as carers.

Getting help

Caring for someone can be a very rewarding experience, but at times, you may feel overwhelmed, exhausted and isolated. There is nothing selfish about asking for help.

The social services department of your local council can assess your needs and those of the person you care for. They may arrange for care assistants to help with practical tasks and give you a break. If your situation changes, you can ask them to review your needs. Details of local councils are available here.

You may also want to consider contacting your local Carers’ Centre. They will provide information, advice and emotional support. They may also provide advocacy and training on care related issues. Details of Carers’ Centres are available from the Carers Trust here.

If you become a carer whilst studying, talk to your tutor, supervisor, or someone at your university or college that you feel comfortable with. They can discuss how your caring responsibilities might impact on your studies and help you come up with a plan that balances both.

If you are a carer, starting a course can be a great way of doing something for yourself. You can talk to universities and colleges about what support they offer for carers. You might want to consider different options, like distance learning or part-time study.

Looking after yourself

Try to plan some time for yourself into your day. Learning relaxation techniques and taking regular exercise can reduce stress.  Some Carers’ Centres offer classes and there will be opportunities to meet other carers socially and get advice and support.

Talk to us 

If you need to talk about issues related to stroke or caring for someone, contact our Stroke Helpline. We can provide information about stroke, details of helpful services and a listening ear. We are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100.

You can download our factsheet ‘Stroke: a carer’s guide’ from the Stroke Association's website.