5.7 Practical and emotional support for stroke survivors & families

Apart from medical and physical therapy needs, stroke survivors and their families may face a number of difficulties in life after stroke, including emotional or psychological problems, extra costs of living (e.g. transport, rehabilitation, medications), and difficulties with finding suitable work or returning to work and therefore loss of earnings.

“The worst thing about it at the time was that I had no understanding about stroke at all. No one had told me, “You may feel like this, you may feel like that.” No one explained to my partner what it was going to be like moving forward, what the consequences might be, what they might not be.” (Male stroke survivor, UK)

“[After the stroke] I was not able to find the right words. I was not able to understand anything, and I was in slow motion. … After my stroke I had to give up my job [as a teacher of Luxembourgish]. … I took five years to understand people and to read short texts … Apart from my aphasia the worst effects are chronic tiredness and insomnia.”
(Female stroke survivor, Luxembourg)

“You don’t want life to change, it’s too hard… we could not talk about it and each of us kept our painful feelings inside. My sister was afraid of him when he looked at her… but she was only 4 and couldn’t understand “why us”. My father stayed along time in a training centre and after 6 months came home for good. It was very difficult, we had to rearrange the house, but worse, I did not want my friends to come to our house any more just because I was ashamed of him.”
(The daughter of a male stroke survivor, France)