SECTION 4: CARER SECTION
WHAT WILL I BE EXPECTED TO DO AS A CARER?
After a stroke, people often have different levels of disability depending on where the stroke takes place in the brain and how much the brain is affected. The patient might need help with tasks no matter how easy it seems to be, for example, eating with a spoon.
Stroke survivors might need help with the following:
- Personal care, for example, bathing and dressing.
- Healthcare needs, for example, medication and appointments.
- Transferring, for example, from bed to chair.
- Emotions – be prepared for behaviour or mood changes and be on the lookout for depression.
- If the patient has body neglect, you need to try to ‘tune up’ that side, let the patient know about different things on his/her right and left sides, and remind the patient to use that side.
WHAT ELSE DO WE ASKING YOU TO DO?
We wanted to add a few things to the list, including:
- Help the patient to read the advice section and use WBP (if needed).
- Help the patient to perform stretching exercises as instructed in WBP.
- Encourage the patient to follow his/her exercise programme.
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR BACK?
As a carer for a stroke patient, you need to be careful and protect your back when you are helping the patient to perform their stretching exercises. Here are some tips to protect your back:
- Listen to the instructions in the videos carefully. You need to know exactly how you are going to move the patient.
- Communicate with the patient before you start moving him/her and don’t rush. The patient needs to know how you plan to move him/her.
- The patient’s bed should ideally be at the same height as your waist.
- Ensure that your feet apart and you are balanced before you move the patient.
- Do not lean over to move or lift the patient; bend your knees instead.
- Always keep your back straight.
- Use the strength of your arm or leg muscles to move the patient, not your back.
When you transfer the patient from bed to wheelchair or from wheelchair to bed:
- Inspect the surface you are planning to move the patient to and make sure it’s safe and clear. For example, if you are moving the patient to wheelchair, make sure you put the brakes on the wheelchair and remove the armrest and the footplate.
- Make sure the wheelchair is close to the patient’s stronger side (if you are transferring the patient from the bed to the wheelchair).
- Make sure the bed is close to the patient’s stronger side (if you are transferring the patient from the wheelchair to the bed).
- Adjust the height of the bed so the patient can get his/her feet flat on the floor (when sitting on the edge of the bed) before you transfer the patient.
- Transfer the patient to his/her stronger side.
- Ask the patient to do as much of the movement/activity for themselves.
- If the patient is too heavy, uncooperative or in an awkward position, ask for help.