Friday, December 28, 2012

Written by a Stroke patient

How to Help Someone Who Has Had a Stroke
  1. I am not stupid. I am wounded. Please respect me.
  2. Come close, speak slowly, enunciate clearly.
  3. Repeat yourself. Assume I know nothing and start from the beginning, over and over.
  4. Be as patient with me the twentieth time you teach me something as you were the first.
  5. Approach me with an open heart and slow your energy down. Take your time.
  6. Be aware of what your body language and facial expressions are communicating to me.
  7. Make eye contact with me. I am in here - come find me.
  8. Please don't raise your voice. I am not deaf, I am wounded.
  9. Touch me appropriately. Connect with me.
  10. Honor the healing power of sleep.
  11. Protect my energy. No talk radio, TV, or nervous visitors! Keep visitations brief {5 minutes}.
  12. Stimulate my brain when I have the energy to learn something new. But know that a small amount will wear me out quickly.
  13. Use age-appropriate {toddler} educational toys and books to teach me.
  14. Introduce me to things kinesthetically. Let me feel everything, as if I were an infant again.
  15. Teach me with monkey-see, monkey-do behavior.
  16. Trust that I am trying - just not with your skill level or on your schedule.
  17. Ask me multiple choice questions. Avoid yes/no questions.
  18. Ask me questions with specific answers. Allow me time to hunt for an answer.
  19. Do not assess my cognitive ability by how fast I can think.
  20. Handle me gently, as you would a newborn.
  21. Speak to me directly, not about me, to others.
  22. Cheer me on! Expect me to recover completely, even if it takes 20 years.
  23. Trust that my brain can always continue to learn.
  24. Break all actions down into smaller steps of action.
  25. Look for what obstacles prevent me from succeeding on a task.
  26. Clarify for me what the next level or step is so that I know what I am working for.
  27. Remember that I have to be proficient at one level of function to move on to the next level.
  28. Celebrate all of my little successes! They inspire me.
  29. Please don't finish my sentences or fill in words I cannot find. I need to work my brain.
  30. If I can't find a memory, help me to create a new one.
  31. Know that I may want you to think I understand more than I really do.
  32. Focus on what I can do rather than bemoan what I cannot.
  33. Introduce me to my old life. Don't assume that because I cannot play like I used to doesn't mean that I won't continue to enjoy music.
  34. Remember that in the absence of some functions, I have gained other abilities.
  35. Keep me familiar with my family, friends, and loving support. Build a wall of cards and photos that are labeled so that I can review them.
  36. Call in the troops! Create a healing team for me. Send word out to everyone so they can send me love. Keep them abreast of my condition and ask them to do specific things for me - like pray/visualize me being able to swallow with ease, or rocking my body into a sitting position.
  37. Be protective of me but do not stand in the way of my progress.
  38. Show me old video footage of me doing things to remind me of how I spoke, walked, and gestured.
  39. Remember that my medications probably make me feel tired, as well as mask my ability to know what it feels like to be me.
  40. Love me for who I am today. Don't hold me to being the person I was before. I have a different brain now.

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