Content Map Terms

Self-Care After a Stroke

British Columbia Specific Information

A stroke is a brain injury caused by blood flow to the brain being blocked, or bleeding in the brain. After having a stroke you may experience physical, mental and emotional complications. These could include: weakness on one side of the body, joint pain, trouble walking, speech and language difficulties, trouble with memory or focusing, etc. Stroke rehabilitation programs can help you continue to live as independently as possible after a stroke, and to learn to adjust to the physical and mental changes caused by your stroke.

To find stroke recovery and rehabilitation programs in your area, search HealthLinkBC's FIND Services and Resources Directory. For more information on stroke recovery, visit Heart and Stroke Foundation or Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia.

For more information on exercising to prevent a stroke or rehabilitation exercises after a stroke, call 8-1-1 to speak with a qualified exercise professional Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm PST. You may also call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Topic Overview

After a stroke, keep in mind that you are the most important person in your own recovery. You need to have a major say in the decisions about your care. This may be hard for you, and you may sometimes feel like sitting back and letting others take charge.

  • Make sure others understand that you want to be involved in the decisions about your care.
  • State your wishes and opinions on matters that affect you. Talk with your doctor about your concerns. Ask questions.
  • If you need extra time to think or you have trouble talking, try not to let others make decisions for you without hearing what you have to say.
  • If you have a speech problem, you may have trouble getting others to understand your wishes. Ask someone to help you express your ideas and needs. Or write them down if you can.
  • If you feel that anyone is "talking down" to you or speaking about you as if you were not present, express your concern.

Know and follow your rehabilitation (rehab) plan. Most people find that rehab is hard work and a slow process. Tasks and activities that were easy for you before the stroke often seem more difficult after the stroke.

Feeling sad about having a stroke and the resulting disabilities is normal. But if you get depressed, it can interfere with your recovery. At the first sign that you are feeling depressed, talk with your family and your doctor. The sooner you know if you are depressed, the sooner you can get treatment. Treatment can help you feel better.

Credits

Current as of:
March 4, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm DO - Neurology
Richard D. Zorowitz MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation