|QUESTIONS FROM THE CAREGIVER|
- I NEED HELP CARING HAVE FOR MY LOVED ONE, WHO HAS HAD A STROKE. CAN YOU HELP ME, WE HAVE NO MONEY?
The resources and aid available for people who have had a stroke are very limited in South Africa, if you do not have a good medical aid or access to money. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to offeranyone financial aid, accommodation or rehabilitation. We can however suggest the following, in order to help you take care of your loved one:
- Ask family members, close friends and religious leaders for help. You can ask for emotional, physical and financial help.
- Apply for a Disability Grant
- HOW DO I FIND A TRAINED CAREGIVER?
- LEAN ON US (HOME BASED) CARE is an initiative by the Association for the Physically Disabled, offering home-based care training session for your domestic worker, which will enable her to assist you with all activities of daily living. For more information, please contact the Association for the Physically Disabled Ė Greater Johannesburg on 011-646-8331.
- An Internet search will give you names of nursing agencies.
WHY DO PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD A STROKE, BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY AFTER THEIR STROKE?
If the person who has survived a stroke demonstrates a change in their emotions or behaviour or they feel different, this may be partly caused by physical damage to their brain.
Different parts of the brain control different functions within the bodyĖ including how we feel. If the part of your brain that normally controls your emotions becomes damaged by a stroke, the result can be a change in how you think, feel or behave. No two strokes are ever the same because the part of the brain affected and the extent of the damage differs from person to person.
As well as the physical damage caused by the stroke, it is normal for the person to experience a change in their emotions after any difficult or traumatic life experience. Stroke happens without any warning. It takes time to come to terms with the changes that a stroke can bring to their day to day life. Common feelings after a stroke are anxiety, depression, frustration, anger or bewilderment.
Approximately one third of stroke survivors report experiencing some emotional problems after their stroke. Usually they will fade away with time and the person will begin to feel more like themselves. Some of the emotional changes that arise may be more persistent however and they may need coping mechanisms to help them deal with their emotions. One of the most common changes in emotion after a stroke is depression.
Other changes that you may be experiencing are:
- difficulty controlling emotions
- personality changes
HOW DO I COPE WITH ALL THE DEMANDS FROM THE STROKE SURVIVOR?
- Take care of yourself. Admit you are not coping and ask for help.
- Be careful not to reach breaking point before asking for help.
- Take a break from caregiving by asking another family member, friend or neighbour to help while you take time for yourself.
- Keep balance in your life by eating right, exercising or walking daily, and getting adequate rest.
HOW DO I GET SUPPORT OVER THE TELEPHONE?
The Stroke Aid Society
Your religious leader
QUESTIONS FROM THE STROKE SURVIVOR
- WILL I EVER GET BACK TO BEING NORMAL AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Stroke affects everybody differently. Recovery after surviving a stroke depends on the severity of the stroke as well as what part of the brain has been affected. Each person has a different recovery time. Recovering from a stroke involves making changes in the physical, social and, emotional aspects of your life. Some people will keep improving months or years after a stroke. There is always hope that improvement can take place over time.
Rehabilitation is about getting back to normal life and living as independent a life as possible. It involves taking an active approach to ensure that your life goes on. This can mean learning new skills or relearning old ones. It may involve adapting to new limitations and post-stroke conditions. Or it can mean finding new social, emotional, and practical support to live your best life post-stroke.
There is life after stroke.
- HOW DO I DEAL WITH MY FRUSTRATION? I CANíT DO WHAT I USED TO!
Frustration is an indication of anger and part of the process of mourning the losses caused by your stroke. It is normal to feel this emotion. Talk about how you are feeling, if you are able to. Find an outlet to release your anger eg: punch a pillow, and donít be too hard on yourself.
When you find yourself frustrated, distinguish between what you can and canít change. Trying to change uncontrollable circumstances always produces frustration. Remember, no matter the circumstance, you do control one thing: how you respond.
It is important that you are helped to find some way to make your future life as meaningful and fulfilled as possible. Keeping up your morale is a crucial aspect of your psychological well-being.
- HOW DO I GET A DISABILITY GRANT?
To be eligible for a Disability Grant, the applicant must:
- be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee
- be resident in South Africa
- be 18 to 59 years of age
- submit a medical / assessment report confirming disability - medical assessment must not be older than 3 months at date of application
- not be maintained or cared for in a State Institution
- not be in receipt of another social grant in respect of him or herself
- not be in receipt of another social grant in respect of him or herself
How to apply for a Disability Grant:
- Complete a disability grant application form at your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office in the presence of a SASSA officer.
- submit the following:
- Your 13-digit bar-coded identity document (ID) or Refugee status permit and 13-digit refugee ID.
- A medical report and functional assessment report confirming your disability.
- Proof of marital status (if applicable).
- Proof of residence.
- Proof of income or dividends (if any).
- Proof of assets, including the municipal value of your property.
- Proof of private pension (if any).
- Your bank statements for the past three months.
- Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) document ('blue book') or discharge certificate from your previous employer if you were employed.
- A copy of the will and the first and final liquidation and distribution accounts, if your spouse died within the last five years.
For more information refer to:
CAN I DRIVE AFTER HAVING A STROKE?
Driving after a stroke can raise concerns for many people. A stroke can cause slowed movement, which affects reaction time. Any problems with vision, movement, or thinking could affect driving safety.
Many patients who have had a stroke return to driving without any type of formal safety assessment. An on-road driving test is the most thorough way to gauge a driver's abilities. A driving skills assessment test done in-office can help predict whether it is safe for a patient to get behind the wheel after a stroke.
WHERE CAN I GET A DISABLED PARKING STICKER?
Contact your nearest Licencing Department and enquire whether they issue Disabled Parking Stickers. The Kempton Park Branch issues these stickers.
- WHY CAN'T SOME PEOPLE IDENTIFY STROKE SYMPTOMS, IN THEMSELVES?
As a stroke affects oneís brain, one is not able to perceive one's own problems correctly. To a bystander, the stroke patient may seem unaware or confused. The best chance you have, is if someone around you recognizes a stroke and acts quickly.
- WHY IS THERE A NEED TO ACT FAST?
Ischemic strokes, the most common strokes, can be treated with a drug called t-PA which dissolves artery-obstructing clots. The window of opportunity to use tPA to treat stroke patients is small, so the sooner stroke patients can get to the hospital to be evaluated and receive treatment, the better their outcome.