Sunday, February 11, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, February 11, 2001

How to cope after a stroke

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer

Stroke affects more than just the survivor. It affects the entire family.

Here are some tips for family members of stroke survivors, offered by stroke survivor Shay Auerbach, who helped organize the support program "Partners in Healing" at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific:

1. Keep a positive attitude:

"And a sense of humor, if you can," Auerbach said. "Keeping a smile on your face goes a long way to help you overcome."

2. Don’t help too much:

Doing everything for a stroke survivor keeps him or her from becoming independent. "Caregivers should take care of themselves, too," Auerbach said. "They’re the sole ones caring for the survivor. They need to make sure their health stays good."

3. Get the home ready:

Make sure doorways are wide enough for wheelchairs and the floor is cleared of obstructions. If the house is ready for the patient, "it’s safe and helpful for recovery," Auerbach said.

4. Get support:

"Partners in Healing" is only for patients of the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (544-3366), but the hospital offers another support program open to anyone. The Stroke Club meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. every first Tuesday of the month. For details, call 544-3366.

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