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Self Care Measures after a Stroke

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What are self-care measures?

Self-care measures are ways to help yourself manage the physical, mental, and emotional effects of a stroke. The effects of a stroke depend on where the stroke happened in your brain and how much damage occurred. You will learn self-care measures during stroke rehabilitation (rehab) sessions. Rehab is a program run by specialists who will help you recover abilities you may have lost. Specialists include physical, occupational, and speech therapists. They will help you develop a plan to care for yourself at home and at work.

What can I do to manage physical effects?

You may have balance or walking problems. You may have numb areas or trouble moving your arm or leg. You may have weak muscles, spasms, or contractures (muscles stay in one position).

What can I do to manage mental effects?

You may have trouble paying attention, thinking clearly, or remembering facts. You may lose track of the date or not know where you are. It may be hard to find a familiar object.

What can I do to manage emotional effects?

You may have trouble controlling emotions after the stroke. This may be caused by damage to the brain. It may also be caused by the loss of body functions or independence. Depression is common after a stroke. You may also feel sad, irritable, or hopeless. You may have anger, frustration, or anxiety. Your moods may change quickly. You may laugh or cry, even if it is not the right emotion.

What can I do to manage bladder or bowel problems?

A stroke can make it hard to control when you urinate or have a bowel movement. You may feel like you have to urinate even when your bladder is empty. You may have constipation or trouble emptying your bladder.

What can I do to manage energy and sleep problems?

You may feel tired during the day. You may not have the energy to do activities or spend time with others. It may be hard to fall asleep at night or to stay asleep.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.