• Good News

Agatha De Borja

My Advice When Taking Care Of A Stroke Survivor During The Pandemic

     I have personal advice for those who are taking care of stroke survivor family members especially this year. I'm sharing this topic only based on my experience and observation. The good news is that it's possible to go through this. Personally, I have encountered two family members who were stroke survivors. Personally, the pandemic has created some more challenges. The latest stroke survivor family member was this year in 2020. This person has had a stroke since late 2019. After the coronavirus has spread throughout the Philippines, our hospital told us to go home and come back soon. Thus, we have been spending more and more months taking care of him without all nurses, doctors, and therapists. It became to the point that the family had to do all the duty that even a nurse is supposed to be doing such as measuring the blood pressure; grabbing the sugar, measuring the oxygen and pulse; feeding, and a lot of things. The hospital even provided us with nursing kits and taught us how to use them. Based on my experience, taking care of one is worth it. The more severe that the stroke case is, the more difficult it is to handle a survivor with care especially when the person has other complications. Whether the survivor has other complications or not, the duty is still heavy. In our case, this person has suffered from a type of hemorrhagic stroke. 

      Not only the duty has become a daily routine but it's also your life in order to do it correctly and not let the survivor suffer the consequences of being mishandled with care. It's important to be an organized person. You need to handle the survivor with proper care. It takes patience, teamwork, perfectionism, and most importantly unconditional love to properly care. If you are trulyyyy willing to take care of a survivor and desire recovery, you need unconditional love for the sacrifice to be possible. You truly need unconditional love to get through unsurmountable odds together. You need unconditional love so that you won't get tired of taking care of the survivor in such a heavy situation. Always put yourself in the survivor's shoes even when you encounter unpleasant, emotional and behavioural problems which is also tricky. Another fact for those who do not know is this. After stroke, the person may no longer be the same. Due to the brain changes, the survivor may turn from someone who is kind to a very mean, hurtful and demanding especially to someone who provides the care. Sometimes the opposite happens which is from mean to kind. Still expect some stubborn behavior. My advice is to discipline for the brain to regenerate.  In order for the brain to regenerate, train the brain also by making the survivor play brain games with phone or anything (kung kaya na ang kamay) and ask him difficult questions. You can also ask questions such as what's his/her name, age, today's date, naming the planets in order,etc. The survivor also needs to be observed 24/7 even while he/she is sleeping. In my opinion, one of the family members has to watch out in case something happens and often times the purpose is to change diapers. 

     For those who do not know, combining house chores and handling a stroke survivor with care at the same time is especially difficult.  It might not be for everyone considering since not all may not have the patience and less willingness to do all the heavy work. It's also a real struggle when you are working at home, completing chores, completing errands plus taking care of the survivor at the same time. It takes money with this type of condition and I won't explain it any further. For those who don't experience this, imagine taking care of a naughty son or daughter but someone bigger with other factors..to the point that it takes two to three people to do this type of work in the family. In our case, we have been learning some of the nursing skills to do it without going to the hospital for safety purposes. However, do not give up. It's understandable that it's a very exhausting thing to do but think about the person that you trulyyy love and are taking care of. It's for the good. It often takes work and effort to clean this person up,  to prepare the food, to help the stroke survivor with the physical therapy, to deal with unpredictable emotional behaviors and others. Since we left the hospital, we were the ones who provided him some daily physical therapy. It wasn't until only months later that we called a home service physical therapy because of the coronavirus. The more severe the case, then I believe that these things mentioned above are most likely to be applied to you. For those who have had severe cases, I know that you are scared of whether this person will recover or remain the same way. My advice is to keep praying that the survivor will recover completely and to continue to take care of the person. Continue to let the physical therapists help him. The person has to be willing to recover. If not, recovery is impossible. Look on the bright side. Always stay optimistic. It's also the same way when it's impossible already for the person to recover. Use unconditional love to take care of the survivor for the rest of his/her life. Follow the doctors each time there is contact with them. My last advice is to not let the stroke survivor go outside in order to be safe except when it's emergency. In my case, sometimes my family along with the survivor still go to the hospital for an appointment. People with any complications shall not go out because they are the number #1 target of COVID-19. Once again, my number #1 advice is to constantly use your unconditional love as a motivation to take of the survivor no matter what. Still do not give up for the prayer of the complete recovery. Shout-out to those who are going through this because I know exactly how it feels. We are all in this together.

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska


  • Kyungg
    Oct 30, 2020 09:42
    That seems hard.You're a strong woman 🖤 Godbless you and your fam🖤 thanks for sharing 💗
  • Franchesca Correa
    Oct 29, 2020 18:36
    nice :)