A Full Measure of Devotion
After stroke, spouses often become caregivers with no warning. That can have major impact on their marriage. Caregiver Joan Sherman, 73, of Clearwater, Fla. has been providing care to her husband for six years, “People don’t realize spouse caregivers are different from other caregivers,” she said. “We have lost our emotional ‘cushion,’ the shoulder we leaned on, the one we went to when we got down, who made us feel better, our companion and best friend. It can be a daunting, never-ending task, and then, where do we go for comfort?”
We spoke with psychologist Dr. Barry Jacobs, Director of Behavioral Sciences at Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program, about spousal caregiving and how these essential caregivers can gird themselves for the challenges of this role.
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My Baby Had a Stroke
Brendon Spear had a stroke before he was born. Unfortunately, this was not diagnosed until he was 19 months old. Even then he did not get the help he needed for another 18 months. As a result he did not receive therapy that could have made a huge difference in his recovery. His mother, Jessica, vowed to educate doctors about pediatric stroke so that no child would ever experience what Brendon had. She and her husband Stephen set up the Brendon’s Smile Foundation and partnered with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to educate medical students and residents about pediatric stroke.
Riding the Rail Trails
Survivor Dovid Kaplan of Rockland County, NY writes about his experience with a recumbent trike. Although paralyzed on his left side, he has modified the trike so that he can strap his left foot to the pedal and can operate all the gears and brakes with his right hand. He has discovered a plethora of rails-to-trails paths in his area and loves them because they have few inclines and traverse some beautiful natural areas, which gives Dovid plenty of chances to engage in his second passion, nature photography.
Therapy for Younger Survivors
We talked to physiatrist Dr. Brendan Conroy, stroke program director at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, about how therapy for younger survivors differs from therapy for geriatric survivors.
Life at the Curb
Comedian John Kawie’s unique perspective on survival. This month in “The Way We Were” John shares his challenges remodeling his New York apartment.
Stroke Notes features ‘newsy’ stroke-related information on stroke research, risk reduction, ASA events, advocacy efforts, etc.
Readers Room features personal stories, letters, poems and artwork from stroke survivors and family caregivers.
Everyday Survival features tips on post-stroke travel from several stroke survivors and caregivers.