Who will be involved in my care after having a stroke?
After having a stroke, you will need access to a range of health professionals. Here is a quick list of the most common and what they will do.
- Stroke care coordinator or discharge co-ordinator –your hospital care and help plan your discharge.
- Doctors – the consultant is in charge of your hospital care. They may be a neurologist, rehabilitation physician or geriatrician. Registrars and residents report to the consultant.
- Nurses – provide care while you are in hospital, taking and monitoring observations, administering medication and assisting with everyday activities.
- Occupational therapist (OT) – work to get people back to day to day tasks, such as dressing and showering. They can help with thinking and memory problems, and with hand and arm problems. OTs also can help with return to work and driving.
- Physiotherapist – work to improve the way you sit, stand, walk and exercise and to prevent falls. They can give you advice about mobility aids such as walking frames and wheelchairs.
- Speech pathologist – assess to see if you can swallow and make recommendations to help you eat and drink safely. They also help if you have trouble speaking or understanding.
- Dietician – help with getting enough nutrition because of swallowing difficulties or poor appetite. They can also give advice about diet to reduce your risk of another stroke.
- Social worker – help with the emotional, social and financial impact of stroke. They can offer counselling, support, advice and information about discharge options and community services.
- Psychologist – help with getting used to life after stroke, and with depression and anxiety.
- Neuropsychologist – may work with you if you are having trouble with memory, thinking or behavioural problems. They can help develop practical strategies to help with these problems after stroke.
Keeping track of these specialists, your appointments with each and what they tell you can seem overwhelming. An app like Thrivor can help you keep track of them, and even reach out to your support network of family and friends if you need help getting to or from the doctor's office.
Enableme is a new website where you can talk to, and seek support from other people who have had a stroke. It is a place to ask questions, to find the answers that you need and to set recovery goals. It is a place where you can offer support, encourage others, and share your experiences.