Family caregivers can help a stroke victim recover faster

Kevin Magna

March 11, 2011

When someone suffers a stroke, one of the side effects is often a loss of mobility in part of the body. Physical therapy can help remedy this issue, and researchers have found that family involvement may help speed up the recovery time, according to WebMD Health News.

The study observed 40 stroke victims who were undergoing exercise classes. Half received additional help from family members. Overall, the family-assisted group stayed at the hospital for an average of 35 days, compared to the 40 days spent there by the other participants.

Family involvement was also found to significantly lower stress levels.

"Instead of adding burden to the caregiver, participating in exercise actually enabled the family member to do something practical for their loved one in [the] hospital," said Emma Stokes, PhD, the news source reports. "Caregivers were less stressed and more empowered."

Patients who have suffered a stroke may also want to invest in a medical alert system. This device can be used to send a personal emergency response message in the case of an unexpected health condition.

Each year, 4.4 million people suffer a fatal stroke, making it the second-leading cause of death worldwide, according to The University Hospital.

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