5 Ways You Can Help a Stroke Survivor During the Holidays

There are many things you can do for a loved one or friend who’s recovering from a stroke. It doesn’t have to be an actual present if you are on a tight budget. You can also offer the gift of your time which would be greatly appreciated, especially around Christmas and afterwards.

Here are some more suggestions that can be very beneficial to a stroke survivor who’s recovering and in rehab.

1. Offer to take your family member or friend to one of their medical appointments. Chances are, their spouse has to work and they have to rely on someone else they’re not familiar with or they have to take a taxi.  By driving them, it will give you some time to catch up on what’s been happening in both of your lives.

2. Ask when would be a good time to visit. You can bring a snack, like cookies or a cake and have it with tea. It would brighten their day because you’ve taken time out of your schedule to show you are thinking of them.

3. Make a few easy meals that can be frozen and microwaved or reheated in the oven. Chances are they are having a tough time making their own dinners, especially if they are recovering from paralysis, so they may not be sble to bake or cook using kitchen appliances.

4. When you visit, bring over some magazines they like. Both of you can go through them and make comments/share your opinions. This can help the person work on their speech if it has been affected by a  stroke.

5. If you can’t make it over for a visit, give them a phone call. Talk about your day, what’s going on with them, share a funny story that’s happened to you, etc. Offer some encouragement if they mention that they are
getting frustrated with therapy. Tell them that it takes time and if they continue working really hard, they will achieve their desired goals.

Speaking from experience, I appreciated it when my friends gave me a call or came over for a visit. It made my day go by much faster instead of dragging on while my husband was at work. Human contact can make all the difference in how a stroke survivor recovers. Make that difference in a loved one or friend’s life. Give them the gift of your time. You’ll be amazed at how much it means to them.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo by Getty Images / Ganny Martysheva.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Stroke

Woman looking out window at home

Why Home Is the Only Place I Feel Safe After My Stroke

Home is the only place I feel safe since I had my stroke. It was the place I would always envision before I went to sleep at night while I was in the hospital: me in my lawn chair while my kids played in the front yard and my husband tinkered on one of his [...]
Illustration of profile of a woman, looking to the left

The People Who Say I ‘Look OK’ Can’t See the Inward Battle I’m Fighting

If one more person says I “look OK,” I’m going to scream. I had a massive brain stem stroke five years ago that left me unable to walk and talk. Fast forward to today and I have gained much of that back. But it is under the surface, what people can’t see, that is the challenge [...]
The author and her sister

No Two Strokes Are the Same

My sister had a stroke 10 months before I did. She was 29 at the time, and I was 33 when I had mine. Hers was due to a clot from the carotid artery to the brain, and mine was in the brain stem. I was given TPA; she wasn’t because she just had surgery. [...]
Hospital emergency department entrance.

When Doctors Insisted My Stroke Symptoms Were Psychological

At age 34 I had a major stroke due to two dissected carotid arteries and a dissected vertebral artery. However, prior to this major stroke, I had three mini strokes. Unfortunately, because I also have struggled with major depression for several years, despite the fact that I went to the hospital after these mini strokes, [...]