Memory and thinking problems after stroke, A stroke can change the way your brain processes, organises, and stores data. This is referred to as cognition.
We’ll go over how a stroke can impair your cognition, the difficulties it can create, and what you can do about it in this article. It’s intended for stroke survivors, but there’s also information for family and friends.
Memory and thinking problems after stroke, Why has my memory been harmed?
Following a stroke, cognitive issues are quite prevalent. They have an effect on the individual, as well as their family and connections.
Every second, your brain receives a massive quantity of data from the world around you, which it must comprehend, organise, and store.
Different regions of your brain are in charge of different aspects of your life. A stroke can limit your capacity to accomplish particular tasks if one of the regions of your brain that controls cognition is affected. You may find it difficult to focus or remember specific things if your cognition is impaired.
You could also have trouble figuring out how to accomplish something or knowing how to react to what’s going on around you.
Observing cognitive issues
When you’re in the hospital, it might be difficult to identify cognitive issues. There’s always a lot going on in the stroke unit, and you get a lot of support with regular tasks (nurses will remind you when to take your medication or help you find your way around, for example).
As a result, many people are unaware of their difficulties until they return home. Even then, it’s possible that you won’t notice until you return to work or resume more physically demanding activities, such as driving.
Family and friend advice
It might be tough to know how to assist someone who is experiencing cognitive difficulties, so here are some suggestions to assist you.
We don’t enjoy having to repeat ourselves or feeling as though we aren’t being heard. But keep in mind that this isn’t something a stroke survivor can readily control. Allow your friend or family member to do tasks at their own pace. If anything is bothering you, gently discuss the situation and focus on what you can both do to improve it.
Make things as simple as possible.
If a friend or family member is having trouble concentrating or remembering things, you can assist them by providing information in the following manner:
Tasks should be broken down into distinct steps.
Instead of a list of things to accomplish, give straightforward instructions one at a time.
Get straight to the point: don’t expect them to keep up with a 20-minute recap of your day. Let’s begin with the headlines.
Exercises should be practised with a friend or family member, and strategies to make them enjoyable should be considered. Cooking a meal, for example, can be a good way to practise planning and problem-solving. If progress is slow it can be easy to think that things will never get better, so help them by celebrating all their successes, however small.
Don’t do everything for them
It’s natural to want to help someone you care about as much as possible, but it’ll be better for your friend or family member if you assist them in doing things on their own rather than doing everything for them. So, if kids inquire what day it is, offer to look it up in the newspaper.
Removing clutter and only putting out what they need may enable them to accomplish things on their own – for example, if you lay out their clothing, they may be able to dress themselves, or if you place everything they need to assemble a sandwich in a clean space, they may be able to do it.
After a stroke, there are several different types of cognitive issues that might arise.
There are many distinct kinds of cognitive issues. Read on to learn more about each one, as well as how they’re diagnosed and treated:
- Planning and problem-solving difficulties (executive function)
- On the one hand, there are issues in noticing objects (spatial neglect)
- You’re having trouble moving or managing your body (apraxia)
- Keeping your balance and finding your way around (visual perception)
- Perplexity and denial (anosognosia)
- Recognizing objects is a problem for you (agnosia)
Read also: To Solve a Problem, Stop Thinking About It