Returning Home...
Returning home after a stroke or a head injury is not always easy. You might spend your time in hospital thinking about being in your own space again and looking forward to returning home. You feel that once you are at home everything will be better.

And a lot of things are better at home. You can wear your own clothes, sit in your own chair, sleep in your own bed. You can make your tea the way you like it and eat home-cooked meals again. You have your privacy and your own schedule and things are better.

But it is also difficult because you are different. As a result of the stroke or head injury, you are not able to do things the way you did before. Getting in to and out of bed now requires someone to help you, going to the toilet or washing your hair is something you can't do by yourself anymore. Suddenly, the reality starts to set in for both you and your family. Life has changed as a result of the stroke or head injury.

And it does not affect only you, but each member of your family too. Your family member can no longer pop out to the shops on a whim as you might need assistance at home. Your family member might need to help you get in to and out of bed or to move from one room to another. Their time is no longer their own as they need to assist you with your physical and communication changes.

Having a chat in the evenings, discussing an event or mulling over a worry is different now. Your family member might start to feel a little isolated or helpless at times as the reality of the effects of your injury start to set in. Your interactions are different now and more time and patience is now required.

It is not all doom and gloom though. Everyone can adapt and adjust to the new challenges and situation. Acknowledging that returning home is difficult is the first step. Following the advice and suggestions made by the therapists is the next step and realising that you are not alone is important.

Being at home is important for everyone involved and is a milestone along the path of recovery. Remember that a stroke or head injury is a journey and returning home is one of the stops along the way. Things will get better and the situation will continue to improve so hang in there and enjoy the special moments that are only possible when you are at home together!



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    Claire Ashford

    Claire has assisted in the rehabilitation of many individuals who have experienced a stroke or head injury and over the years, these are some of the topics that individuals and families have raised.

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We have a special interest in treating individuals who experience communication and swallowing difficulties as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury or degenerative disorder.