We've gathered some top tips for anyone offering support to stroke survivors.

Be patient
"Let me do things in my own time. If there’s something that’s frustrating you, explain the problem calmly and focus on what we can both do to make it better."

Don’t over-complicate
"Don’t make things too complicated if I’m finding it hard to concentrate or remember things. Help me in the right way; break tasks down into individual steps and give simple instructions, one at a time, rather than a list of things to do. Get to the point."

Encourage
"Practise exercises with me and think of ways to make them fun. Cooking a meal can be a good way to practise planning and problem-solving, for example. If my progress is slow it can be easy to think that things will never get better, so help me by celebrating all my successes, however small."

Don’t do everything for me
"It’s normal to want to do as much as possible for me. But it will be better if you help me to do things on my own rather than do it all for me. So, if I ask you what day it is, suggest that I look at the paper to find out. Maybe lay my clothes out, or the ingredients for a sandwich, so that I’ll be able to do things for myself."

Find new ways to communicate
"If I’m not able to communicate in the same ways as before, then you’re going to need to learn new ways to do it too. Ask me what helps. Get involved with my speech and language therapy as much as you can. Many people with communication problems say they feel invisible because people forget that they have something to say or aren’t willing to put the effort in to find out. Make sure you include me in activities and conversations."

Help me in getting the right support 
"Cognitive problems are often missed by doctors and sometimes it can be difficult to get them taken seriously. However, you need to trust that you know me better than the doctors do, so don’t be afraid to keep pushing to get the support you need. If you don’t think you’re getting the right support from your doctor or stroke team, then call our Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100."

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