Will my treatment and support be different because of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Anyone who has a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke) will get the medical treatment they need. 

While you are in hospital, you should be assessed to find out what kind of help and rehabilitation you’ll need to recover.

You might be discharged more quickly than normal, due to new hospital procedures to reduce the risk of infection. There may be less staff available on the wards. But hospitals are trying to work in new ways to help people get the support they need after a stroke. 

After leaving hospital, you may have medical appointments and therapy by phone or video call. Some equipment like blood pressure monitors and other devices can be used at home. 

New stroke symptoms: call 999

If you have any new signs of a stroke, don’t wait: call 999 straight away even if the symptoms pass. We know that some people have been avoiding emergency calls due to worry about going to hospital. But hospitals are able to treat emergencies, and they have procedures to prevent infection. 

What happens next?

When you leave hospital, you’re given a care plan. This shows the treatment and support you will get after discharge. The care plan includes a name and contact details to ask for help if you need it.

You will usually be given a seven-day supply of any medication to take home. For questions about medication, contact your local pharmacist or GP.

You may have a home assessment by an occupational therapist or social worker to check if your home needs any changes to make it safe for you. This assessment might be carried out via photographs sent to the assessor.

Your care plan may include rehabilitation therapy to help with problems such as one-sided weakness, communication difficulties and problems with memory and thinking. Your appointments might happen remotely via phone or video call. You might be given written information to help you do therapy at home. If you have questions or concerns, contact your therapy team. 

Tips for therapy at home

Get family and friends involved: they can support you by giving encouragement or helping you to record your therapy activities. If you live together, they can practise with you. If you live apart, you can share your goals on the phone or by email. You can share your achievements on social media. Our free online community, My Stroke Guide, has a forum where you can share stories with other stroke survivors. 

When will I get better?

Many effects of a stroke improve in the days and weeks after a stroke. Things like swallowing, continence problems and speech problems can improve quickly. For some people, that can mean making a full recovery. Others will need therapy, which could be given at hospital or at home. 

Read more about the effects of stroke and types of therapy on our website. 

To find out more about your own stroke and your treatment, contact your GP. They can talk to you about your stroke and any health conditions, and what you can do to stay healthy.

We have information about the different types of stroke and reducing your risk of a stroke on our website. 

Fatigue and emotional effects of stroke

Many people go through emotional changes after a stroke or TIA. They can feel shock and anger. Some people have low mood or anxiety. We have information about emotional changes after stroke, and tips for wellbeing while staying at home due to coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are struggling with low mood or anxiety, contact your stroke team or GP.

Fatigue is common after a stroke or TIA. Resting might help, but being active can also help recovery from fatigue. We have information about fatigue and being active after stroke.

Changes to memory and thinking are also common, such as problems with concentration. Some people can have behaviour changes or lose interest in the things they enjoy. 

Driving

After a stroke or TIA, by law, you must not drive for a calendar month. You need to check whether you are able to return to driving and if you need to tell the DVLA/DVA about your stroke. We have information about driving after stroke on our website. 

Support for you after leaving hospital

  • Post-stroke checks: The Stroke Association is working with the NHS in many parts of the UK to provide post-stroke checks. If you live in one of these areas, you will be contacted after leaving hospital. Depending on where you live, you may be supported by a Stroke Coordinator or a staff member from our 'Stroke connector' service. Because we can't meet stroke survivors face-to-face, we're providing support over the phone. You'll also be sent resources and further information after the call.
  • Our support services offer help with life after stroke. To find out what is available in your area, call our Helpline or use our postcode search.
  • Our online support tool, My Stroke Guide, provides free reliable advice, information and support 24/7, and our friendly forums connect you to others affected by stroke. 
  • Our Helpline is open every day to answer your questions and provide information and resources. Call 0303 3033 100 or email helpline@stroke.org.uk.


Need help if you can't leave home?

There is a range of community and NHS support available for stroke survivors. This includes help with shopping and getting medicines. Read our information about how to get support

Stroke survivor and coronavirus (COVID-19) information

We have comprehensive resources about coronavirus (COVID-19) for stroke survivors on our website. This includes a video about washing your hands with one-sided weakness. There is information about emotional wellbeing, work and money. We have some Easy-Read resources which can be helpful for people with aphasia or cognitive problems.

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