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my husband has had a stroke and I am the only caregiver and I need support and questions answered and what I should and shouldn't do

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Hi sunshine89 ,
If you live in New Jersey, please let me know. I am Geriatric NP and Dementia specialist and facilitate dementia support groups.please let me know if you are in New Jersey
Thanks
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And another
http://www.mercyweb.org/stroke_caregivers.aspx
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Sunshine, welcome!

A quick google search for stroke caregiver support in the Toledo area will provide numerous options for you to check out.

Here is one of them with a support group meeting the second Thursday of each month.
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/Stroke-Support-Group-of-Greater-Toledo_UCM_318768_Article.jsp
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Ok, general question general answers...

Don't do stuff for him that he could do for himself. Even if he does it badly at first, that's rehabilitative.

Do take care of yourself in any way you can, and don't expect you can keep up all the pre-stroke standards of housekeeping in every detail.

Do get POA papers and such in order if they aren't.

Post specific questions on here, each one or a couple related ones in its own post, and take all answers with a grain of salt!
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As mentioned, check with Drs, groups, your area for local in person support groups. You still have us here! Even though this site is online only, I have really gotten great advice and "met" wonderful people.
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Ask hubby's doctor to send PT and OT to the house for some helpful tips.
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Contact local hospitals and ask if they have stroke support groups. In SE Michigan, some hospitals have established these for patients and caregivers.

As to questions, your mother's treating physician is the best source when you accompany her to office visits, but you can also Google information. MayoClinic has precise and short information on a wide variety of subjects.

You'll need to know specifically what areas of your mother's body were affected by the stroke, what the short and long term implications are, and what are her options for recovery. This information would have to come from her treating physician.

Sometimes hospitals also have nurse practictioners and/or nurses (sometimes called nurse navigators) who facilitate helping patients (and/or caregivers) locate resources that might help them. That might include classes held by the hospital on stroke issues, and/or other resources.
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I can't help you with a support group, but I can tell you that YOU need some time for yourself. You need to get someone for like 2 days, for a few hours (4? each day) for sanity reasons.

I don't know if you have an agency nearby who can send you some help so you can get a break. You're not being selfish. It may be difficult to afford it, but if YOU are starting to be affected by giving the care, you need to take care of yourself, FIRST. A support group can definitely help, but just getting away and doing something you enjoy is a must.
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Well, you've come to the right place. Ask away.
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