Helping with anxiety after stroke

hello all, I am new to this site so not sure if this is the right place to post, I’m looking for advice about how I could help a 67yo lady I care for who has had a stroke. 

She can get about using a frame, has poor vision and anxiety, I’m new to the job and find theirs lots I want to suggest but as I am not family or qualified physio/mental health nurse I’m unsure of how to help.

The lady had a stroke approx a year ago and has just moved home, I believe her anxiety is holding her back physically and wondered about fun at home easy exercises we could do, if she is stronger physically then it might help improve her mental health, as I think sometimes she worries so much that she might fall, which holds her back physically and could lead her to have a fall from worry so much( if that makes sense).

it would be nice to hear from people who have been in this lady’s position and what you found helped but also from family’s or other carers, I would just really like to find a way of helping improve her confidence, anxiety and physical health as much as possible.   

A year is a very short time in recovery terms. Does she have access to a Life After Stroke Centre in your area? They usually put on exercise classes and seated exercises classes for strength and balance. Your local hospital might do the same and her gp may be able to advise.

My Stroke was two and a half years ago and I now go to three exercise classes for active seniors a week. In the beginning I could barely walk and had a frame. I had to make myself walk, and was very afraid to go out of doors in the early days. I made myself do that as well. I now have a morning walk every day.

It is very inportant she be taught how to get up after a fall. There is a technique for doing this. I have not had a lot of falls, but knowing how to get up improves confidence. Encourage her to walk around the house and to utilise her weak hand and arm as much as possible. I do so every day.

There are also lots of exercises on line, but she may not have a computer. You can also get free exercise books for the elderly from some organisations. For example,

Hi I would give lots of encouragement, my physio gave me some exercises to do after my stroke, which helped.  Also, playing games that I enjoyed like scrabble and pet rescue, suduko or even doing a crossword together might help.  I also got a fitbit and this gave me the boost I needed to increase my steps each day, only by a little but it worked.  Hope this helps.

Anxiety and lack of confidence are common amongst us SS. Help and support is good, but at the end of a day it is up to us to achieve the recovery. Showing the lady various options might help her.

I believe a smile is the best thing. False, forced, fake or real doesnt matter. 4 smiles a day will work wonders.

Positive outlook is good. It can be something simple such as getting up and dressed by 9am is a positive. Maybe writing down ten "goals" would be good (I did that) then the lady to write "signposts" as to how she will achieve those goals. 

Talk about what she can do and not what she can not.

Look into any local stroke groups. They are such a boost.

Just a few scratchings.