Give InKind’s Care Calendar helps answer the central question of how to give or receive support. In this case, how to set up a support page for someone who has suffered a stroke and also for the members of their family.
Choose a close friend or family member who can sit down with a primary caregiver and the patient (if the patient is well enough). Together, work to identify the areas where support is most necessary. [See a sample Stroke Give InKind page here].
For people who have suffered a stroke, identifying the immediate needs of the patient and their family is critical. If they have children at home, consider placing emphasis there. If the patient is older, consider the needs of a spouse or partner too. You can add as many items to the Care Calendar as necessary.
- Food: Across the board – meals and groceries for the family are always among the most popular calendar items. Has their doctor recommended a different diet because of the stroke? Does the family have any dietary restrictions or preferences? Is anyone allergic to anything? Do they prefer home-cooked, takeout, and/or frozen meals? What are their favorite restaurants (and corresponding meals)?
- Childcare: If applicable, if there are two or more children with different schedules, you can easily build that into the Care Calendar.
- Adult / Senior Care: If the recipient is older, take into consideration things like rides to doctor’s appointments, in-home check-ins, or prescription refills. If there is an older spouse at home, think about what they might need help with with a partner out of commission.
- Pet Care: Are there pets to care for? Arrange necessary (multiple) daily dog walks, or think about doggy daycare. Are there litter boxes to change?
- Home Services: Add calendar events for a friend or family member to be there for a long-scheduled home appointment (such as a repair), house cleaning, or everyday chores (like yard work).
- Other: “Other" is the ultimate catch-all category. This is a great way to create opportunities for connection that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of a crisis. For those who live far away, schedule a FaceTime date or Netflix watch party. Prayer calendars are also a great way to organize continued to support to let them know that people are thinking of them. Anything that needs to continue to happen but could be inadvertently neglected can go here.
The unexpected costs associated with recovery from a stroke may quickly add up. There are multiple car trips back and forth to hospitals, medical appointments, rehabilitation, etc. There may be lost income. Invariably, there are hospital costs not covered by insurance. If there is such a need, simply enable the fundraising button on your Give InKind page and connect your PayPal or GoFundMe account.
The Give InKind Wishlist is another opportunity for others to meaningfully support a stroke patient and their family. Browse Give InKind’s curated list for suggested items that could help in their unique situation. When you see an item that could be helpful, use the “+" icon to add to your Wishlist.
You may also add an existing Amazon Wishlist to your Give InKind page.
Use Give InKind’s do-not-disturb section to let others know about the parent’s communication preferences. Keep in mind that these preferences can be easily edited as a situation evolves.
- Phone Calls: How does the caregiver or Page Recipient like to communicate – a phone call or a text? Sometimes speech may be temporarily affected by stroke. Other times, not. We respectfully remind you that no two strokes are the same. Oftentimes, families remind us that they prefer questions to be asked. The impulse to make assumptions, no matter how well-intended, may sometimes be misplaced. “His loss of language did not mean he was any less a grown-up with adult feelings, experiences, worries, and problems," wrote Diane Ackerman on the subject of her husband’s stroke. This is a gentle reminder that the vulnerability of a stroke patient does not change their strength and pre-existing fundamental competence.
- Visitors: Are visitors allowed in the hospital (or do the parents even want them)? If so, use the Special Notes section to add visiting hours and any other details.
- Flowers: People have different feelings about flowers. Some people love them and others don’t as much. Hospitals may have different rules about accepting flowers in a patient’s room, so it’s a good idea to ask about this.
Add unlimited updates to keep friends and family informed. This is a great place to designate a third-party to act as the family spokesperson if necessary.
Clearly expressing what is most helpful and being able to follow through on that support is a gift that offers lasting benefits. It is hard to begin difficult conversations, but once begun they tend to get easier. It’s a sort of remarkable thing. Create your Give InKind Support Page here.
If you have any further questions, visit Give InKind’s Help Center or view our helpful articles about supporting stroke patients and their families.
Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.