What post-stroke activties would be beneficial and interesting to my mom?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My 86 year old mother suffered a stroke in December 2009. While she is not as independent as she was before the stroke (she lived alone, drove, and managed all of her own finances), she has had a remarkable recovery. She has regained most of her mobility and while her speech has been impacted, she has made huge gains since December. Despite her physical strength and confidence, she is finding it hard to stay motivated and engaged. She used to read a lot but since the stroke, her reading comprehension and focus isn't the same. She also used to do a lot of volunteer work at her church but is no longer confident of her abilities to help out and feels she may be a bother. She is no longer able to drive, which is also a tough thing for her to adjust to.

I am trying to find activities that she might be interested in, considering her cognitive limitations. Her math abilities have been impacted and she has never been a knitter or sewer. She was never proficient on the computer and finds it daunting trying to relearn the keyboard.

Any advice on accessible activities that might keep her interested?? She still lives at home but has a caregiver that spends about 14 hours/day with her.
Thank you!!

Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

Sorry for this predicament.

I think an appropriate activity would have to be tailored to her specific cognitive and language deficits. I would recommend having your doctor refer her to a local Speech Therapist. They can do an initial evaluation, and I find that they are extremely helpful when it comes to finding local activities that would be appropriate for her level of speech and comprehension. Since they work extensively with stroke victims, many of whom have the same issues as your mother, they should be a great resource of such activities.

I hope that helps. Good luck!