3. Practical advice and tips for carers > Psychological issues

Psychological issues

6) Fatigue

Person showing signs of fatigue

Many people after a stroke experience fatigue. This can vary from day to day or at different times of the day. Some people need a period of adjustment when they go home. Often it is tempting to try to do too much too soon which adds to the fatigue and feeling of failure. If the person feels fatigued all the time they may lose motivation to attempt tasks.

The key to dealing with fatigue is to accept it is a problem but it can improve. Learning how to pace yourself and the person who has had the stroke will help both of you. Priorities and the importance of some tasks become clear as you decide together what is essential, what is important but can wait. There are often tasks which could be done later or on a day when they are feeling stronger or have more capacity to concentrate.

As the carer you may have to take over some tasks initially but with time you may be able to gradually hand back some of these tasks. Planning and structuring the day could also help. Allow more time to complete tasks. What used to be a quick trip to the shop may now feel like an exhausting days work.

For more information please read the CHSS factsheet: Coping with tiredness [.pdf].