The Stroke Network, Inc )
Book Review: The Comfort of Home for Stroke

By Lin Wisman


“The Comfort of Home for Stroke” by Maria M Meyer and Paula Derr, RN, with Jon Caswell, Stroke Connection Magazine is a resource for caregivers. If you are a caregiver – especially someone new to caregiving – you should read this book. It includes many tips and lists of resources. In addition to specific helps, the book provides a good context for the caregiver. Most chapters include an explanation of basic helps, checklists to aid the caregiver to both get and stay organized, and a list of resources. Caregiving is a complex role. This book covers a lot of ground.

The book is divided into three sections: Getting ready, Day by Day and Additional Resources. The first section explains the caregiver role and how to prepare. Direction is provided on how to select the best care.

Stroke is explained and the various challenges which may arise are outlined. This can help those new to stroke to better understand the road ahead. An early question is the necessary care level required following hospitalization. Advice on how to discern what is necessary and where to obtain it is given.

The book visits the question of whether one should take on the full time caregiver role. A list is given of the ideal caregiver. This allows a potential caregiver to evaluate themselves. The caregiver must decide what care they can personally provide and what must be found elsewhere.

There is a break down of different types of living assistance that may be available in your area. One helpful tool is a checklist to use when speaking with a perspective facility. This tells one what to look for in a facility.

The different members of the medical team are listed. The levels of stroke medical care are explained. The caregiver is the one who usually coordinates the health care of the survivor. A l list is provided of things to consider before and during doctor visits. There is also a list for the pharmacist.

Other areas of interest include how to prepare the home, buying vs borrowing equipment, where to find home help and how to pay for care.

The Day by Day section focuses on home caregiving. The first arena addressed is how to setup a day by day care plan. Forms are provided to aid in organization.

The book provides tips on everything from how to work with one hand to controlling infection. There is a long list of bathing tips. Special challenges such as communicating including aphasia, driving and returning to work are covered. Diet Nutrition and exercise are spotlighted.

The issue of emergencies is addressed. The book gives criteria on when to call for an ambulance. It gives tips on negotiating the emergency room and how to prevent emergencies. There are instructions on how to move the survivor.

The final section is designed as a guide for items which the caregiver may encounter. First the book lists and explains common abbreviations used in stroke recovery. Then is explains each of a long list of specialists which may be involved in stroke recovery. There is also a glossary of common stroke recovery terms. Finally there is a list of caregiver organizations which can provide help and support.

This is a great book full of helpful tips. This is definitely a book for new caregivers. Those who have been at caregiving for a while may find answers to questions they still have. I would also recommend that this book be a gift to a caregiver or someone who is thinking about becoming a caregiver.

Order the book.



Lin is Director Information Resources for The Stroke Network.


Copyright © March 2007

The Stroke Network, Inc.

P.O. Box 492 Abingdon, Maryland 21009

All rights reserved.