- Stroke may cause difficulties with normal thinking (cognitive) processes. This includes difficulties with attention, concentration and memory, leading to confusion, problems knowing what day it is, problems concentrating over time, remembering what has happened, or remembering to do things. The person may have problems with vision and perception, so that they may not be able to see or attend to parts of the normal visual field, or they may have difficulties recognising familiar objects or people or difficulties knowing the position of their limbs. There may be difficulties planning, problem solving, thinking or acting flexibly (executive difficulties) or difficulties with carrying out physical movements, gestures, and sequences of actions even when no weakness is present (apraxia). The specific types of problems that occur will depend on the area of brain damaged by the stroke.
- Emotional distress, cognitive impairment, and frustration with physical limitations may cause someone to behave in a manner which is difficult for others to cope with and understand.
- To know (or at least know how to find out) whether individuals have such difficulties. Staff should ensure that they follow recommended treatment plans and use those strategies and routines when assisting the person with any activity of daily life which is affected by these problems. These might include allowing time and minimising distractions when completing tasks, providing written information to aid memory, giving small pieces of information at a time, reviewing information with the person to check for understanding, using prompts to help people initiate tasks, or orientating people using cues in the environment (clocks, calendars etc).
- Staff should be aware that individuals may have such difficulties and should seek advice on the best way to cope with and understand this behaviour.
Benefits to the individual
- Individuals will maximise their independence in a safe and effective manner, while carrying out everyday activities. They are less likely to fail tasks. This is likely to benefit the individual emotionally and their quality of life.
- Individuals will receive appropriate, consistent input from staff to increase the likelihood of having their emotional and cognitive needs supported, and to enhance their quality of life.
16: Thinking processes and… What is cognition?
Page last reviewed: 30 Jan 2020