Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)


Emotions: Jock

unshaven older gentleman wearing dirty clothes

Jock had a stroke 5 months ago. You’ve been visiting him regularly and today you notice that he is unshaven, wearing dirty clothes, and is less talkative than usual.

Telling him to have a shave and put some clean clothes on

This leads to Jock bursting into tears and telling you to leave him alone. This has not helped Jock talk about his feelings. He may feel criticised or hurt by your comments.

Assuming that he obviously doesn’t want to talk so you tell him you’re leaving

He doesn’t react to you. This has not helped Jock talk about his feelings. He feels abandoned by you leaving.

Asking him how he is feeling today

This is the correct course of action. He says he’s feeling really upset and tearful.

  • Do not try to cheer Jock up by changing the subject. This doesn’t help Jock talk about his feelings.
  • Don’t just tell him he’s having a bad day. He starts crying and becomes visibly distressed. This didn’t help Jock talk about his feelings.
  • It is good practice to sit down next to him and ask him what’s making him feel upset. Jock will now know you are interested in helping him and are supportive.

Page last reviewed: 18 Oct 2020