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Role and Relationship Changes

relationshipsFollowing a stroke, change may occur with current roles and relationships. Many caregivers have fear, anxiety, frustration, and adjustments in and to their ability in dealing with the loved one with a stroke and these experiences may affect roles and relationships. The way some individuals view people with disabilities, such as stereotypes regarding slowness, inability to process ideas, and even physical limitations such as mobility, hearing, and vision, can also affect roles and change relationships.



Most people feel uncertain about roles and relationship changes. Caregivers may need to learn the new roles and responsibilities in caring for the person with stroke. Role changes may cause anxiety, producing emotional and physical stress on the caregiver, as well as affect relationships with the person with stroke. Roles change in many different ways.

Changes in roles include:

-Household responsibilities or activities
-Daily routines
-Each of these examples may cause stress and changes that affect roles and relationships.

Caregivers and survivors of stroke need to be aware that role and relationship changes occur frequently after a stroke. Maintaining communication, positive support systems, and overall optimal health will assist in adapting to the role and relationship changes that occur after an individual has a stroke.

Additional Information:

The following are some web sites to provide you with more information about role and relationship changes:

Coping Strategies Impact Recovery from Stroke

Hope: Stroke Recovery Guide

National Stroke Association “Relationships


Behavior changes after stroke. (2009). Retrieved from

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. (2011). Role and relationships. Retrieved from

Stein, J. (2009). Stroke recovery and rehabilitation. New York, NY: Demos Medical Publishing

Stroke facts: Recovery after stroke: Coping with emotions. (2009). Retrieved from

Developed in 2002 by Michael Finn, BSN, RN at The University of Toledo for Caring~Web©.

Revised 2010, 2012


Last Updated: 5/11/17