Solutions for Compliance

frustrated lady

If you're recovering from a stroke, it's in your best interest to follow doctor's orders, but some of us don't. Here are some common rationalizations and a few work-arounds.

Denial

It's hard to deny that you've had a stroke, although survivors often try. Having a stroke puts you at higher risk of having another one. That should only be scary if you don't make the lifestyle changes and take prescriptions as recommended.

Stubborn refusal

If you don't accept your doctors and therapists as allies, they will inevitably become your adversaries. Your health and recovery will suffer. If you don't trust your doctor's approach or you don't understand the goals of your treatment, ask for an explanation. If you don't agree with the goals or treatment plan, find doctors with whom you can agree. Your chance for success improves when you understand and agree with your treatment plan. Patients who make written commitments to follow their treatment plans are more successful. Such a statement is solid evidence that you have accepted responsibility for your condition.

Cognitive deficits

Cognitive deficits that undermine compliance can be very challenging. Medication maps and simplified drug regimens are helpful. Family support is critical, and professional care-giving services may be needed. Creative solutions can help ensure that the survivor is getting the care needed.

Lack of knowledge

The Internet contains a staggering amount of health information, but that doesn't mean it's accurate. Always be concerned about the source of information, and never act on anything until you've discussed it with your physician. Not all websites are created equal. Timely information from reputable sources such as www.strokeassociation.org, www.fda.gov, www.diabetes.org and www.nih.gov can provide solid information.

Life gets busy and other priorities arise

You can't make something a habit until you've made it a priority. Don't wait for your body to tell you that you need to take your medication. Making a written commitment can help. If you have a complicated treatment plan, ask your doctor to simplify it. Use a weekly pill dispenser and keep it where you can see it. Cue pill taking with some other activity, like eating. Ask family members to help support you.

Read more about Compliance and the Barriers to Success


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