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Caring for Stroke Survivors

Може 24, 2024
A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot or there is sudden bleeding in the brain. Stroke survivors often need long-term care during their recovery, which the WA Cares Fund will be able to help with in the future.

Janice, a stroke survivor living in Lacey, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at age 39.


“I found myself having to relearn how to do things like how to walk, swallow drinks and even eat my food,” Janice says. “With the weakness I experienced from having the stroke, I had to learn to use my left hand to pick things up and needed a lot of assistance walking.”


Like Janice, those who survive a stroke often need long-term care – help with activities of daily living like bathing, eating and dressing – during the recovery period. This could mean anything from a few hours of help at home each day to round-the-clock care in a long-term care facility, and needs can change over the course of recovery.


According to the Washington State Department of Health, more than 175,000 people in Washington had a stroke in 2022. Stroke is also the fifth leading cause of death in Washington state.


In the future, Washingtonians who suffer a stroke while they are still working or later in life will be able to access benefits through WA Cares. Especially for younger workers who don’t have savings to pay for the long-term care they need after a stroke, WA Cares will provide immediate financial relief and time to plan for future care costs.


After a stroke, family members often take on an informal role as a caregiver, a role that can be demanding and stressful.


“I found myself really relying on family members and caregivers with daily activities and tasks,” Janice says. “Going from someone who was fairly active and super independent to really losing that independence and relying on family to help with walking, meal preparation, showering and even things like using the toilet is a big deal.”


Access to WA Cares benefits gives Washingtonians more dignity and choice at a time when they are most vulnerable. WA Cares offers a variety of ways to use your benefit, including many options that will help support family caregivers. You can make a family member – even a spouse – your paid caregiver or get them training and other resources. You can also use your benefit for things like wheelchairs or other mobility equipment, home safety modifications, transportation to appointments and more.



  • Visit stroke.org to find resources about the effects of stroke, recovery and life after stroke.
  • Find local stroke education resources from the Washington State Department of Health.
  • You can also dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in Washington state for free confidential information about stroke resources in the state.

Interested in hearing more about resources for stroke survivors and their caregivers? Check out the recording of our May webinar, WA Cares Conversations: Caring for Stroke Survivors.