|Photo credit: onestroketwosurvivors.com|
Berenice Kleiman of Shaker Heights has been her husband Herb's caregiver ever since Herb suffered a stroke in 2001. She explains how much effort it takes to provide the highest quality of life possible for Herb.
And she and Herb are making that effort.
Doctors initially said Herb would need to live in a nursing home with full-time care, and that if he didn't make progress within five months, he never would. Neither was true. A team of medical and rehabilitation specialists, including a rehab psychologist helped Herb accept his disability, compensate for it, and go on living in a different way. And a speech therapist, who helped Herb connect his thoughts with words.
"It's a constant effort, and if you give up, it's over."
Berenice and Herb have written two books: One Stroke, Two Survivors, and Lessons Learned: Stroke Rehab from a Caregiver's Perspective. She says the Cleveland Stroke Club and other such clubs based at area hospitals offer support to caregivers.
"I've been gifted with my husband, and his life that has continued, and it's payback time."