Changes in judgment after a stroke

A person who was very concerned about details before a stroke may become sloppy and care little about personal appearance after a stroke. Because these problems may be annoying, it is easy to think that there is an emotional or psychological problem. In fact:

  • There may be a problem with memory. Someone who fails to bathe or change clothes may need a checklist on the bathroom mirror as a reminder.
  • There may be a behavior problem. The person may not respond appropriately in social situations. Inappropriate behavior should be discussed immediately and in a matter-of-fact way.

If your family member has judgment problems:

  • Remember that nagging or getting angry only makes things worse.
  • Tell the person immediately when he or she does something wrong.
  • Be sure to acknowledge when he or she does the “right” thing.
  • Talk with your doctor to see if medicines might help treat the problem.

Last Updated: January 8, 2009

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